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G.J. is played by Holly Hunter, Best Actress Academy Award winner for her performance in Campion’s The Piano.

Fact title Fact data
Played by
Holly Hunter
Previous credits
The Piano, Broadcast News, The Firm, Thirteen

Who is GJ?

GJ is a person who people seek answers from
Holly Hunter

GJ is hard to describe, it’s questioned as to whether she is a man or a woman and that androgyny was very interesting to me. GJ is a person who people seek answers from. She attracts people who are in need or sick and they follow her, whether she likes it or not, asking for help. GJ ran into a woman, Bunny, she is a seeker and she attaches herself with great hope to GJ. Bunny can fund a kind of retreat for herself - and one or two other people she thinks - so she asks GJ to participate. GJ doesn’t really want to, but she put her finger on the map and it was Paradise. Bunny has the funds to make whimsical actions like that take place, and that’s how the women’s camp came about.

I think there is something ironic for GJ about being in a place called Paradise with people who feel troubled by their lives. GJ doesn’t believe in enlightenment. And she doesn’t really believe that anybody can actually be helped. It’s kind of an oblique outlook and at the same time there is something really reassuring about it because it’s so unbelievably real. There is a surety about GJ and a lack of confusion and there is something really attractive about being around that.

Was GJ an easy character to play?

Playing GJ was very interesting because of the detachment. Actors always seek connection. Drama is all about the moment of ultimate conflict for a person. GJ doesn’t have that. And she is not wrestling with any of those things, she is not missing contact, she is not missing engagement, she doesn’t really need it and that was very interesting problem for me to solve, for my own self and Jane was tremendously helpful with being less engaged. I really needed a hook into her, that she looked a very particular way. Jane had a very specific visual idea of GJ and we just made that happen. I love wearing wigs because they’re instantly transformational.

It has been suggested that GJ is rather like Jane, do you agree with that?

GJ is a kind of composite of this yogi UG that Jane knew and loved and is highly influential in her creating this part. And it goes through the filter of Jane and Gerard who have had a lot of encounters with enlightened people. There is a point of relaxation about GJ and Jane has this real incredible relaxed nature so there is a part of Jane that is like GJ. But I see Jane in all of the characters. She is rather unjudgmental about people so I think she absorbs the people she writes about and expresses them without judgment. There is no one who I think she doesn’t understand and so we understand them too.