They were estranged after this. I know that at his death she hadnt seen him for a number of years. In fact, [she] attended his funeral with the Deweys. I can imagine that it went south after she kind of got hit with that big wave of fame and then dropped out. I dont know why. Maybe because it was too much. And he did this book and she did not approve of how he went about it at all. I think he just fell from maybe a really high perch in her eyes.
But I think that the thing about [their relationship was], it seems to me anyway, he had this huge ego and need for attention. And in that friendship, and it was realized I guess because she didnt like the fame shes still alive and still wants total privacy. She was the one where, I dont know, it just happens sometimes in friendships where one is the focal point and the other one is the second knife, the supporting one. I think that was just how their dynamic [worked]. I can imagine that it probably wasnt an issue for her to sit back and let him have this spotlight. She was probably more comfortable that way.
Keener said it was exceptionally difficult accurately portraying Harper Lee because there arent any videos for her to watch and very few photographs to study. There were photographs and not many. Theres one of her laughing where she has this cigarette and that stuck out to me.. And then theres one of her peering over shes in her dungarees and sneakers in her yard and shes just kind of peering that way. I dont know. There was something [about it]. That image was very Scout-like to me, very tomboyish. But then there were others. She was a proper Southern woman, too, a polite woman.
I never wanted to track anybody down. I read that shes very, very private and didnt want people coming around to her town asking about this and that. I felt like I did not want to invade that at all. I didnt want to go sneaking around not sneaking around - unless she said, Okay, go ahead and ask about me, I just didnt want to do it. Id rather it just be left off [to the] writings and photographs.
Catherine Keener on What Drew Her to "Capote:" I always loved Scout as a literary figure, of course, like every girl. So I was just, Oh my God, its this real Scout. [laughing] But also there were other components. I thought the script was great and I love Phil [Seymour Hoffman]. The idea of him playing Capote, I wanted to support in that way. I like the way she was written. I liked her being the moral center. I liked her quiet. I liked all of that stuff.
Catherine Keener on Working with Philip Seymour Hoffman: Usually between takes he was pretty focused. Once it hit him fully, it freed him up to go in and out because it was so there. It was like he trained so hard for so long, at some point youve got to just go. Thats when I think he embodied it and it wasnt a physicalization - it was more of a manifestation.
Hes such a fun guy and I have a tendency to want to have fun on sets [laughing], which sometimes is not really good for the other people. You know what I mean? He almost had to just stay away from me because we really like each other. And that didnt, at first, maybe allow for that. We just had to get serious.
On Watching Hoffman Perform as Capote: It was amazing. It truly was. I said this before but a couple times in work you feel like youve just You have this, because youre the listener in the scene, you have this front row seat to this unbelievable work in progress. I thoroughly enjoy it. Its a riveting experience to me. He was amazing.
On Hoffmans Performance Affecting Her Performance: Well, you know what? Paying attention to anybody always helps you in your performance. He was somebody I just couldnt take my eyes off so somehow that must have I dont know if it helped, but made me feel like Harper must have been completed enamored by him too. I dont know. Maybe its just me with Phil, but Im sure it could resonate in that way as well. Thats why I have that feeling of their friendship. I dont know if its true or not. But in our experience, it was.