Studio Photoshoots > Sessions & Outtakes – Erik Carter [The New York Times] – 2021
The Oscar-winning actress has found therapeutic refuge on YouTube.
Brie Larson was not at last week’s Oscars, though she won one for her acting in “Room,” about a mother in captivity, five years ago.
Quarantine, a different sort of captivity, had brought forth some other talents. Ms. Larson can scuba-dive, find edible mushrooms in the forest, create songs out of Instagram comments and bake cookies without a recipe. She signed up to climb the Grand Tetons without Googling a picture first. She is learning French.
And she is now also famous for her online doings.
Last July, after a series of celebrity gaffes, Ms. Larson’s name started trending on Twitter. No, she hadn’t posted an ill-advised pandemic message. On the contrary: She had opened a YouTube account and shared her first video, “so, I made a decision …”
In the eight months since, she has amassed more than half a million subscribers and used the channel to showcase her many, many interests in playful, rather homespun videos. She has been gaining 20,000 to 50,000 subscribers per month.
Unlike many actors, Ms. Larson, 31, wasn’t mid-production when the world shut down. “I had already decided to take time off because I felt like I needed to recalibrate,” she said. But the onset of the pandemic was a “moment of growth,” because she gained new insight about her Hollywood colleagues based on how they discussed safety issues. “The thing that I care the most about are the people that I’m making anything with — they are more important than any piece of art,” Ms. Larson said.
She eventually scrapped nearly all of the projects she had been developing prepandemic. “I love that my job is like holding up a mirror to society, and society changed, so it meant I needed to start over again,” she said.
The only project she didn’t scrap was the YouTube channel, which had been planned for almost a year. It mirrors society in a different way; a hundred years from now, someone could watch her videos and get a sense for the mundane ways the creative class spent their year indoors. Ms. Larson cut her own hair! She wore tie-dye! She played Fortnite! She even investigated one of life’s great mysteries: “…. but will it air-fry?”
“My days usually involve staring at a screen, answering emails, and spiraling occasionally,” Ms. Larson said in a recent video.