Frances McDormand is thrilled to see more billboards popping up.
Following the Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri star’s Oscars win for Best Actress, McDormand was asked her opinion on activists using her character Mildred Hayes’ technique of putting three billboards to get their message out.
“Are you kidding?” she responded. “Off the screen and on the street. Recently my husband and I were in London at the BAFTAs and we went to the Tate Modern and we saw an exhibition there about the Russian Revolution and the propaganda that was used. Now, that revolution did not go so well, so we don’t want to think too much about that, but red and black is a really, really good choice and [director] Martin McDonagh knew that. He was involved in the choice with the set design of the film to use that kind of iconography, and I think the idea that activists are taking that kind of statement and putting it out there.”
She continued, “Billboards still work. They still work. So I think that it’s really exciting. It started actually with the Grenfell Tower fires investigation, then it leapfrogged to the Miami gun control situation. It was outside the UN about the Syrian situation. That’s the kind of power that an image can have and that’s what we’re making. We’re making powerful images.”
In Three Billboards, unhappy with the slow progress of the investigation into the rape and murder of her daughter, Hayes (McDormand) puts up three billboards directed at Sheriff Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson). Since the release of McDonagh’s film, the tactic has been used to call out Sen. Marco Rubio on gun control after the shooting in Parkland, Florida and to ask how no one accused of sexual assault in Hollywood has been arrested.
—With reporting by Marc Sneitker and Piya Sinha-Roy