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INT: Rosamund Pike


Rosamund Pike made for one incredibly sexy Bond girl in DIE ANOTHER DAY, yet other than that, American audiences might not recognize her, unless they happen to be fans of British films and theatre where she often works. That would include PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, THE LIBERTINE and DOOM. Did anyone of you see that? Okay, maybe DOOM isn’t necessarily in the right place for that particular sentence. Well, she now appears as the confidant love interest to Ryan Gosling in FRACTURE, the movie that brings back Sir Anthony Hopkins as villain. Rosamund is quite stunning here and she pulls off an American accent perfectly. This is the kind of role that could open up her career and hopefully give her more opportunities. It’s worth seeing FRACTURE just for her.

When she stopped by the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills to talk about FRACTURE, she came in with a very sweet nature about her. And she has an amazing smile. She talked about working in America and also working on stage in London . As she is a stage actress, you could see the love she has for theatre as she spoke of it. Not that she seems to dislike film, yet she definitely seemed to have a real joy for performing in front of a live audience. And she also spoke of being a Bond girl and how she really enjoy the experience. Rosamund Pike is a beautiful and talented actress who I’m sure we will be seeing much more often after FRACTURE.

Rosamund Pike

Did you like [the movie]? 

Yes, I love it.  I’m really proud to be in it.  It was one of those ones that I just think it looks so good.  It’s just got that edgy sophistication right from the word “go”.   

You did a nice job with the [American] accent. 

Thank you, I really appreciate that.   

Was that hard to stay with it? 

No, it just about the accent.  It’s more than just about an accent; it’s really about the whole attitude.  You can get all the sounds right and still seem not American at all.  If it worked then I’m really glad.  I think that’s the misconception about accents.  Everyone thinks it’s just about the sound.  You give yourself away in so many other things, an intonation and also the way you phrase a line.  

Are there a lot of differences? 

Yes, I think generally American kind of drives to the end of the line more so than English.  We tend to bring things back and tail off to the end of our sentences.  Americans tend to be more assertive, I think.  There is a confidence about American that we don’t have so much.  It’s interesting, you can go into a restaurant and an American will kind of just ask for a table, they will say, “Do you have a table?” very loudly, whereas an English person will say [whispering], “Do you have a table?”  

What attracted you to the role and how did it happen for you? 

It was the script that attracted me.  I just wanted to be part of the film.  To be honest, I found Nicky to be incredibly, incredibly hard to get a handle on.  I sort of resisted being in her skin.  I didn’t agree with her.  I didn’t like her.  All the things that are detrimental to doing a successful character, because you have to find something to approve of or appreciate.  Just her ruthless ambition I couldn’t get a handle on.  Like the Thanksgiving, when they kind of take the piss out of her and give her a hard time for going for corporate law, I completely agree with them.

And it’s hard, but I sort of had to say she’s decided to be ruthlessly independent. She sticks to her job and she does a professional job.  She’s someone who’s incredibly good at what she does and she serves the client and she doesn’t get personally involved.  That’s what I admire about her because at that level of law you can’t get personally involved.  There are some things that won’t get picked up by a first viewer.  One of the first conversations Ryan and I have, when he comes to Wooten Simms is about the Warfield case. Which is about a man, a client, we’re defending who supposedly siphoned off billions of his own dollars and we’re trying to defend him.

You’re working with so many reprehensible human beings and defending, and it’s morally so dubious.  I went out with some American attorneys before we started filming and I said to this one woman, “what’s it like? You might be defending someone who you really feel is guilty and you get them let off.  How do you feel about that?”  She said, “I feel the prosecution didn’t do their job well enough.”  I thought, right, can’t argue with that.  That’s the mindset.  It’s all a game. They’re all players and you don’t get too involved.   

Most Americans were first introduced to you in “Die Another Day”.  Are you fearful of the ‘Bond Girl Curse’?  

No, not at all, there hasn’t been a curse; I haven’t had a curse really.  If anything, I think it’s so cool.  It’s a club I’m really happy to belong to.  Especially since Barbara Broccoli has taken over at the helm and is a powerhouse behind these films, the women have faired much better on the whole.  There’s nothing to be ashamed of at all, nor has it held me back.  If anything it has raised the profile.  It’s meant that I can carry lead roles on stage in London and get bums on the seats because people want to come and see a Bond Girl.  It’s great – fantastic! They’re actually going to get a bit of a shock because they’re actually going to sit and watch some long Tennessee Williams play, but as long as they pay the ticket price.   

Have you seen “Casino Royale”?  

Of course, I loved it.  It’s great.  I think Daniel [Craig] has taken a truly original, new direction with the character.  It’s exciting.  It’s a departure, and you do have to move on. 

When you’re doing films do you miss the spontaneity of doing theatre? 

I do.  I miss having a whole run to tell a story.  It’s such a luxury. I always feel like it’s being a child being on stage, and getting to play with your imagination, and play with your imaginary friends. It’s like make-believe and you get to walk onto this world that was created for you.  Especially when it’s like house and you have all your stuff there, I just think it’s completely magical.  And I never really think about the people watching.  You have an energy from them and you can play with that.  It’s exciting, or deadening when there’s nobody in on an afternoon [show].  We had somebody have a heart attack during a matinee show which is quite scary.  There is this horrendous sound of somebody dying in the audience and you don’t know what to do.  You’re trying to carry on and someone in the audience says, “Stop the play!”  And they’re rushing in the ambulance and he’s choking up blood and it’s all incredibly dramatic.   

So the show didn’t go on? 

No, the show stopped, and then we came back on and re-started.  I had this line, “I nearly died of heart failure in your automobile” and then this “aawww” in the audience.  It was extraordinary.  It was uncanny.   

What is this about your voice involved in Scotland winning the battle of World War II [“Jackboots on Whitehall”]? 

It’s the Germans.  Imagine if the Germans had won the Battle of Britain.  And then eventually, the English retreat to Scotland where they meet a kind of ‘Braveheart’ figure who finally bashes the bosh, as it were.  It’s actually very silly and very brilliant.  It’s these two guys, these two brothers, called [Edward] and Rory McHenry.  They’ve always played with action men, since I think kids, and they started filming them.  They painstakingly put these films together.  They did one about the Vietnam War, another satirical film about the Vietnam War.  I don’t remember what it’s called but you can download it off the internet.  It’s brilliant.  This is their first feature.  They got money to make a feature. 

So this is like puppet animation? 

No, literally they are like dolls, so they have to move them a fraction, film it, another fraction, and film it.  Sometimes they can get away with turning them into puppets and move their arms with stick and have little wires. 

What does your doll do?  

She’s like a very sexy land girl, with very old fashion British stiff upper lip.  Up, up the anti, you know, run, fire, run, all that sort of stuff.   

Ewan McGregor is in this, too? 

He might be.  He wasn’t when I did my voice.  It could be real cool.  It’s really good. 

Could you give your impressions of meeting Greg [Hoblit] before the film and his working style? 

He was great.  It’s amazing to meet the man behind these incredibly creepy thrillers, and [find out that he] in fact is this nice, sane, sweet person.  Obviously I wanted the job so I went in to audition.  He wanted Nicky to be this alpha female.  I always look for vulnerabilities in a character when I come on board, and I often try to soften them up.  It’s probably a hang-up from “Die Another Day” just trying to shed the kind of steely exterior.  But so I would always look for the vulnerabilities and Greg would be sort of motivational therapy, [telling me] play the upper hand, play the trump card, don’t let him in, keep it up, come down on him harder, be tougher, don’t smile.

He wanted the female to be the boss and he wanted her to be a pretty impressive character.  He wanted her to be as much a game player and as much a player as Ryan [Gosling’s] character [in the film].  So what you get is this combustion of an alpha male and an alpha female and the sexual tension that comes from that.  Which I think works and I think is great.  But I think neither of them is good at intimacy and you see them.  So when you see the little fragments of their relationship, you see that they are not at all good at it.  She says to him, you don’t have to go - which is quite an admission of something for a woman like that - he just puts his shirt on and leaves.

They’re always sort of rubbing each other the wrong way.  It’s all prickle.  And you see her at home at Thanksgiving and she’s not happy in the family environment. She’s a cold fish.  Greg wanted her to be really tough.  But I feel someone is never that tough unless they fear being exposed, that they’ve got something quite close to the surface, feeling incredible out of control and out of their depth.  There must be times when you work at a big law firm and you’ve gone to the top that fast, she much to have worked incredibly fast to be the age she is and straight out of college to have gotten up to that position. You must feel out of your depth at times.   

Coming from your theatrical background, are film auditions something you feel comfortable with? 

I hate auditions.  It’s awful. You talk to other people in jobs who interview for jobs once every six months or once every 20 years, and we go through it every week.  And the waiting game and hanging around, it’s very nerve-wreaking.  But it was a good meeting with Greg.  We got on well.  It was one of those things when occasionally you walk in and they think, oh that’s what I was looking for.  That’s the one good thing.  That’s why I got the Bond film.  They’d auditioned girls all summer and I came in and suddenly you fit someone’s idea.  It’s pure lottery.  A director has an idea in his head.  And ultimately you can’t control it, although as an actor, you always think that you could have done better.  But often it’s got nothing to do with you.  People keep telling me this and I’m trying to learn it, but you always take it hard.  It’s always a rejection and a knock if you don’t get something.   

Is there a satisfaction that can be derived separate from working the job, such as exercising the craft, like I acted today and maybe I didn’t get the job but I had a good feeling about what I did? 

No, because sometimes you could have a room in tears and think…well probably I got that then, and you don’t.  They probably go for someone else because they had different kind of hair, or whatever it is, or a different quality.  Things like that are wonderful when you get to do something really wonderful.  You get to stretch yourself and do something.  And then you think, I’ve given my heart and soul, and they give you nothing.  That’s what you got to do.  If you don’t take the risks you don’t get anything.   

Is it different auditioning for a production in London at the West End Theatre, as opposed to a Hollywood feature? 

No it’s the same process really – reading and thinking.  You want them to fast forward to when you are actually in the role and they can see how you are relaxed.  It’s fun, but I treat it as a game when I’m out here.  I feel like a player when I’m out here, unlike when I’m in London.  I can up the British accent, do the whole thing.  I feel like I can get away with more here.  I can dress up more. I can do more. I can play a role.  I can re-invent myself for every audition.  Whereas in London people are like, no I see through that, don’t do that, what are you doing. It’s fun to create out here.  Last time I was her I just did a whole lot of comedy stuff, not auditions but reading people’s scripts for them. Making people laugh, I really enjoy it.  No ever gives me the chance.  

Let me know what you think. Send questions and comments to [email protected].




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