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Original Suspiria star Jessica Harper talks Luca Guadagnino’s remake

Director Luca Guadagnino's remake of Dario Argento's SUSPIRIA opened in a mere two theaters in Los Angeles and New York this past weekend, but still the much-anticipated remake scored a killer $89,903 per theater average! With that kind of cash already rolling in, we can expect Guadagnino's remake to make tons of cash when it opens into 250 more theaters next weekend.

But more interesting still is the original 1977 Argento film's main star Jessica Harper and her thoughts on the remake. For those of you out there that might not know, Harper has a role in this upcoming new version, and she recently spoke to EW all about it. You can read her comments and stories below, but beware as they tread into VERY SLIGHT spoiler territory. Just a warning for those of you who like to go into movies as clean as possible. For everyone else, check out Harper's comments below and let us know what you think!

Jessica Harper on Luca Guadagnino’s SUSPIRIA:

Well, I’ve been hearing for years that there was going to be a remake, and it was going to be directed by so-and-so, and it was going to star so-and-so. Mostly, I disregarded these rumors, because one came, and then the next one came, and nothing ever happened.

But then I heard a few years ago that Luca was involved, and I thought (a) it sounds right and (b) it sounds real. And so I kept my eye on it. David Kajganich, the writer of the script, tells this story that they thought it would be cool to have me do a cameo in this movie, since I’d been in the original. They were looking through the script for something for me to do, and they didn’t want me to be just be one of the witches, they wanted something a little more special. So it occurred to them to ask me to do the part of Anke. But David said to Luca, ‘Well, the only thing is, she does have to be able to speak German.’ So Luca said, ‘Hang on, let me find out if Jessica can speak German.’

So, Luca called me, kind of out of the blue, and said, ‘Hi, would you like to do a cameo in my new movie?’ Of course, he had me at ‘Hello.’ And then he said, ‘Now, do you think you could do the part in German? And I said, ‘Oh, absolutely.’ So, he hung up, and went to David and said, ‘Good news, she speaks German!’ And I got on the phone and called the Berlitz school and said, ‘I need to learn German. Can I come over this afternoon, please?'

Who is Anke?

I play the love interest of this character Dr. Klemperer, who is played by this actor called Lutz Ebersdorf, who I just read in The New York Times, was actually played by Tilda Swinton. I think she’s outed herself finally, although that was kept secret for a very long time. So, this character Dr. Klemperer, lost his wife many many years before, and spends much of his time longing for her, and hoping somehow their paths will cross again. He doesn’t know what became of her, all those years before. So, I magically reappear, and then some other magic happens, which I don’t want to spoil. But Lutz Ebersdorf and I get to play this sort of romantic story at the center of this movie, which is really fun. It’s this lovely emotional thread that cuts through the center of the movie.

What was it like acting opposite Tilda Swinton?

Of course it was weird, because it was Tilda Swinton playing an elderly German man! But at the same time it was fantastic because her makeup was so incredible, I didn’t really feel like I was acting with Tilda Swinton. And also, the way she adjusted her voice, it was very easy to pretend that I was having this love story with an 82-year-old guy.

What was the shoot like?

The shoot for me was pretty brief. I was only involved for a few days, because my part was a small part. The shoot for others was long and difficult because they were in an abandoned hotel on a hilltop in Italy. And I was there too and I know it was difficult. It was cold and dark and scary. It was like a haunted house, which was kind of appropriate, but not ideal shooting circumstances. But I had a wonderful time. Because I was the star of the original movie, when I walked on the set you would have thought I was David Bowie. [Laughs] I sort of had a celebrity moment, which was so sweet.

You can read Jessica Harper's full EW interview right over HERE. It's filled with interesting bits and pieces such as how she got involved in the original Argento film, how that shoot went, and more. I suggest giving it a read when you have the chance. It's good stuff. Glad Harper's back for this remake!

Guadagnino's remake stars Dakota Johnson as

Young American dancer Susie Bannion, who arrives in 1970s Berlin to audition for the world-renowned Helena Markos Dance Co. When she vaults to the role of a lead dancer, the woman she replaces breaks down and accuses the company's female directors of witchcraft. Meanwhile, an inquisitive psychotherapist and a member of the troupe uncover dark and sinister secrets as they probe the depths of the studio's hidden underground chambers.

Guadagnino directs the remake from a screenplay adapted by David Kajganich (THE INVASION) based on the original script penned by Argento and Daria Nicolodi. Johnson's co-stars include Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Angela Winkler, Ingrid Caven, Elena Fokina, Sylvie Testud, Renée Soutendijk, Christine LeBoutte, Fabrizia Sacchi, and Malgosia Bela, along with Jessica Harper and Chloë Grace Moretz. The film expands into 250 theaters next weekend. Do you plan on checking out this remake in theaters next weekend? Did you catch a screening this past weekend in NY or LA? Let us know below! After that, snag a copy of Argento's original classic on Blu-ray RIGHT HERE.

Source: EW

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