TRON: Legacy - Olivia Wilde interview
Interview by Rob Carnevale
OLIVIA Wilde talks about developing the role of Quorra in TRON: Legacy and creating a warrior who wasn’t overly sexualised for the purposes of the film.
She also talks about how Tron has served as a catalyst for her movie career (she has several big projects on the way) and why she is relishing the opportunity to do more action scenes in film…
Q. I read that this is the most action you’ve done at any time in your career. Was that a thrill to do or were you a bit apprehensive about becoming an action woman?
Olivia Wilde: Yeah, it’s the most action I’ve ever done in my life! But I enjoyed it. It was great. I was honoured that the filmmakers had faith that I would be able to pull everything off, to be Quorra. I had the benefit of being trained by an amazing group of stunt guys, from a team called 87/11, who train all of the best fighters for movies, and they had faith in me and gave me confidence. So, I had a great time kind of turning myself into a warrior and it was a fun transformative process. I think I’m hooked now!
Q. The outfit you wear in the film is stunning, but is there a downside to wearing an outfit like that under the hot lights for several hours a day?
Olivia Wilde: Well, they’re challenging, but if I were playing a knight I’d expect chain mail to be challenging, too. It was a part of the plan. And it was quite an honour to wear these suits because nothing like them had ever been made before. I mean, they were latex and foam with lamps running through them and wires running down our bodies and battery packs… we were like little energiser bunnies. We could be turned on by remote control… it was funny. There’s no shortage of turn on jokes, either! They weren’t cosy, but I didn’t expect them to be cosy. I mean, it was like stepping into a light sculpture. I remember the first time that I was in my suit and they turned me on [raises eyebrows], it was amazing. See, you can’t avoid them [the jokes].
Q. You have an incredible run of movies coming up, starting with TRON and then The Next Three Days…
Olivia Wilde: I’m trying to catch up with Jeff [Bridges] [laughs]!
Q. You also have Cowboys And Aliens next summer, so have you worked every day this year and are you excited about the way your career is going at the moment?
Olivia Wilde: I feel very lucky. I think TRON kick-started something for me and, again, I’m just happy that these guys had faith in me and allowed me to have the chance to play Quorra. I think it changed things for me. Ever since TRON, things have accelerated, so I am really excited to show the world all this stuff that I’ve been working on. But TRON really marks the beginning of that change in gears.
Q. Quorra is tough, brave and vulnerable and, in spite of the outfit, she isn’t overtly sexualised. How rare is that for an actress to find a role like that and be able to develop someone like that? Did she change from your initial discussions about her?
Olivia Wilde: Yeah, well, I credit Joe for collaborating with me to create Quorra in that way. I think a lot of filmmakers would have encouraged that character to be overly sexualised and defined by that. In a world as sexy as TRON, it certainly would have fit in. But Joe and I worked together to make Quorra someone who is a lot more interesting. And it is rare to be able to find those opportunities as an actress… not only to find the material, but to find a filmmaker who will work with you to discover that interesting person beyond the physical. We had a lot of fun finding that for Quorra. She was inspired by Joan of Arc and lots of other interesting sources.
Q. Did she change from the original concept over the course of that development?
Olivia Wilde: She did change as we kind of discovered stuff about her… I mean, there was a moment when we realised that we really liked her nerdy laugh, which is really just my nerdy laugh, which I usually keep hidden on camera. I think it came out and we decided that it would be perfect for Quorra. Joe encouraged me to go with that, to allow her to be the nerd that she really is, and that really differed from the beginning when I was really focusing on her warrior instincts and wanting her to be very, very intelligent. But I found a lot of her playfulness and goofiness as we went along. Again, the emphasis on the characters, on the acting, on the story was so great on the set that I was able to really spend time thinking about that and I was encouraged to do so. So, I feel lucky because it is rare.
- Read our review
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