The actor swaps period drama for partying hard in the film Animals, a subtle look at female friendship. She talks about playing drunk in Dublin and perfecting an Irish accent.
Holliday Grainger turned 30 last year in Dublin, while shooting her new film. In Animals, she plays Laura, a 32-year-old writer trying to balance the odd pressure of how she feels she should be behaving, and how she wants to behave. “I think there is a pressure on people,” Grainger says about reaching that age. “It’s – what are you doing with your life?” Though the film is set against the sort of dedicated partying that is outrageously fun, until it isn’t, Animals is also a subtle, unsettling look at the expectations placed on women by themselves, their friends, their families and lovers, as well as the world around them.
“It was this weird day,” Grainger recalls of her 30th. She and her co-star Alia Shawkat, who plays the more hedonistic Tyler, were filming a scene in which they visit Laura’s baby niece for the first time, nursing bone-crushing hangovers. “And they have an argument about joining the baby club or not.” Two of Grainger’s best friends, and their own babies, had flown out to visit her. “So on set were my best friends, their babies, and we were filming a scene about the choice between having a baby or not, and turning 30.” The director, she says, was excited about the synchronicity.