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The Fretts on Film Interview: Olivia Wilde

December 11, 2012

I’m working my way through the Olivias in Hollywood, having already interviewed Olivia Williams (about Hyde Park on Hudson) and Olivia Thirlby (about Nobody Walks). Next up: Olivia Wilde, whom I chatted with for today’s New York Daily News about her new crime thriller Deadfall, in which she plays a casino bandit torn between her brother (Eric Bana) and her new lover (Charlie Hunnam). Here’s more of my interview with Ms. Wilde…

What made you want to do this movie—was it the reputation of Academy Award-winning director Stefan Rudowitzky?

I had seen The Counterfeiters and really enjoyed it and was interested in working with Stefan. When the script came along, I thought it was really interesting. I’m a fan of thrillers so it caught my eye and I really wanted to work with Eric Bana. And then other amazing people came up like our entire cast, and I was more eager to be a part of it. And there we were in wintry Canada!

Stefan’s Austrian—was there any kind of language barrier?

I salute him for directing in his second language. I can’t imagine anything more difficult. Directing in your own language is hard enough. But he was incredibly energetic and thoughtful and open-minded and very collaborative so that was fun. It was not the easiest of conditions. When I say wintry Canada, I really mean it. You can see it in the film. We were really in the cold, and he kept his spirits high. It’s not an easy thing to do. I found him to be incredibly kind and good-natured.

How did you establish a brotherly-sisterly bond with Eric Bana?

He and I quite naturally fell into a sibling type of energy with each other. He’s incredibly funny—as everyone knows, he’s a comedian—so he was easy to trust and get along with.  But this undertone of danger that his character has is something Eric does incredibly well—we saw it in Chopper and in many of his movies—but I’ve never seen someone with the ability to switch from telling a joke before action is called and then seconds later, summon this terrifyingly dangerous energy for his character. It was really something to behold. I learned a lot from watching Eric.

You seemed to work up a potent romantic chemistry with Charlie Hunnam…

Oh, how could you not? Charlie and I had done a screen test together five years before and he was so lovely and kind. We hadn’t worked together but he’s wonderful. He had the challenge of working in another accent as well. We were in some pretty dodgy locations at some hotels in the middle of nowhere in Canada, and he works so hard on his show that he has a great work ethic, which I appreciate very much.

How was it working with Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek as his parents?

Kris can tell stories about the Chelsea Hotel and Janis Joplin and Lou Reed. It’s so much fun with him when it comes to anecdotes. Sissy is a wonderful human being and actress and someone who’s managed to have a life beyond Hollywood. She’s an incredible mother and artist. She’s just this incredibly warm human being. So I liked to snuggle up to Sissy and ask her questions.

You’ve been busy with movies ever since you left House. Think you’ll ever do another TV series?

Never say never. There’s wonderful TV being made and lots of great opportunities. I’m very eager at this point to keep making films and to get back into theater. That’s my next plan. Who knows about TV? I’m a big fan of Homeland. I can’t stop watching it. I have swallowed the Kool-Aid whole. I’ve been chugging it. It’s an example of wonderful writing and acting on TV.

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From → Interviews, Posts

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