Cristin Milioti: ‘I slapped the hell out of Leonardo DiCaprio for 12 hours’

Cristin Milioti likes issues “f***ed up”. At least, that’s what Andy Samberg, her co-star within the 2020 time-loop romcom Palm Springs, informed The New York Times. In that movie, Milioti’s marriage ceremony visitor, Sarah, dies again and again, in numerous grisly techniques, however nonetheless wakes up on the daybreak of each and every new day. In Black Mirror’s award-winning “USS Callister” episode, her virtual clone, Nanette, will get caught in a wicked digital universe. And her new display, The Resort, sees her holidaymaker, Emma, changing into transfixed by way of a lacking individuals case that includes beheaded iguanas and a person whose recollections leak out of his ears and backside.

“I am drawn to things that are weird and spiky,” the 36-year-old actor says. “I like things that tread a very fine line. The Coen Brothers’ whole catalogue was deeply seminal to me. Their movies are so twisted. They make you laugh at things that you’re shocked you’re laughing at. They’re also very moving. And eerie. And they’re beautiful. So I don’t like things in perfect little packages. I like getting into like the nitty-gritty of the challenges of being a human on the planet. Because why wouldn’t I?”

Milioti is speaking to me over video name from a resort room in Los Angeles. It’s morning there, and her hair is tied in a haphazard ponytail, darkish brown bangs nestled above pool-sized eyes. Her saggy tee bears an image of a howling wolf and her knees, clad in tie-dye leggings, are pulled as much as her chin. She’s in LA for the premiere of The Resort, however she’s a lot more at house in New York, the place she’s lived for 18 years. “The only time I’ve ever liked staying in LA is when there was the shutdown,” she says. “I don’t do great here. I find it very isolating. And I think it has its priorities out of whack… sometimes the energy of this town seems so rooted in status and trophies. It makes me uncomfortable.” She’s making plans on being a New Yorker for existence. “For sure, there’s no doubt my mind,” she says. “Life is long and crazy, but I would be shocked if I didn’t live there.”

New York, in spite of everything, has been just right to Milioti. She’s had a hectic profession on and off-Broadway, profitable a Grammy – and receiving a Tony nod – for her main position as a flower supplier who falls in love with a Dublin busker within the hit musical Once. That display used to be in response to the movie that got here out in 2007, at some degree when Milioti had simply dropped out of her performing route at New York University to seek out paintings. She additionally starred within the Brooklyn-set satire Stunning, the futuristic drama After the Blast, and performed PA-to-an-alien Elly within the David Bowie musical Lazarus. It used to be first carried out on the finish of 2015, making Milioti one of the most remaining other people to paintings with him prior to his loss of life from liver most cancers in January 2016 (he had saved his sickness a secret for months). “Working with Bowie was as mind-blowing as you can imagine,” she says. “One of the most beautiful parts of that experience was that I got to sing ‘Changes’ in that show, which is one of my favourite Bowie songs, and it was wild. It was incredible to sing that song for him and to explore his brain and to be a part of something that was extremely meaningful to him in a time of his life that was… I don’t know how to describe it. I can only imagine what he was going through at that time. He was incredibly lovely and kind and invested. It was a real honour.”

In 2013, whilst Once used to be taking part in its three-year run on Broadway, Milioti additionally seemed in a bit movie known as The Wolf of Wall Street. She performed Teresa Petrillo, the primary spouse (and voice of explanation why) of Leonardo DiCaprio’s quaalude-popping stockbroker Jordan Belfort. “I spent so much of that experience being so terrified of messing it up,” says Milioti, sipping on, in her personal phrases, “the tiniest can of sparkling water you’ve ever seen” from the minibar. “I’d never been on a movie set that big. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I wish I had taken it in more and let go more. But if I had fully taken it in, I would have blacked out. I don’t think my brain was even computing.”

For a lot of the movie, Teresa is the supportive, affected person spouse. She’s the one that displays Jordan a newspaper advert searching for agents, she’s the one that encourages him to focus on wealthy traders somewhat than unsuspecting deficient shoppers, and he or she’s the one that stands by way of as he flirts outrageously with Margot Robbie’s Naomi Lapaglia at a Hamptons seashore celebration. But later, when she discovers Jordan is dishonest on her with Naomi (she catches him snorting cocaine off her breasts in a limousine), she in the end snaps. Hitting Jordan again and again, she asks him if he loves his new mistress.

“That was a wild night,” says Milioti. “We shot from 8pm to 8am and we did that scene over and over and over.” Did she ever by chance catch DiCaprio’s face along with her hand? “I did, a bunch of times,” she says, eyes widening. “I just kind of slapped the hell out of him for 12 hours. I always had a real attachment to that scene, because you get to see this character, who has swallowed a lot of her feelings down, really get to let loose.” The scene used to be shot out of doors Trump Tower, and sure, he did make an look. “Ugh,” sighs Milioti. “He crashed the set and he was a complete and utter buffoon, as we all know.” She doesn’t need to give him any further airtime than that.

Before all of it went south: Milioti and DiCaprio in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

(Appian Way/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock)

2013 used to be a large yr for Milioti. It used to be additionally the yr she joined the forged of the long-running sitcom How I Met Your Mother, proven in the United Kingdom on E4, as the mummy herself, Tracy McConnell. Fans adored her, however have been incensed when, within the display’s ultimate ever episode, it grew to become out that the girl whom audience were ready to satisfy for 9 seasons had in fact died six years previous. “I had never seen the show when I signed on to it, which was a huge blessing because I didn’t understand the pressure that was behind that reveal. Like, I truly had no idea,” says Milioti. “It was definitely helpful for me to not fully know how long people had waited to meet that character.” She additionally wasn’t on any social media on the time, which she says used to be a reduction. “I was isolated from it in a way. I know there was a very strong reaction, but I never looked into it.”

Her personality in The Resort, Emma, is a global clear of the forever enthusiastic Tracy. Tracy is an optimist. She believes in soulmates. She’s in a band known as Superfreakonomics. Emma, in the meantime, is a cynic. She’s uninterested. She’s misplaced. She’s a girl who, at the first evening of her vacation in Cancun along with her husband of 10 years, swigs prosecco in a sizzling bathtub on my own and kinds “how do I know if I should leave my relationship?” into Google. While her spouse Noah (William Jackson Harper) is completely glad to plod alongside, she’s searching for one thing extra. So when she falls off a quadbike within the jungle and reveals the telephone of a faculty pupil who went lacking 15 years in the past, she turns into obsessive about the case – the one factor that makes her really feel alive. Milioti flourishes in this type of position: mercurial, skittish, eccentric. What ensues is a courting drama with a mystery, a thriller and a comedy thrown in. The two pass off on tequila-fuelled searches for clues and make for a goofy however strangely a hit pair of detectives.

The unsatisfied couple: Milioti and Jackson Harper in ‘The Resort’


The Resort sees Milioti reunite with Palm Springs author Andy Siara. Like that movie, the display offers with the assemble of time. Emma is suffering to are living within the provide, and is fixated on a ancient chilly case. “Someone once told me that a different term for nostalgia is time sickness,” says Milioti. “You feel, like, an actual sickness and an aching to go back to a different time. That really resonated with me. Emma would so much rather be anywhere than where she is. She’s just so desperate to go back in time to where life was lighter, and there were more doors open and more possibilities, and she was more herself. That’s why she becomes obsessed with the disappearance of these two young people.”

Milioti sees nostalgia in all places in fashionable society. “Maybe this is just because I’m getting older,” she says, “but it does feel like, as a culture right now, we are so specifically obsessed with nostalgia. Especially in the entertainment industry, where you’re condemned if you age and people are obsessed with rebooting things. It’s like, ‘What if we just rebooted that thing that we all loved when we were 12? Or when we were 20? Or when the world didn’t feel as deeply dark as it does now?’ It’s this thing of wanting to stop time, and wanting to time travel, and wanting to get back to some imagined former self, or something. I think nostalgia can be really, really dangerous. And actually, when I started talking with Andy about this project, he would always say the show is about the toxicity of nostalgia.”

Milioti in ‘How I Met Your Mother’


Milioti admits that she, like Emma, could be very preoccupied with the passing of time. “When I was younger, time wasn’t passing quickly enough,” she says. “I would obsess about like, well, when will I be able to do this? When will I have my own apartment or, you know, insert whatever, here, in this blank. But now that I’m older, it feels like there’s not enough time. The most valuable thing outside of your health that you could have is time. And there is just not enough of it.”

She shakes it off, giggling. “I do spend a lot of energy thinking about what I want to do with my very brief time on this planet,” she says. “It’s so finite.”

‘The Resort’ is to be had from 29 July on Peacock completely on Sky and NOW, with new episodes shedding weekly

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