Nina Hoss Talks ‘Tár,’ Being Inspired by Bette Davis and Reading the Script for the First Time: ‘I Think I Only Got Half of It’

After Nina Hoss received the role as Sharon in “Tár,” she happened to be in Budapest shooting Amazon Prime’s “Jack Ryan” — where her eventual co-star Cate Blanchett was also on location shooting Eli Roth’s “Borderland.” Hoss and Blanchett soon built a rapport and friendship that would become the foundation of their characters. After that, the German actress felt even more prepared to show her character’s strength: “You can easily make her the victim, but that’s too easy,” Hoss tells Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast. “Especially when you’re a phenomenal musician in your own right.”

Listen below:

On this episode of the award-winning Variety Awards Circuit Podcast, we sit down with actress Nina Hoss to discuss her work in the inventive drama “Tár,” working with her co-star Blanchett, her adorations in classic cinema (such as Bette Davis, who helped inspire her career in acting) and reading the incredible script for the first time. “I put it down and I think I only got half of it,” she shares. “It evoked something in you. It invites you and fascinates you.”

Directed by Todd Field, “Tár” tells the story of Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett), a lesbian composer who becomes the first woman to conduct a major German orchestra. As Lydia’s wife Sharon, Nina Hoss runs the gamut, ushering up indelible moments of love, anger, grief and fortitude. It’s a performance that is worthy of Oscar attention.

Opening in only four theaters on Oct. 7, the film had the highest per-theater average during its kickoff weekend with over $45,000. Expanding to 36 theaters, it’s grossed a solid $585,000 to date, which is substantial for a two-hour and 40-minute drama. The film has become an across-the-board contender for best picture, director, original screenplay and score.

Also in this episode, we sit down with Gina Prince-Bythewood, director of “The Woman King.” She discusses the challenges of shooting and getting shut down during COVID, along with the possibility of seeing a reboot of the sitcom “A Different World” (1987-1993), in which she served as one of the writers.

But first, the Awards Circuit roundtable is back discussing the films that premiered at the fall festivals such as “The Fabelmans” and the year of populist flicks and box-office hits like “Top Gun: Maverick” making a play for the Oscars’ top category.

Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, who also co-hosts with Clayton Davis, is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post weekly.

Read Variety’s Awards Circuit predictions to keep up with the latest Oscar race updates.

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