As fans were quick to point out following the release of Jordan Peele's Get Out last year, the fact that the movie stars Catherine Keener creates a funny connection to Spike Jonze's Being John Malkovich. After all, both movies star the actress as characters who participate in procedures to put the mind of one person in the body of another. It's a cute fan theory to suggest that they are connected, but surprisingly I was the first person to bring it up to Keener when I interviewed her last week:
I had the immense pleasure of interviewing Catherine Keener and Bob Odenkirk last week during the Los Angeles press day for Incredibles 2 -- where they feature as the star newcomers to the cast -- and my final question to the pair was in reference to the legacy of the Pixar superhero franchise. Recognizing that it has been 14 years since the release of the first Incredibles, I asked if there was a role from their past that they would love to reprise. Keener essentially opted out of the question, saying that when she is done with a role she's done with it, but then I kind of dropped her jaw revealing the Get Out/Being John Malkovich connection.
For those not familiar with one or both of the movies (get ready for spoilers), here's the breakdown. In Being John Malkovich, Catherine Keener plays Maxine Lund, a woman who, along with a co-worker, discovers a special portal in a strange office building that allows a person to access the mind of actor John Malkovich. In Get Out, it's a bit more sinister and targeted, as Keener's character, Missy Armitage, is a hypnotherapist who traps black men and women in the depths of their own minds so that their consciousness can be replaced by an aging white man/woman. The fan theory is essentially that Maxine leaves her peaceful existence at the end of Being John Malkovich, changes her name, and starts up a similar operation in Connecticut -- though that's pretty dark.
I love this theory, I have heard this theory. It was definitely not lost on me that I was able to get Catherine Keener in her second like weird perspective, living in someone else's brain movie. We joked about that and I'm a huge fan of the movie Being John Malkovich. I also sat down with Spike Jonze a couple months ago, told him this theory myself and he chuckled. So as far as I'm concerned, it's true.
Those wanting to enjoy Catherine Keener's performances in either of those films can do so, as both are now available on Digital, Blu-ray, and DVD. If you want to see her most recent awesome work, however, you should definitely head to a theater near you this weekend, as Incredibles 2 will be in theaters everywhere.