Jennifer Jason Leigh voices the sweet title character in Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa, an Oscar-nominated stop-motion film about a man named Michael Stone (David Thewlis) trying to find an escape from his mundane life — and the star wouldn’t have it any other way.
“[Lisa is] one of the loveliest characters I’ve ever had a chance to play,” Leigh, who nabbed her first-ever Oscar nod for her performance in The Hateful Eight, says in a new featurette. “Just the imagination behind it and the humanity. Who can come up with these characters and circumstances? It could only be Charlie.”
Leigh, Thewlis, and Anomalisa co-director Duke Johnson sing Kaufman’s praises in the new clip, and the Oscar-winning screenwriter (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) himself also makes an appearance to explain his motivations: “I wanted it to be for adults, that was the important thing about it,” Kaufman says. “I wanted it to be naturalistic and emotional.”
Judging by the overwhelmingly positive reviews — EW’s own Chris Nashawaty described Anomalisa as “a groovy version of stop-motion animation that makes it feel like Franz Kafka’s remake of Team America: World Police… but, you know, with sympathy and soul” — and that Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature, Kaufman was successful.
Watch the featurette above, and see Anomalisa, now in theaters.