Brit Marling

When you come out to L.A. to make movies or to do this kind of work, everybody is coming out on their own and you leave your tribe behind. Then, it’s a question of, that was your tribe by blood, and now, what is the tribe that you’re making by choice or by what you think is important? I think we were having that experience, so somehow the cult world seemed really compelling.

I feel like, when the audience connects with something, they enjoy the experience so much that they want other people to go have it. They’re like, “Don’t talk about it. Don’t tell. Just go!” It’s a nice feeling to have people coming around it that way, protecting the ideas in it, so that everyone can see it for themselves.

I think you get to see, through the different cult members, why people are attracted to a group like this. Everyone is there for a different reason and from a different background. That was part of what was interesting for us, in researching cults and exploring it. A lot of this happens in California.

It seems to be this hot-bed for these ideas and bringing these groups together. You find that the one thing that everybody has in common, whether they’re a teenager who has run away from his parents, or a divorcee who lost her husband, is that they all have in common this feeling of searching for a meaning in their lives.

We put limitations on the way that we think about things, on ourselves, think about all the boxes we live in, male or female, you’re this age, that age, this is your job, this is not your job, everything is about getting boxed in. I think we accept a lot of those boxes, that labeling, and the way that we perceive the world, but what even is perception? It all seems pretty flexible to me.

Once you play with these scenes and you’re outlining it, again and again, and telling each other the narrative, and telling it to people you know, trying to make sure that the mathematics of the story work, you feel that those are in place, and the actual writing and final draft doesn’t take as long.

I totally love my job, and I wake up every day basically thinking about how can I do my job better. It never feels like a job. It’s hard, and it’s exhausting sometimes, but it never feels like – I would do this even if they didn’t pay me to do it. That’s a pretty amazing feeling.

What I like about acting is that you have to be super, super present in the moment. That’s not something that comes to me naturally. But if you take the long view on anything, nothing can really affect you or knock you down. It’s like, we’re here for a blink, we’re just the human experiment, one of many experiments going on in the universe, and it’s interesting, it’s beautiful by fits and starts, but I can’t take it that personally. I’m just one of billions of people attempting.

I used to be able to sit in a chair and for four hours straight in a very focused meditative way be in my own world without ay interruption. And now it’s like your brain is getting so trained to check your phone, and there is like a dopamine release every time you get a text whether it’s a good or a bad one. I’m really worried about what it’s doing to our minds.