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Jack Reacher - Rosamund Pike interview

Jack Reacher

Compiled by Jack Foley

ROSAMUND Pike talks about working with Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher and why the role of a smart lawyer was right up her street.

She also talks about balancing a film career with motherhood, staying in shape and why her ability to speak German is a bit of a myth.

Q: In Jack Reacher you play a very smart lawyer. Was that a role after your taste?
Rosamund Pike: Oh yes, but mostly because I think we escaped the cliché of the female lawyer as portrayed in so many television shows. We see a lawyer who is being tested emotionally and psychologically. She is very smart and at the same time very understandable. We get the inside in this film, get to her true motivation. Her firm doesn’t want her to take this case. But she takes the risk anyway.

Q. Playing opposite Tom Cruise, was that a challenge for you… was that something where you had to prepare yourself even more?
Rosamund Pike: He is amazing. He gives one 100% all the time, he doesn’t disappoint on any level.

Q. What is it like to be with him on the set? Do you feel more pressure or do you just go to work like it’s just another day in the office?
Rosamund Pike: If I don’t win the match I at least want to improve my game. But by the time we came to shoot we spend so much time together. We rehearsed and Tom and Christopher McQuarrie and I we were together at least three times a week to read the script, at night or over dinner. We spend so much time together going over the scenes, because Christopher required that these dialogues had to fly. Even when the dialogue was heavy it had to feel light and it had to run like in the movies from the past, the movies from the 40s or 50s where everybody spoke so fast.

Q. What do you think about a guy like Reacher? Is he somebody you would be interested in in your personal life? Is he intriguing or creepy?
Rosamund Pike: Oh no totally intriguing, he is challenging and I like everybody who challenges. I find him very frustrating I think, like Helen does, she finds him baffling and confusing but he makes her think and he’s annoying and he touches on her weak points. He exposes her where her thinking is flawed. He is a challenge and I like a good challenge.

Q. Is there one scene in the movie you liked the most or one that you liked the least?
Rosamund Pike: I like all the humorous moments in it. I love the moment in the Motel where Jack is standing with his shirt off and Helen is fully dressed. I really like that moment, where she then says “put your shirt back on”. I just think it’s very funny. And I love the moment on the bus when Reacher gets away from the cops. He is just so cool and just jumps on the bus. That is brilliant, silent comedy.

Q. How did you feel when your Mercedes got trashed?
Rosamund Pike: Oh that was a shame. It’s coming all the way from Germany right off the production line so it’s a shame that it doesn’t last longer.

Q. Is it true that you do speak German as well?
Rosamund Pike: It is more a myth that got blown out of proportion. It is a biographical fact that I studied German in school but unfortunately my German is almost gone. This is just still on Wikipedia.

Q. You look amazing in this film you are in really good shape. What do you do and how do you train?
Rosamund Pike: I was five and a half months pregnant when I did the movie so I had to be very health conscious particularly during this film. Obviously when you’re pregnant everything changes, you have another body to take care of. But I think actors have to have clear goals in term of fitness, I think it is very important. I did yoga very seriously and I think that is a wonderful exercise. I take tennis lessons, and I swim a lot.

Q. There were some physical scenes in the movie – did you have to be extra careful?
Rosamund Pike: Not for this role. I mean if it’s a role like the one in Wrath of the Titans, which I made last year, I was incredibly fit for that, incredibly strong, I built up my muscles a lot for that movie because she was a warrior and her arms had to be convincing. But I think every physical program has to come from good nutrition. I believe in eating all the right kinds of foods, and I don’t believe in a totally nonfat diet. I drink whole milk because it’s closer to the cow.

Q. What’s it like for you to be a working mom?
Rosamund Pike: It’s a challenge. It’s like having lots of different hats that I screw on and screw off and change them. But on some level I’m really lucky because it’s not like I’m going back to work and I’m suddenly away all the time. I just want my child to have security and being looked after by me, by my other half, by my mother and by a nanny. We all share that responsibility equally and I think he is a very well-adjusted little boy.

Q. Would you be available to do another Jack Reacher movie?
Rosamund Pike: Yeah, I would always be up for another one. I would work with Tom Cruise again in a flash because he is that inspiring. I mean we were just talking about fitness, you just need to do an examination of Tom’s stunt work. It is legendary. There is no other actor who does all his own stunts like he does. It made me want to be the first woman who could say she did her own driving stunts.

Q. When you look at Jack Reacher and how he takes the law into his own hands, do you think it is okay what he does?
Rosamund Pike: I think what is interesting is that he is a very deeply moral man with a very strong sense of justice and he is prepared to take the law into his own hands and that also makes him a man full of contradiction, he is very, very violent but he is also very moral. Basically he kills the bad and leaves the good ones alone. His sense of right and wrong is pretty absolute and in doing so he walks to the wrong side of right.

Read our review of Jack Reacher