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Exc: Tommy Wirkola talks What Happened to Monday, Irredeemable & more!

You might not know Norwegian filmmaker Tommy Wirkola's name by heart, but you've probably heard of some of the film’s he’s been a part of, such as the fun and gory DEAD SNOW films about Nazi zombies, as well as the way better than it had any right to be HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton. However his next film is WHAT HAPPENED TO MONDAY?, a grim and gritty sci-fi thriller where Noomi Rapace plays septuplets in a world where multiple children is outlawed – with each sibling named a day of the week (hence the title) – which is a departure from his usual tongue-in-cheek fare.

When talking to Wirkola, I asked what drew him to the project, since it was such a departure. He told me that it was indeed to do something different, but also to emulate some of his favorite sci-fi films. These films included the likes of LOOPER, CHILDREN OF MEN, BLADE RUNNER, and especially the films of Paul Verhoeven, because according to Wirkola [Verhoeven] could take these big sci-fi ideas but at the same time have insane action and violence and humor”, which is something he hoped to achieve with WHAT HAPPENED TO MONDAY – even though he admits his film is a bit more serious than most of Verhoeven's oeuvre.

The film itself came from a Black List script of the same name, and when asked what changes were made during production, it was interesting to find out that in the original script the main characters were all brothers instead of sisters. This was a change that Wirkola insisted on because, in his own words it would create a lot more interesting dynamics between the siblings…and made the action scenes more real…brutal and exciting stating that it was also nice change of pace to have more women get into the action,as you often see men doing these things”. He then cast Noomi Rapace since they had worked together before.

Wirkola went on to praise Rapace’s physicality and work ethic, even saying that they often had to pull her back from doing stunts because “she wanted to be as involved as possible”. However, they weren’t insured to lose her, because as he says “she’s in almost every shot, often playing several characters at once”.

And since this film is about septuplets – and as good of an actress Rapace is, she can’t physically duplicate herself – visual effects were used to create that effect. In fact, Wirkola said that the first couple months of shooting were just Noomi Rapace alone on stage in a green screen room playing against tennis balls”. When asked what was the hardest aspect of shooting, he said was anytime they touched, since [Noomi’s] playing siblings and they’ve grown up together so it’s natural that they’d touch each other, hold each other, they’re physical with each other…but it turned out every time she wanted to touch the other sibling it was a huge, huge deal…you had to pick and choose those moments”. He recounts a scene where Rapace was puking in the toilet as Monday, while playing Sunday as she lifted up Monday’s hair, while also playing Saturday in the shower in the background. He said that scene was the most expensive and complicated scene in the whole movie, which is interesting as it’s a relatively intimate and subdued scene in the film itself.

But there are more projects on the horizon for Wirkola. He has a TV show based on the aforementioned awesome HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS movie coming out, which will also be hard-R and brutal like the film, with the added bonus of having different kinds of fantastical and fairy tale creatures around for the siblings to kill besides witches. He’s also writing another super R-rated project, this one a superhero film called IRREDEEMABLE, which he says will also be gory and fucked up, and possibly based on the Mark Waid comic of the same name (though he didn’t confirm that).

Either way, Wirkola is a fun director with great style, and the new film WHAT HAPPENED TO MONDAY is that as well. Watch it on Netflix NOW!

Extra Tidbit: Which day would you like the least to be (because, honestly, who wouldn't want to be Saturday?)
Source: JoBlo.com

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