Interview by Marie-Pauline Cesari

Actress Geraldine Viswanathan recently starred in the comedy ‘Drive-Away Dolls’, which was released on 23rd February. Geraldine has previously been named to The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Gen Talent list, received the Rising Star Award at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, and was a finalist for Australians in Film’s prestigious Heath Ledger Scholarship.

Can you share where your love for film originated, and are there any particular filmmakers or films that have inspired and shaped your journey in the world of cinema?

As a child, I was too sensitive for movies. I’d get scared watching “Elmo’s Adventure in Grouchland,” so I really got into movies more in my teens. “True Grit” by the Coen Brothers was a formative movie for me. I remember watching it and being so jealous of Hailee Steinfeld with her cool braids riding a horse. I wanted to be part of that world. “Little Miss Sunshine” was also a big turning point for me; Paul Dano’s performance was hugely moving and really inspired me to be an actor. I thought, “That’s what it’s all about, moments like that on film.” I also became obsessed with comedies. At first, my obsession was with sitcoms, then “Bridesmaids” and “Step Brothers.” These were the films that raised me.

Just recently, we’ve been able to see you in ‘Drive-Away Dolls.’ Can you share a bit about your experience working on this caper comedy with Margaret Qualley and under the direction of Ethan Coen and Tricia Cooke?

Working on “Drive-Away Dolls” was truly one of the most memorable experiences in my career. I’m a huge fan of everyone’s work; I think they’re the best of the best. So, to get to work with them was an honor. I was, of course, quite intimidated to work with legends of cinema at first, but Ethan and Trish couldn’t have been nicer or more down-to-earth. They approached everything with lightheartedness and joy – it was the most fun and easy set I’ve been on. Ethan knows exactly what he wants; it’s all storyboarded and ready to go, so our shoot days were short and efficient. It made it go by very fast.

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You’ve recently worked with Elizabeth Banks and Zach Galifianakis in ‘The Beanie Bubble.’ What drew you to this unique project, and can you tell us about your character Maya, based on entrepreneur Lina Trivedi?

I was captivated by the story of “The Beanie Bubble.” It’s this entertaining, offbeat success story that simultaneously critiques the “American Dream” and highlights the undervalued and overlooked women in the narrative. I empathized deeply with Maya, who contributed significantly to the company but was never truly compensated for it. I’m always drawn to the underdog.

How did you prepare for a role based on a real person, and did you have any interesting discoveries about the Beanie Baby phenomenon?

To prepare for the role, I listened to videos of Lina to grasp her regional accent, which helped shape the character. I aimed for a balance, avoiding a direct impression of Lina, but rather learning about her story and capturing her energy. She’s an amazing person. The Beanie Baby phenomenon was mind-boggling; I didn’t fully realize its insanity until working on this movie. Imagine buying a Beanie Baby for 30k? It’s truly an incredible moment in modern American history.


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What is your favorite Beanie Baby?

My favorite Beanie Baby is the Moose, one of the OGs. My mom started collecting Beanie Babies after I did the movie, and she’s on the hunt for the Princess Diana Beanie.

You’ve been recognized as a rising talent, and you said in an early interview that you’d ‘rather be rising than dead.’ How do you handle the recognition and pressure that comes with it?

I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and the place I’m at in my career. It feels like a sweet spot – I’m proud of the work I’ve done and the range of characters I’ve gotten to play. I’m not pigeonholed into one thing, which is ideal because I want to do everything and be limitless in my work. I just keep my head down and keep doing work that I love.

From your early career, starting at the age of 4, to your recent success, what have been some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned in the entertainment industry?

I feel I’ve found a lot of like-minded people in the industry, a community of creatives. I’ve learned about the joy of collaboration.

How do you hope to contribute to the evolving landscape of entertainment for future talents, and what advice would you offer to aspiring young actors or individuals looking to enter the entertainment industry?

I hope to contribute to the landscape of entertainment by being boundless and unapologetic. I want to keep telling bold, honest stories that challenge and entertain us.

My advice for people looking to enter the entertainment industry would be to practice as much as you can independently, make your own work, just get involved in whatever capacity is available to you, and keep building skills and experience.


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Your presence in the entertainment industry is not only notable for your acting talent but also your sense of style. How would you describe your personal fashion aesthetic?

My personal style is a bit all over the place since I’m mostly living out of a suitcase right now, ha, but I’d describe my style usually as chic, elegant, but most of all – comfortable.

Do you enjoy taking the center stage in fashion editorials or collaborations with fashion brands?

I do! Doing these photoshoots is so fun; I love getting to play around with looks. I’m about to go to my first Paris Fashion Week show with Loewe, and I’m beyond excited.

Is there any exciting news or upcoming projects you can share with us today that your fans can look forward to?

Up next, I’ll be in a movie starring Will Ferrell and Reese Witherspoon called “You’re Cordially Invited.” It’s a big ensemble comedy by Nick Stoller, so it’s gonna be really fun. And I’m about to start shooting the “Thunderbolts” for Marvel. Good times ahead!

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talent: GERALDINE VIESWANATHAN @yoyogeraldine
photographer: WILLIAM FERCHICHI @williamferchichi
stylist & art director: GIANLUCA COCOCCIA @wowgue
hair: YUKIKO TAJIMA @ See Management @seemanagement @oribe @oribepro
makeup: MIGUEL LLEDO @ See Management using Shiseido @miguellledo @seemanagement @shiseido
photography assistant: HYNING GAN @byhyning
styling assistant: KATE ROBINSON @styledbyskaates
editor: TIMI LETONJA @timiletonja
editorial director: JANA LETONJA @janaletonja
interview: MARIE-PAULINE CESARI @itsjustmp