Sunday, September 12, 2010

Interview with Jodie Whittaker - April 2nd, 2009

Promoting: Good
Venue: The Sanderson Hotel
Interview type: One-on-one (actually one-on-two with Jason Isaacs)

ViewLondon (VL): Who do you play in the film?

Jodie Whittaker (JW): My character's Anne Hartman, who starts out as a student to John Halder (played by Viggo Mortensen) and over the course of the film it turns into an affair and then they start to see each other and then they end up being married with a child. It's one of those parts that you don't really want to think that you're very similar to, but in fact I'm incredibly similar to her in the sense that, you know, you make choices all the time without consequence because you think of your own benefit. And that's how everyone is and so that's the thing, that no-one in the film is the obvious villain but history will tell a different thing.

VL: What stage did you come on board?

JW: Well, I came in right at the end, because obviously, the first few times they'd tried to get it made, I wasn't even an actor, so I wasn't involved at all. And then I was actually doing Venus at the time and a lot of the crew had come from Good, at the time when they thought it was going to go and then it fell through. So I initially heard about it being made into a film, but I'd already seen it as a play. I saw a third year RADA production of it when I was at drama school and it was incredible. It's difficult to describe, but if someone's going to tell you, 'I want you to come and see this play' and you're like (sarcastic) 'Yeah, it sounds great' but then you actually watch it and it's phenomenal and powerful. So I had that going for me, because when I had the audition I didn't need any explanation with the part or what it was about or why people would want to make it. So I was just lucky because the producer came to see me in a play and I managed to woo her and trick her into thinking I was good enough to play the part (laughs).

VL: What was it like working with Viggo Mortensen?

JW: Oh, it was great. It's incredibly intimidating to know you're about to meet Viggo Mortensen and when we met, it was to rehearse. And you hear these terrible stories about people in Hollywood who won't rehearse, they won't meet anyone and then they'll come on set, [shoot their scene], and then just leave, you know, before you've even turned around to do you. And he was there, really eager to meet everybody and we had a good day of rehearsal, which was so exciting. And then every nerve went, because he's just such a fantastic guy. He kind of – you just want to be his mate, because he's so lovely.

VL: How much research did you do?

JW: I was really interested in the youth of the 1930s. Like, it was interesting finding what would be like pop music, because, you know, she's 20 years old in a really exciting period for Germany, as far as an Aryan young girl was concerned. Because we all know what happened and we can all look back on it and go, 'Okay, the holocaust was a result of this fundamental regime', but if you're in it, you don't see that and my character never went to a camp and never saw firsthand the atrocities that were being carried out. So I read as much as I could to do with women who thought Hitler was the way forward. And they're really honest accounts and they're really brutal self-analysis as well, because you've got to admit that you were totally wrong and what you contributed to. But how could they have known that? So it was really interesting, because you touch on stuff that you missed out in school, because at school you just concentrate on the specifics of WWII.

VL: What's your next project?

JW: I'm in a film called Perrier's Bounty that I think is coming out around September time. It's a Dublin gangster farce with Brendan Gleeson and Jim Broadbent. It's amazing, it's proper funny. Anything with Jim Broadbent in – I've literally never corpsed so much in my entire life. He's an absolute genius.

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