‘Doctor Strange’ Did Something Strange With ‘Transparent’ Star Amy Landecker’s Role
You might recall that Amy Landecker was one of the earlier names attached to star in Doctor Strange, but when you head to the theater this weekend to see Marvel’s latest superhero flick, you’ll have a hard time finding her on screen. In a recent interview, the Transparent star revealed what happened to her role in the MCU, and it’s…well, it’s definitely a bit strange.
Following up on their recent interview with Landecker for their great Random Roles series, The AV Club got the scoop on just what the heck happened to her part in Doctor Strange. The Transparent star says she was told that her name appears in the credits, so she may still be in the film, but you’d be hard-pressed to find her. Landecker goes on to describe the audition, which was her first indication that something might be off:
So basically, the way Marvel works is, you don’t get to read the script at all. And I did audition for this part, so I knew it was a doctor in a surgical kind of scene, and I knew it was with Benedict, and she flirts with him a little and it was kind of fun. And there was a take where they had me put a mask on. But I thought that was just to kind of see what I looked like in a mask. Which is one of those funny Hollywood things, as if it was going to change whether or not I got cast. [Laughs.]
Landecker retains a good sense of humor about the whole thing as she goes on to describe filming her part:
So I get to England, and I’m there a week—a few days before everybody else, because they were shooting in another country. They said they needed me there to take lessons in brain surgery and to do my hair and makeup test. But it turned out that, when I get there, I’m in a mask and scrubs and a surgical cap. The entire film. There will not be a moment in the film where I do not have the mask on my face. So I’m finding out… “Okay, so my performance is my eyes. Okay. I’m humble. Okay, I’m still in a Marvel movie. It’s still really exciting.”
Landecker then found out that she wasn’t playing a surgeon; she was actually playing an anesthesiologist, and was instructed to “sit off to the side at this console and you sort of just push buttons.” After filming one of her two scenes, Landecker says she was invited to a Transparent premiere at the White House, so she begged off from the second half of the shoot by suggesting that someone with blue eyes could easily stand in for her — since she was wearing a mask the whole time anyway.
Still, Landecker couldn’t figure out why she was hired in the first place. She’s really humble and gracious about the whole thing, but it’s hard to imagine why director Scott Derrickson would bring someone like Landecker — an incredibly talented actor and the star of an acclaimed TV series — in for such a tiny, nothing role where we never even see her face.
After poking around for an answer, Landecker found out why she was really hired:
So it turned out that the director was a really big A Serious Man fan. And Michael Stuhlbarg was in that second scene. So, the whole thing was kind of a fun “let’s get Michael Stuhlbarg and Amy back together” in Doctor Strange. And then I got a call that I was edited out of the film. Now I guess may not be true if I’m still in the credits. I don’t know. I haven’t seen it yet.
Landecker had a very memorable role as Stuhlbarg’s seductive neighbor in the Coen brothers’ film. Stuhlbarg himself has a fairly small role in Doctor Strange as rival surgeon Nicodemus West — a role that I thought was a complete waste of a great talent, until I read Landecker’s interview; Stuhlbarg’s role is practically glorified in comparison.
Sure, it’s cool that Derrickson is a big fan of A Serious Man and thought it would be fun to have a little reunion, and cinephiles certainly would have rejoiced…if Landecker actually had a substantial role in Doctor Strange (or any role at all, really).