Erin Moriarty | Biography, Age, Life Style, And Net Worth
Erin Moriarty discusses “Catching Dust,” acting’s emotional catharsis, and season four of “The Boys” in this article.
She also discusses the value of having a scene partner to lean on and how the ensemble came to feel like a little family while filming.
The independent drama Catching Dust, written and directed by Stuart Gatt, follows Geena (Erin Moriarty) and her husband Clyde (Jai Courtney), who appears to be a couple living off the grid in an abandoned commune in the desert but who is hiding out from his violent criminal past. The film had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2023. A vacationing couple (played by Dina Shihabi and Ryan Corr) crosses paths with them and decides to remain for a while, which causes Geena to wonder what it is she genuinely wants from human interaction with someone she doesn’t fear.
Moriarty discussed her cathartic character work, what makes Geena relatable, exploring the dynamic between Geena and Clyde, feeling safe to explore with co-star Courtney, and what it was like to be a part of such a small-scale production in this one-on-one interview with Collider. She also discussed The Boys’ forthcoming fourth season and what viewers might anticipate from the characters.
Collider: It seems like playing this role would be quite emotionally taxing. This film looks to be much more emotionally taxing than The Boys was physical.
I don’t know if it’s just because I’m an actor and this is my default, but what most people find emotionally taxing feels relieving to me—especially in a part like this when there are things of Geena that I can identify with. Whatever it looks like—those feelings, the anger—feel cathartic to me.
If that’s the case, it seems natural that you’d want to be an actress.
When it comes to particular stories you want to tell that represent various zeitgeist elements, from gender commentary to class commentary, it’s a terrific opportunity to have a platform.
When it comes to the possibilities you would get to explore with this character, what piqued your interest the most? What piqued your interest the most while reading the script alone?
MORIARTY: I would say that the character and the way she interacted with her spouse both caught me off, guard. You watch Geena transition from being suppressed to simply needing to get away from her suppressor thanks to this chance encounter with another spouse. I found it to be a fascinating point in time to watch her, the pressure on her, and how she ultimately frees herself. In terms of conforming to whatever it may be – their husband, society, or their family – and eventually breaking free and being themselves, it struck me as an extreme illustration of what many young women go through.
The bond she has with her husband is another factor that I found to be intriguing. It might appear to be as simple as a husband and wife in an abusive relationship on paper, but the situation is more complex than that. There is a marriage between two persons who have experienced trauma together. The husband has a traumatic history of abuse, and despite his intense love for this person, he struggles to express it, which shows in his abuse and troubles with control. Although that doesn’t excuse it, I felt that his actions were quite human. Instead of having characters, it felt more like a story about people and how tough it is, to sum up events in black and white.
Additionally, it’s fascinating to observe how almost impulsively she acts when attempting to escape the situation she finds herself in. She speaks impulsively since it seems like she has been there for so long that she lacks the words and doesn’t know how to describe what she is feeling. She occasionally apologizes for allowing herself to be freed while painting.
MORIATY: I agree. Many of us have access to counseling and were given psychological skills as children to help us express ourselves, evaluate our actions, and, to some extent, become self-aware. I’ve been in therapy since I was in high school because I was reared in New York City. When tackling this, all I could think was, “What would it be like to be experiencing the predicament she is experiencing without any tools?
I have no idea what it would be like in a society where getting married and having your husband take care of you is encouraged and women are primarily viewed as mothers and supporters, but I do know that the lack of tools would lead to impulsive behavior and behavior that you would view as immoral. However, you also can’t hold a young lady responsible for the way she is. Once we find ourselves in a position, I believe we frequently underestimate how difficult it will be to behave or react appropriately, especially if we don’t have the necessary tools.
How did you approach the Geena and Clyde relationship? Did you come to that realization while collaborating with your scene partner? Did you discuss it with anyone? Did you spend any time practicing together? How did you determine that since there are times when he is intense and frightening you felt like you have a safe space?
When it comes to that, it comes down to how you interact with them when you’re not on set, when a scene isn’t in progress, and when you’re not acting in between “Action!” and “Cut!” Jai [Courtney] showed me a wonderful feeling of safety. He is a wonderful, giving, and amusing person. In nature, that is what it is around. You won’t have as much freedom in a scene if you don’t feel safe with any of your scene partners. I thus met Jai before we shot the movie. Making sure that the person I was working with so closely would feel comfortable and nice was incredibly important to me.
Even though our characters disagree, that is what the story is really about. It’s about truly feeling secure and like you have a partner in a support network. As soon as I met him, it was obvious that he possessed support, kindness, and encouragement that went above and beyond what I wanted and expected. That is a testament to him because it was great. It was excellent. The fact that he ironically behaved the same way when we weren’t filming allowed me to feel emotionally free even if my character may occasionally feel frightened by that character during the movie.
You guys make up such a small portion of this cast. The scenes either involve the two of you or include this other couple, but the surroundings are also quite bleak. How did you find the whole experience to be?
That was excellent, MORIARTY. We were four in number. If there had been just one bad apple, the whole thing would have been cut off. However, we were quite fortunate. The decision ultimately came down to our director, Stuart [Gatt], who I believe had that in the forefront of his mind. Stuart is such a wonderful, collaborative, creative, and bright person. He must have known it would be a very intimate procedure and that the actors needed to feel safe when he made the selections.
We knew we were going to be on an island together, and the premise was going to be so intimate that it had to feel comfortable, whether the characters get along or not. It was incredible. Because of how well everyone got along, it just very quickly developed into this small family, and that’s when you can take risks on camera. Ironically, because you feel so close to everyone else, even when you’re playing characters who are different from one another or engaging in conflict, or whatever else, whatever it may be that causes camera jitters to arise entirely vanishes.
When your character starts dousing these people with water, they essentially engage in a water fight. This is a time of lighthearted fun for your character. Having fun doing that? Was that something you wanted to include in the movie so you could have a silly moment?
MORIARTY: What’s amazing about it is that it quickly shifts from being lighthearted for her to be extremely gloomy, which causes her to become very contemplative. On the Spanish island of Fuerteventura, which means “strong winds,” we were filming. We were constantly dousing each other with water, and the gusts were so high that they could knock you over. As a result, I was attempting to get through the day while being completely drenched in water and behaving as though this was the only amusing part of the film.
During those times, you must look beyond the current situation and keep in mind that one day, it will all be captured on camera. Yet it was a lot of fun. It was important for me to be mindful when I allowed myself to experience this nearly inner child moment of pure, unrestrained joy that abruptly changed into a darker, more thoughtful time. It felt very much like a situation that any adult may find themselves in if they are self-aware enough and experiencing something similar to what she is. But having a brief moment of hedonism and a diversion from Geena’s fundamental character throughout the movie was extremely appreciated.
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