Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q. How did you prepare for The Descent?
A. We all did a course of climbing. I also did some private
tuition for climbing; even though it doesn't specifically state
in the script that 'Sarah is a climber' I wanted to look like
I could climb.
We also did white water rafting training, and went caving. I didn't
really prepare mentally, I just prepared what I thought the journey
of the character was going to be. It's quite dramatic, the change
she goes through - it's not really full circle, it's more spiral.
Q. What has been your best and worst part of the filming
A. The best part of this film so far has been going to
Scotland for the white water rafting scenes. The worst part has
been getting so filthy that you need two showers at the end of
Q. Do you have any fears of your own that needed conquering
in order to play the role of Sarah?
A. I can get my head around most things but the dark
does scare me because I have quite a vivid imagination.
I'm also a bit claustrophobic so it was a challenge when we really
went caving. I had to concentrate on breathing.
During the scene where my character gets trapped in the fissure,
although you don't really feel like you're trapped because filming
stops and starts all the time, and it's mostly polystyrene, it
was actually really sore crawling through it all morning, really
fast. The pain of that actually helped me act the hyperventilating
more than anything else!
Q. How was it working with
A. It's good working with Neil because he's very free
to change things. He actually encourages coming to set with an
open mind about things, even in terms of the dialogue.
Sometimes I've found that frustrating in other situations, getting
new lines on the day or someone suggesting you try it completely
differently to how it's written, but in this experience it has
been really enlightening and lots of fun.
Q. How would you describe the crawlers?
A. If a Clingon and Spock had a child, but it was totally
hairless, and a bit shorter and quite sinewy, and was cousins
with Gollum, that's basically what a crawler looks like.
My character is the first to see a crawler and when I saw it,
I was fascinated more than scared.
Neil kept us apart from them, but because we knew they were Geordie
lads dressed up with KY jelly all over them, we knew it wasn't
going to be that scary!
But the suspense was fantastic and close up they are actually
terrifying. They have these contact lenses and a certain way of
moving that is quite horrendous and each time we meet them we
notice something else horrible about them."
Q. What sort of audience do you think The Descent will
A. I think this film has got a broad audience. You've
got the girls, so boys will like the film, but it's not just chicks
with picks, so to speak. It's got a proper storyline, proper journeys
for the characters, as well as great action sequences and great
effects. So I think everybody, young and old, will like it - but
nobody with a faint heart, though!
The Descent: Our verdict
The Descent: Neil Marshall
The Descent: Natalie Mendoza interview