During her interview, Dakota also discussed her newest film American Pastoral, in which she plays Ewen McGregor‘s daughter who: “becomes radicalized in reaction to the war in Vietnam. Soon she rejects her family’s comfortable existence for a secret life of violent protest.”
Here’s what Dakota had to say:
On American Pastoral:
“Many people describe Merry as mean or crazy, and certainly there’s that side to her, but as the person playing her, you can’t hate your character. You have to find some way to identify with them. Now that I’ve seen the movie, I can see parallels to now. Films can do that; confront you with things that you thought you knew and hopefully subvert that.”
On People Thinking They Know Her After Growing Up in the Spotlight:
“It’s the thing I hate. Hate! No one knows you better than you know yourself. And you have someone going, ‘I don’t think you’re like that…’ or, ‘I don’t think you’re able to do that…’ I’m sorry? We’ve never met. You have no idea about me. What are you talking about?”
On Holding her Ground in Hollywood:
“Being empowered to say no is pretty cool. Even when I was little, any of my friends or family would say, ‘Dakota doesn’t do anything she doesn’t want to.’ And I don’t. I’m very sensitive to energy and vibes, and if a vibe is off somewhere, then I’m out. I’ll just go. If it’s not working for me? Just no.”
On Socializing in Hollywood:
“[At] those parties there’s this culture.‘Oh! You’re an actor? So am I! So we’re friends!’ Well, maybe we could be friends, but we’re certainly not yet. We don’t even know each other! I would rather be with my real friends at a dive bar on a Friday night, you know?”
On Selecting her Projects:
“Don’t do a role that isn’t complicated enough for you. It’s ok to say no to parts if it doesn’t serve you, or the story. Or the [gratuitous] sex scene? It could be a great project, but you don’t need that. Sometimes it’s hard to stick to but, ultimately, it pays off.”
You can read more from Dakota’s interview here.
American Pastoral opens in theaters today (October 21)!