It turned out that Marla Grayson once played fair.
Rosamund Pike leads J Blakeson’s I Care a Lot as Marla Grayson. On the surface, you might think Marla is a court-appointed guard who wants to help those in need, but Marla is really busy finding loopholes in the system to best serve herself. With the help of a local doctor, Marla targets the elderly and convinces the court to take them under their care. Then she takes them to a care facility, even if they don’t have to be in one, so she can take control of her assets and take advantage of the benefits. Full of confidence, Marla believes she is in control until she targets the wrong station – Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest), a woman with connections to a gangster (Peter Dinklage).
Image via Netflix
All the way, Marla is busy sucking on a vape pen. As Pike himself said, it is a prop that gives Marla a powerful appropriate “dragon quality”. Given that the vape pen has been such an active prop throughout the film, I had to ask Pike if she should include it in her performance when we had the chance to chat ahead of the Netflix release on February 19th . While it’s a very noticeable component in the movie, I didn’t expect vaping to be so important to Marla’s backstory. This is how Pike explained it:
“Marla’s backstory is that she ran a vape business until she was fired from business by a large discount vape shop across the street that she was furious about. I think that was their shot at the American dream played fairly. She had a small business, she was a small business, she got ripped off and then she thought, ‘Right. Chips are down. I go out everything. I will play the system like everyone else. ‘And I think every time she breathes in, it brings that attitude with it. It’s the attitude of having been screwed and now you’re all kidding. ”
Image via Netflix
Pike was quick to point out that such a trajectory wouldn’t apply to everyone who felt they’d been ripped off by an American company:
“Not everyone would react like Marla. I think she has this kind of self-centered pride, which means she doesn’t think she should be kidding. She deserves better. She won’t be. As she says, “I will not lose. I am not losing. ‘”
If you haven’t seen I Care a Lot, be sure to check out Matt Goldberg’s review of the film from the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, which is likely to increase the urgency to watch Netflix. But if you’ve already seen it, I can confirm the movie is highly retrievable, and being aware of that vape backstory adds an odd layer to Marla’s motivation and journey.
READ ON: Rosamund Pike discusses the connection between Amy Dunne from ‘Gone Girl’ and Marla Grayson from II lot a Lot
There’s a credits scene at the end of this week’s ‘WandaVision’.
Do not touch this remote control!
About the author
(2520 articles published)
Perri Nemiroff has been part of the Collider team since 2012. She is the co-host of Collider FYC, The Witching Hour, and host of the Collider Ladies Night interview series. Perri is a proud graduate of Columbia University’s Film MFA program and a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Perri divides her time between Los Angeles and New York, but devotes every waking hour to her cat, Deputy Dewey.
More from Perri Nemiroff