The director and star of ‘Bones and All’ on the transcendental act of cannibalism

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Bones and All director Luca Guadagnino and star Taylor Russell on macabre metaphors, America’s lonely heartland and living in the moment.

Taylor Russell believes making Bones and All changed her as an actress—and she wonders if all those lucky enough to work with its director, Luca Guadagnino, feel the same way.

Elegant and sensual on the surface, all the Italian director’s films—from the lush summer reverie of Call Me by Your Name (2017) to the liminal Danse Macabre of Suspiria (2018)—soon ripple to expose great depths of emotion churning beneath hypnotic exteriors. The challenge this poses to his actors is immense, at once asking them to conceal and reveal their characters’ inner urges. But it’s clearly also alluring, given that he counts the likes of Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson and Alba Rohrwacher as frequent collaborators.

“Luca stirs you to question how far you can go, what you can do, what’s the top of your talent,” says Russell. “To be on a set like that, you’re never going to not be transformed, not be challenged, not be changed in the best possible way. That’s who he is, as a human being. That’s the rarity of Luca.”

Isaac Feldberg spoke with Russell and Guadagnino about their collaboration on one of Letterboxd’s highest rated films of 2022.

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