You likely know Simon Helberg from his work on The Big Bang Theory, but if you’re looking to see him stretch an entirely different set of acting muscles, you should check out Annette, the bizarre new musical written by pop band Sparks and directed by French filmmaker Leos Carax (Holy Motors).
Helberg plays an unnamed accompanist-turned-conductor with a complicated relationship to an opera singer. I recently had the chance to speak with him about learning how to actually conduct in preparation for the role, Carax’s “incredibly exacting” vision for the movie, and Helberg’s character’s unique relationship to the audience (he breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to the viewer multiple times).
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Annette is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
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