And you’ll carry me down on your dancing
To the pools that you lift on your wrist
Oh my love, oh my love
Take this waltz, take this waltz
It’s yours now, it’s all that there is.
– Leonard Cohen, from “Take This Waltz”
Canadian actor Luke Kirby started studying with Jean-Louis and Kristof last spring at the Animal Studies Intensive Workshop in New York. Kirby had lessons in the Alexander Technique while training as an actor at the National Theatre School of Canada, and was eager to learn more about incorporating animal studies into his acting work and character development.
In the romantic comedy, Take This Waltz, Kirby makes use of his dynamic physicality and appealing energy. The story revolves around a young couple (played by Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen) in a relationship that’s settled into flat routine. When a handsome artist and rickshaw driver (Luke Kirby) moves into the neighborhood, the marriage becomes threatened.
While sharing a cab from the airport, Daniel and Margot (Kirby and Williams, respectively) cover quite a distance from banter to open flirtation. Daniel (Kirby) has the cockiness of a skilled seducer, embarrassing Williams’ character as a way of establishing intimacy. The plot thickens when the pair discovers that they live on the same street. Daniel’s varied professions provide plenty of quirkiness for one character, but it’s a nice touch that Kirby looks like a leaner, prettier version of Rogen.
In what is sure to become one of the film’s most notable scenes, the two agree to a meeting. Margot wants to know what he would do to her. Without touching her, Daniel paints a masterpiece – a detailed depiction of uncontrollable animal lust that ends in an “I love you.” Naturally, dear reader, she melts, and so does the audience. Sarah Polley, the director of the film speaks on NPR about this scene:
“We had an exhaustive rehearsal process before shooting the film, but this was the one scene we actually didn’t rehearse. So Michelle [Williams] had never heard those words and Luke [Kirby] had never had to say those words in front of Michelle before […] I was trying to play with the idea of how much sexier the idea of somebody can be than they are in actuality, so the main passion and main erotic part of the relationship between Daniel and Margot really happens in words and looks and in silences. Once there’s actual physical contact, [the eroticism between them] becomes quite diminished.”
Watch the trailer here.