Supporting actors enjoy their 'Gone Girl' time in Cape

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Kim Dickens

Since principal filming of 20th Century Fox's "Gone Girl" began in Cape Girardeau, the star-struck and curious alike have gathered at shooting locations to see the production crew at work or perhaps catch a glimpse of the film's leading actors, such as Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike or Neil Patrick Harris.

But the film features its share of supporting actors. Actor-director-songwriter Tyler Perry is on board as Tanner Bolt, a defense attorney for Affleck's Nick Dunne character, and Internet sensation Emily Ratajkowski portrays Nick's love interest, Andie.

Another supporting player is Kim Dickens in the role of Detective Rhonda Boney, who has the unenviable task of investigating whether Nick Dunne is responsible for the disappearance of his wife, Amy.

"Detective Boney has highly tuned instincts," Dickens said in an interview with the Southeast Missourian. "A lot of the case is curious to her. It's not open-and-shut."

Dickens, 48, has an acting resume that includes roles in feature films such as "Thank You For Smoking" and "The Blind Side" and television shows such as NBC's "Friday Night Lights" and "Lost," HBO's "Deadwood" and FX's "Sons Of Anarchy."

Carrie Coon

But the Huntsville, Ala., native didn't run to Hollywood or New York City after her high school graduation; she first received a bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

"Vanderbilt was where I did my first plays," she said. "For a small-town girl, it was a good school to go to."

After college, Dickens made it to New York City to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and perform in "off-off-off-Broadway" plays. She also accepted the time-honored role of waiting tables to make financial ends meet.

"I was an awesome waitress," she said. "My longest stint was at a place called the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in the West Village. It was full of artists and creative types."

Dickens landed her first film role in 1995's "Palookaville," which led to appearances in "Great Expectations," "Hollow Man" and "Mercury Rising." She also began to get work in television, where she gained notices for roles that included Joanie Stubbs in "Deadwood" and Shelby Saracen in "Friday Night Lights."

"Television became a part of my life," she said. "'Friday Night Lights' was a lot of fun. I was honored to be a part of that, and also 'Deadwood.'"

Working with "Gone Girl" director David Fincher, a two-time Oscar nominee, is an "all-time high," Dickens said.

"It's been a pretty profound experience," she said. "To be in collaboration with such a visionary is an honor. The work is challenging, but that's why we do it. We're all artists, and we want to get in there and work it out."

According to an Entertainment Weekly report, "Gone Girl" will be released to theaters Oct. 3, 2014.

Dickens said she has visited Southern Missouri before during a camping trip.

"I have a great appreciation for the area," she said. "The story is set here, and it's fortunate for us to be able to shoot on location."

Local restaurants and stores have been very enjoyable, according to Dickens.

"We really like Celebrations and Andy's Custard," she said. "I've made some good finds at antique stores, too."

Carrie Coon also is a supporting actor in "Gone Girl," portraying Nick Dunne's twin sister, Margo.

"I responded to Margo when I read the 'Gone Girl' book," Coon said. "She has a great sense of humor, and she's really a cool girl, not a pretender. She's somebody you'd want to hang out with."

Coon, 32, hails from the Akron, Ohio, area. She received undergraduate degrees in English and Spanish from the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio.

"I wasn't Broadway-bound during my undergrad years," she said. "I played soccer and ran track. But I did a handful of plays, and a professor told me that I could go to graduate school for theater. I auditioned and was accepted for the three-year program at the University of Wisconsin at Madison."

Coon said while at Wisconsin, she noticed a lot of her directors were from Chicago. So she relocated there after getting her master's degree. In what she said was her third acting job in the Windy City, Coon landed the role of Honey in the Steppenwolf Theatre's production of "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?" The play relocated to Broadway in 2012, and Coon received a Tony Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

"I didn't win," she said, "but my husband, Tracy Letts, was also in the play and he won the Tony for Best Actor. So we were very happy." Letts also is an acclaimed playwright, winning the Pulitzer Prize and multiple Tonys for the Broadway play "August: Osage County," which will appear on the silver screen in January.

Coon also has appeared in NBC's "The Playboy Club," "Law And Order" and the pilot episode of the network's new series, "Ironside."

"I have a role in CBS' 'Intelligence' that hasn't aired yet," she said.

In landing the role of Margo in "Gone Girl," Coon said it was fortunate for her a casting agent liked the sound of her voice.

"I read about 20 pages of Margo's lines onto a tape and sent it to my agent," she said. "My agent said that a casting director enjoyed my tape, and I was soon in Los Angeles fighting for a meeting with David Fincher. I met him, and here I am."

Like Dickens, Coon said working in Cape Girardeau is something she finds very pleasant.

"I'll take the car and hit some antique stores," she said. "Maybe Barnes and Noble when I run out of reading material. Sometimes I'll just sit and look at the river. I'm trying to get my parents to come down from Ohio for a visit while I'm here."

Coon said she really likes the food at Celebrations and Saffron Bistro.

"I've had some great meals in those places," she said. "None of us are losing any weight here in Cape."

klewis@semissourian.com

388-3635

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