Introducing: The rising star of Brit Marling
You may not have seen her name in lights just yet, but at 27 Brit Marling is one of the most talked about young talents in movies, as Anthony Mason found out.
For one, she wanted to be like actress Barbara Stanwyck. Asked why, she told Mason, "Oh my gosh, she's so amazing!"
"How do you know Barbara Stanwyck?" Mason asked.
"I love - think she's such an interesting example of how to be a woman," Marling explained. "She's so sexy. But she's in control of her sex appeal. And she's smart."
Marling is no dummy either: she co-wrote, co-produced and stars in the new film, "Another Earth," which imagines the discovery of an identical planet.
Marling plays Rhoda Williams, who enters a contest to win a ticket to "Earth 2."
The movie won a major award at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Suddenly it's Marling's career that's seems headed for the stars.
The Wall Street Journal hailed "the emergence of a startlingly fine young actress." Time said "this is one of those moments when someone comes out of nowhere and seems instantly a movie star."
In "Another Earth," Marling's character tells the story of a cosmonaut tortured by a ticking sound in his space ship.
"But he can't find it. He can't stop it. It keeps going. So the Cosmonaut decides the only way to save his sanity is to fall in love with this sound. So he closes his eyes...and then he opens them. He doesn't hear ticking anymore. He hears music," she explains.
Marling enrolled in Washington's Georgetown University as an economics major.
"When I think of Georgetown, I think of politicians, diplomats, basketball players. Not filmmakers?" Mason remarked, as they strolled across the campus.
"I know! What did happen?" Marling replied.
Valedictorian of her graduating class in 2005, Marling even interned as an analyst at Wall Street's powerhouse investment bank, Goldman Sachs.
Goldman Sachs her a job, but she said, "no thanks."
"I could see the kind of person I was becoming. And it seemed not right. I was like missing something," she explained.
Instead, Marling took a year off from college to make a documentary in Cuba.
"So, I called my parents, and I was like 'I'm not going back to school. And I'm going to Cuba. I'm moving to Cuba with Mike this amazing filmmaker that I met at school,'" she remembered.
"Mike" is Mike Cahill, who would direct "Another Earth." They met at a campus film festival at Georgetown.
"And it was just like this weird tribe of people came out of nowhere and this whole movement happened. It was really cool," Marling remembered.
They moved out to Los Angeles together to make their mark. But Marling didn't like the parts she was auditioning for.
"I don't wanna do this like, horror film, where my head is coming off at the end or like I'm running away from someone in a bikini," she explained.
That's when Marling and Cahill came up with the idea for "Another Earth." It was literally a homemade film. Cahill's parents' house in New Haven, Conn. was featured in the film, playing the home of Marling's character. Shooting on a shoestring budget, they were forced to improvise.
"There's one scene in the film, the hypothermia scene. And that scene in real life is taking place in four different seasons. Like shot one in the winter. Shot two in the spring, Cahill remembered.
They had to break into a ski resort to find snow. "So we waited til everyone left and then we climbed over the fence and..." Marling remembered.
"You stole their snow!" Mason pointed out.
"We stole their snow," Cahill admitted.
Asked how she felt about her reception at Sundance, Marling said, "I have never seen anything like it. It blew my mind."
"Another Earth" was given a standing ovation. "And I was just like how has this happened? This small handmade film at Mike's Mom's house. Oh my gosh, I went back to my hotel room and I just cried. I just cried. I couldn't believe it," she remembered.
And for actress Brit Marling, that new star in the sky may be her own.
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