Margaret Qualley says that her teen self would never have believed that she would get the opportunity to play her dance idol, Ann Reinking, on screen. But in the FX show, Fosse/Verdon, that is what happened to the daughter of Four Weddings & A Funeral actor Andie MacDowell and model Paul Qualley.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Qualley about her dance background — she quit ballet at 16 — and playing the part of Broadway dancer and star Ann Reinking in the story of the relationship of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon.
Qualley was asked about using her ballet background in the television series, and was asked if that training is of use in other parts of acting.
“There are certain things about me that are dancer traits and will always be a part of me: I like to work hard, I’m prompt, I’m not good at being late or being cool,” she said. “I think probably dancers can’t help but think about certain things, maybe body awareness. At the same time, I’m probably one of the clumsiest people I know.”
The actress explains that she grew up “idolizing” Reinking, and so it was a surreal honor to play her in the FX series.
Margaret Qualley Dances Into the Spotlight in 'Fosse/Verdon' https://t.co/ZHx5ILxVg0
— ELLE Magazine (US) (@ELLEmagazine) April 7, 2019
Before playing the world-renowned dancer on the show, Qualley explains that she called Reinking to pick her brain, and confess that she had looked up to her for so long. The actor explains that the dancer was very encouraging.
“She was really, really sweet and said, ‘Well, be honest and trust yourself, I believe in you. And if you ever want to call me, I’m here,'” Qualley said.
Qualley admits that she abused the power, calling Reinking at least twice a week.
Moving forward, Qualley is in the new Brad Pitt film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, and relished that experience. When looking for new projects, she says she looks for characters who speak to her, and with whom she has an “instinctual connection.”
She added that there are also people that she is dying to work with, and that helps too. For Fosse/Verdon, her connection with Ann Reinking was a big factor, but then when she learned that Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell were the stars, that clinched it.
“With Fosse/Verdon, I felt like I grew up with Ann — I was also dying to work with Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell and Thomas Kail and Steven Levenson. But I have to lower my standards — it can’t always be this good! I’ll settle for one of those things.”