Anne Hathaway, Thomasin McKenzie, Shea Whigham, and Marin Ireland at Premiere of Psychological Thriller Eileen at Sundance Film Festival

The cast of acting heavyweights gave us a look inside the film at the red carpet premiere

From the LifeMinute.TV Team

January 24, 2023

Based on the novel of the same name by Ottessa Moshfegh, Eileen screened in the Premieres section on Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival. The psychological thriller stars Anne Hathaway, Thomasin McKenzie, Shea Whigham, Marin Ireland, and Owen Teague. Set in the 1960s, it follows a 20-something Eileen (Thomasin McKenzie), a strange young woman who leads a dreary life working as a secretary at a boy’s prison in Massachusetts, then goes home to her cruel, alcoholic father (Shea Whigham). When Rebecca Saint John (Anne Hathaway) joins the prison staff as the new psychologist, Eileen becomes her confidante. But their friendship entangles her in a crime that alters her life.

“I feel so lucky to be in this film and to be in this cast,” said Hathaway. "Everybody is a revelation and a discovery.” McKenzie also described being fortunate to collaborate with talented people like Hathaway, Whigham, and Ireland. “Usually, what I observe the most when I am on set with people I admire, is how they handle themselves,” she said. “And learning from that, especially the people who have found longevity in this kind of crazy career we have dedicated our lives to.”

Whigham, who plays McKenzie's father in the film, described his character as brutal. “We had to figure out the humanity in him...was there any in him without trying to sugarcoat him,” he said. “This relationship is a real relationship. That was one of the challenges I loved... could Thomasin and I find that father-daughter on screen."

To get into the mindset of the movie, Ireland, who had read the novel, also watched the documentary Lost for Life. Moshfegh told her about the juvenile prison documentary after a Zoom call. “That was such a great place to start,” said Ireland. “Talk about getting myself into the mindset of this thing.”

When it came to the mindset of attending the premiere of Eileen at the Sundance Film Festival, Hathaway had a different perspective coming back to the festival. “I feel like the pandemic was a reset for a lot of people," she said. "When I came to this festival before...I focused a lot on how scary it all was...I am really happy to see everybody, and I am really happy to be here.”

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