AT Vanity Fair segmentAnya Taylor-Joy explained that Menu director Mark Mylod treated his set as a stage where each actor had to be in character and react to the events around them.
“Something that Mark does is that he wanted us all to be on stage practically all the time and improvising because you never knew when you would be caught on camera and it was such an exciting way to work.” Taylor-Joy said. “But the other great thing that I haven’t experienced in any other movie is that normally, if it’s someone’s close-up, you go and relax in your trailer. We never left that set. We were constantly on set, improvising or watching. everyone else around us and it was such a supportive environment.”
As Mylod recounted, this improvisational, stage atmosphere gave the editors plenty of rich material to work with and led to some exemplary reaction shots from actors such as Paul Adelstein and Janet McTeer. Incidentally, this approach has also been noted by critics such as Tasha Robinson of Polygonwho likened the film to “a one-set extended version of the play”.
As for Taylor-Joy and Holt, they say they tried their best to get the job done. “The first couple of days we were improvising, pretty hardcore,” Taylor-Joy said, before Holt admitted they eventually started playing a version of Two Truths and Lies.
To see the fruits of their labor, you can watch The Menu in theaters right now.
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