“I can’t remember if it’s three weeks or four weeks now that we’ve been here,” the Oscar winner, 49, tells emmy magazine for its June cover story, in Us Weekly’s exclusive first look. “We don’t go anywhere. The other day, the UPS guy came, and the kids got so excited. They were like, ‘We haven’t seen a person in a week! Can we watch?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah. Sure.’ And they literally sat on the staircase and watched as I opened the door and waved and talked to the UPS guy from a distance. That human connection, not having that contact, has been really difficult for everyone.”
Connelly and Bettany, 49, decided to stay in the rural area over their primary residence in New York City during the current climate. They are with their son Stellan, 16, and daughter Agnes, 8, while their eldest Kai, 22, remains in L.A.
“We haven’t gone this long without seeing him,” she says. “Ever!”
For Connelly, her days mirror what most parents are going through at this time. Her kids work on school assignments at the kitchen table and have virtual after-school activities. (According to the publication, she even opted out of doing a video interview because of their unreliable wi-fi, which she wants to save for the kids.) The foursome also go on long family walks together.
“We’re going to have a huge gathering [after the pandemic],” she says. “I want to have a get-together with all of our friends and family. Cook a big meal, have an evening all together. That’d be great.”
The A Beautiful Mind actress will also be busy with work once social distancing is over. Her TNT series, Snowpiercer, which films in Vancouver, was shut down on March 13 as the pandemic became more serious. Before it was, the cast was close to completing season 2 and showrunner Graeme Manson had hand-washing stations installed and directed craft services to prepare individual meals as a precaution.
Connelly plays Melanie Cavill on the sci-fi drama, which is based on the 1982 French graphic novel series Le Transperceneige. It focuses on what life’s like seven years after the world’s become an unlivable wasteland.
“One thing I loved about the show is that on the surface it’s fun, exciting and stylish. Through a sci-fi lens, you’re telling a very human story about love and loss and pain and recovery,” she explains to emmy. “But it also happens to ask relevant questions about subjects like the use of resources and power, and those subjects seem that much more pressing and urgent right now.”
The He’s Just Not That Into You star last worked in television on the Fox drama The Street 20 years ago. “It wasn’t a statement that I wasn’t going to do television. The [right] project hadn’t presented itself,” she adds. “But I was really drawn into this story and really intrigued by my character. I thought, ‘She is challenging and surprising. She’s not who we think she is when we first meet her.’”
Connelly stars on Snowpiercer alongside Daveed Diggs, Mickey Sumner, Sheila Vand, Iddo Goldberg, Alison Wright and Lena Hall.
“Jennifer is fascinating. Complex. Gentle,” Wright tells emmy. “She is a wonderful number one to have. I think everyone is quite enamored by her and enjoys having scenes with her and hanging out with her.”
Diggs also has nothing but praise for his costar. “Jennifer was always the most prepared person on the set. She had read the script more times than anybody. She knew the scenes backwards and forwards. She had ideas about what should be happening,” he says. “Jennifer really shows up to work prepared, but she doesn’t let her process affect yours. When the cameras are rolling, I always found her to be a super generous actor.”
Connelly’s emmy magazine issue hits stands on June 16.
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