Samara Weaving admits that she knew “absolutely nothing” when she auditioned for what would become the role of Claire Wood on “Hollywood.” “They sent over scenes from [the 1959 comedy] ‘Some Like it Hot,’ so they had nothing to do with what the show was going to be,” Weaving recalls. Fast forward to month later when a shocked Weaving found out she had booked a role on the period Netflix series from Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, something that confused both Weaving and her management. “They were confused. I was confused” she admits. “We thought, well we should call them back because there might be a woman waiting by the phone whose role we’ve just stolen.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Weaving above.
Murphy told Weaving the he envisioned Claire as something akin to a spider. “She can be very still and she’s very watchful and she listens to everything, and is very observant,” she says. “But then when she needs to sort of strike or attack, she can be very visually seen.” Weaving says that Claire’s more devious nature is softened by a true vulnerability. “Through her relationships with Camille (Laura Harrier), her mother (Patti LuPone) and Jack (David Corenswet), Claire sort of lets her guard down and it’s revealed that she’s not as sort of devious as she makes herself out to be.”
Weaving shares a great deal of screen time with LuPone and Rob Reiner, who play her studio executive parents. Weaving particularly recalls her first meeting with the two-time Tony winning LuPone. “She was singing and she was swearing and she was having a great time,” she recalls. “Every room she walks into just lights up when she enters. She really is such an amazing woman.” Weaving showers equal praise on Reiner and says that the relationship between them made some of the more difficult scenes a lot easier to film: “Having those really lovely relationships with Patti and Rob definitely easier to be so horrible to them.”
As Weaving, who began acting as a teenager in her native Australia, moves from project to project, she says that there is one main quality she looks for in a script. “I really like when I read I role that I’m nervous about doing,” she exclaims. “If I’m afraid to do it, I know that I should probably say yes. It usually works out really well when I don’t know what this character is going to be like… that’s where the fun happens!”