Patricia Arquette On the Creative Process and Pressures of Being a New Author

By Alasdair Munn for Box News

When Box Media’s Creative Director Elisabetta Zucchi sat down with Patricia Arquette to talk about creativity and the way she incorporates this into her acting process, it was always bound to be an interesting conversation.  Her ability to truly embody her characters comes from the intensity she brings to every endeavour, a defining characteristic of her attitude towards work and her personality in general. Elisabetta sat down with Patricia to explore this side of her craft.

Over a decades-long career Patricia has tried out a variety of methods to help her ‘become’ her characters. From colour-coding within scripts in order to map emotions to immersing herself in the music and books of a certain era, her preparation for a role alone is a demanding process. 

It’s fascinating to watch as, throughout the conversation, Patricia switches from discussing her all-consuming acting practice to the joy of being immersed in artistic creativity, and further to the personal and emotional energy associated with writing.

She credits her mother, a teacher, with sparking her appreciation of literature and poetry and allowing her to see it as accessible, enriching and a means to find escape. As opposed to acting, where her art is in channeling other people’s angst and joy, writing as an art form is infinitely more personal. Patricia puts it this way:

“Even though I am brave as an actor, writing is so much more vulnerable to me. It really is the most terrifying art form for me.”

This vulnerability in Patricia’s case is a result of two main factors. As a person with dyslexia she finds the written form especially challenging, with the impulse to express herself hampered by insecurity and memories of judgement. Equally daunting is the simple nakedness of putting yourself out there in your own words, without any character or script to hide behind, as she has had to for her upcoming autobiography.

For fellow dyslexics, it could be immensely refreshing to hear Patricia talk about how dyslexia has really been a gift to her; she feels it has allowed her to see the world differently and enabled her to bring a fresh, individual perspective to her creative process.

If one thing is for sure, it’s that Patricia puts her all into everything that she does, and this latest foray into writing will be no exception.