In an interview with Vulture around the film’s release, Toni Collette was asked why she had mentioned to other outlets that her role in “Hereditary” was the hardest job of her life. Collette responded:
“It was just endlessly emotional — and there were lots of emotions. There were ones that are more ‘acceptable’ than others. And ones that feel better to experience than others. This involves none of those! It’s one of the jobs where you get to go to work and roll around in ideas of grief and resentment and rage and all of these extremes in life, and we were dabbling in that area for weeks on end. There was no easy moment in this movie. In my very first week, I was shooting 14-take scenes, talking about great loss and difficulty in relating to my family.”
Although it sounded like Collette was complaining, she continued, “Don’t get me wrong, I f***ing loved it. Because it was just so satisfying as an actor to be able to deal with these extremes. It was never done gratuitously. It was always in this pure, honest, natural form. It’s just such a funny combination of themes.” The keyword there is “extremes”. Collette’s primal performance covers every corner of the emotional spectrum, multiple times over.