‘Are You There God?’ Stars Kathy Bates and Abby Ryder Fortson Wrote to Each Other in Character



Abby Ryder Forstson was so excited by the possibility of being cast in “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret,” she wrote a letter to the filmmakers expressing how she related to the 12-year-old protagonist at the center of Judy Blume’s beloved book. Then, after being cast, she corresponded with Margaret’s onscreen grandmother, Kathy Bates, via letters.

For the first time, Variety is sharing Fortson’s correspondence, starting with the letter she sent to writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig and producers James L. Brooks and Julie Ansell after their first meeting.

In the note, Fortson talks about how much she relates to Margaret Simons, who feels adrift due to relocating to a new school and her parents’ interfaith marriage; her mother is Christian and her father is Jewish. Wrote Forster: “I get made fun of, I don’t have a ton of good friends, I don’t really have a religion, and I feel out of place most of the time because none of my friends are in my classes.”

Fortson thanks the filmmakers for meeting with her and mentions how she felt comfortable doing improvisation during the audition before signing off, “Thank you so much for your consideration for this amazing role.”

By now, we know the story has a happy ending — Fortson won the part and has earned raves for her sensitive, authentic portrait of Margaret in the film. She shines along her experienced co-stars, including Oscar winner Kathy Bates, who plays Margaret’s beloved grandmother, Sylvia Simon.

Even before Bates and Fortson met in person, they were building a rapport through handwritten letters. It was originally Bates’ idea; she asked Craig and Fortson’s mother for permission to reach out. The pair began writing letters in character, recalling memories from their shared past. “It was a bank of improv stories we could use on set,” Fortson explained.

In Fortson’s letters, seen below, you can see “Margaret” writing from summer camp. Animals are a frequent topic: Margaret talks about the time they saw a woman “being chased by the fleet of squirrels.” She later includes a drawing of a squirrel and references how Sylvia is trying to decide between a hairless cat and a Yorkie dog. She also references meeting a new friend, Mia, and participating in a dance-off and being cast in a play in a male role. Read Fortson’s side of the correspondence below.



Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.