John Cassavetes ~ Gloria (Gena Rowlands), 1980
Gena is subtle, delicate. She's a miracle. She's straight. She believes in what she believes in. She's capable of anything. It's only because of Gena's enormous capacity to perform that we have a movie, because a lot of people would be a little bit too thin to work on it. Gena is a very interesting woman and for my money the best player that is around. She can just play. Give her anything and she'll always be creative. She doesn't try to make it different – she just is – because the way she thinks is different from the way most actors think. She goes in and she says, "Who do I like on this picture? What characters do I like, what characters am I so-so about?" I picked up her script once and I saw all these notes, all about what reaction she had to the various people both in the production and the story. It was very personal to her, and I felt very guilty that I'd snooped. Then I watched her work. She sets the initial premise and follows the script very completely. Very rarely will she improvise, though she does in her head and in her personal thoughts. Everybody else is going boom! boom! boom!, but Gena is very dedicated and pure. She doesn't care if it's cinematic, doesn't care where the camera is, doesn't care if she looks good – doesn't care about anything except that you believe her. She caught the rhythm of that woman living a life she'd never seen. When she's ready to kill, I'm amazed at how coldly she does it.
The Making of Gloria (1979-1980)