Thursday 19th May 2016
I’m standing in Tina and Queenie Goldstein’s apartment, 20 minutes before it gets knocked down.
That’s the devastating thing about movie sets: they’re made to look like the perfect, permanent realities of the characters we get to know. But actually, the moment they’re done filming on a particular set, it’s flat-packed and put in storage. It feels brutal somehow, to a sentimental lass like me. Or to Alison Sudol, our Queenie.
‘I hate to think it’ll be taken apart! I love it in there so much,’ she says, softly, woefully. ‘It gave me insight into Queenie that I hadn’t had before. I’d imagined her life in my head but to walk around in it was really something: to see what was cooking in the kitchen... it was like being in a friend’s house. You know how you’re like, "Oh wow, okay, that’s so your art, those are your things, you like this kind of butter, or whatever." You understand somebody on a very intimate level when you’ve been in their home and I loved that.’
Right now, right here, standing by Queenie’s bed, I see exactly what Alison means. This is where the Goldstein sisters are best put in context. Every inch, every tile, every velvet pillow, every label on every product on every shelf has been planned and put in place to invoke their characters.
It’s humble and quaint and warm in that sweet way a woman’s first home as an adult can be. It’s modest but lovely.
A set of peachy lingerie is laid out on Queenie’s bed, next to some fashion magazines. Tina’s bed is next to a sensible row of books and some discarded flyers.
‘It’s so nice to have all the books by Tina’s bed and have that environment that says so much about her. It feels like she lives there,’ says Katherine Waterston, our Tina. ‘What’s so great about the production team is that you get an idea in your head and they can manifest it. This is one of my favourite locations of the whole movie.’
There are signs of normal young women's existence too: little packets of bobby pins and beauty creams on a bathroom vanity, laundry at the foot of the bed.
When you scan the space (or sit on the end of Tina’s bed and breathe deeply, like you’re trying to absorb every detail with all five senses) you get an almost subliminal sense of magic being present. And also a very strong sense of the Goldstein sisters. It’s wonderful... and it’ll all be taken down in about 14 and a half minutes.