PARK CITY, UTAH - In hiatuses from her Emmy nominated role as Betty Draper on "Mad Men
," January Jones
has somewhat unexpectedly gravitated towards a brawny brand of films.
She messed with Liam Neeson's head in "Unknown." She displayed mutant powers in "X-Men: First Class." She set off Nicolas Cage's vigilante streak in "Seeking Justice."
In The Miller Brothers' 1880s-set not-quite-Western "Sweetwater
," which premiered out-of-competition at last month's Sundance
Film Festival, Jones' character makes all of those other roles look like so many Mothers Theresa.
Initially, Jones' Sarah is just a milquetoast frontier wife, but when tragedy hits her family, she goes on an escalating spree of revenge that leads her closer and closer to Jason Isaacs' Josiah, a prairie prophet with grand aspirations and delusions. Were this justice being meted out by a Clint Eastwood "Man With No Name," we wouldn't blink, but when it comes from a character who's a corset-wearing daughter of a prostitute, it becomes a revisionist discourse just waiting to happen.
Up in Park City during the Festival, I chatted with Jones about this role reversal and about the chance to play this sort of badass female lead. We talked about her native comfort with firearms and horseback-riding and about underplaying opposite flamboyant performances by co-stars Isaacs and Ed Harris. [I already posted the brief side conversation
in which I was able to tell Jones the premiere date for the sixth season of "Mad Men," which she promises will feature a little more Betty.]
Check out the interview above.
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