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Alix West Lefler Talks The Good Nurse and Working with Jessica Chastain

Dec 19, 2022


Even at such a young age, Alix West Lefler is already building a substantial body of work. From a recurring role on seasons 5 and 6 of Riverdale to guest spots on The Good Doctor and Resident Alien, Lefler proves herself to be a promising young actor. In our phone interview, we’re discussing her debut feature role in The Good Nurse. “I’m super excited for everyone to see [the movie] and what we’ve all done with it,” she said. “It’s been two years since we filmed it, so it’s really exciting.”

Directed by Tobias Lindholm, with a screenplay by Krysty Wilson-Cairns (based on Charles Graeber’s book of the same name), The Good Nurse tells the true story of nurse Amy Loughren (played by Jessica Chastain), a single mother who balances overnight shifts, parenthood, and her worsening cardiomyopathy, as she aids in the investigation of a series of deaths that occur in her ward. To make matters more complicated and dangerous, all the clues lead to Charlie Cullen (played by Eddie Redmayne) being the prime suspect, someone who has effectively integrated himself into Amy and her daughters’ lives.
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Creating the Mother-Daughter Bond With Jessica Chastain

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Lefler plays Alex, the oldest of the two Loughren children. Despite playing a real person, the young actor reveals that she wasn’t able to meet the real-life Alex in the same way Chastain and Redymane were able to meet the real-life Amy (per GoldDerby). “Unfortunately, [Alex] had to be home with the kids,” Lefler said, “but I do have her Instagram, and we do DM [each other] a lot.” Instead, Lefler leaned on Chastain to help create their on-screen mother-daughter bond. “She invited us to go to Central Park for a picnic. She brought lunch, cookies, sandwiches, and snacks, and we sat there, talking for about two hours.”

As much as The Good Nurse is a complex story of murder and friendship, the beating heart of the film is also the Loughren family dynamic. At the beginning of the film, we see that the hardships of single parenthood are felt as much by Alex as they are by Amy. The two, at a critical point, have a poignant fight about Amy’s demanding work schedule, specifically, how it’s taking time away from them being able to be together. When asked if Chastain gave her any advice on how to navigate the more emotionally-demanding scenes, or on acting in general, Lefler said, “We were working on that one day, talking about how to get into certain emotions, and I said it’s like you have to be the role. After that, we came up with: ‘You don’t have to act the role; you have to be the role.’ And I’ve kept that with me [since].”

Related: TIFF 2022 Review: The Good Nurse is a Chilling Character Study of a Serial Killer

On Working With Director Tobias Lindholm

Netflix

“Collaborating with Tobias was brilliant,” Lefler said of the Danish filmmaker, who is incidentally making his English-language feature debut with The Good Nurse. Indeed, Lindholm brings a stillness and naturalism to this film that is ubiquitous in Scandinavian cinema, successfully honing in on the humanity of the story. “I loved his different way of directing. He would do a lot of improvising, which I really loved because it brought a really natural touch. He just made me want to come back every day.”

The Good Nurse had its world premiere in September at Toronto International Film Festival, upon which Deadline called it “one of the best pictures of 2022,” naming Chastain and Redmayne as “two of the strongest performances you will see all year.” It then opened in select theaters on October 21, ahead of its Netflix release date, which is to say: it’s an exciting time for Lefler. Looking back on her time on-set, the young actor said it’s difficult to choose a stand-out memory. “I loved every moment,” she said. However, after taking a pause to really consider, she adds, “Probably the moment I met Eddie, Tobias, and Jessica.”

The Good Nurse premieres on Netflix on October 26.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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