Interview: Charlize Theron On Her Company Woman Character In PROMETHEUS

By AMC May 31, 2012

AMC is here in London for the world premiere of “Prometheus” where we’ve had the opportunity to speak with several members of this extraordinary cast, as well as the mastermind behind the piece, director Ridley Scott himself.

Purchase your tickets for this must see summer event film here!

Stay tuned for some of our print interviews this week and our video interviews with Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Michael Fassbender, Logan Marshall-Green and Ridley Scott next week.

During the course of our conversation with Theron she touched on some of the secrecy surrounding the “Prometheus”.

“Truth be told, it’s nice to not say everything about a movie. I wish all movies were somewhat like that. There’s something nice about a film just speaking for itself and you can’t do it with every movie. This movie kind of is a pedigree that people know what to expect, so you can get away with it. But it’s my favorite way to go and sit in a theater and have the lights go off and just not know what you’re going to see. I feel like everything is given away these days. For me, it wasn’t hard at all not to talk about it. I could just be really cheeky and blame it on the studio.”

The film made liberal use of practical sets, taking over Pinewood Studios in London to construct the Prometheus ship in its entirety.

“An entire ship was built, I mean, like every button, every wall, every hallway, ever. I think Arthur (Max), the production designer, did an amazing job. The green screen that I saw was through the windows. That was it. I don’t think we had a clear understanding of how much of it was going to be tangible, but that was ridiculous. I mean, the day that the projectors started showing a pre-visualized CGI scene for me to reference so I would know what I was seeing when I looked outside of the window, I was like, 'Ridley, now you’ve really crossed the line. (Laughs) You know, I can act, too, a little bit here. I mean, you don’t have to…’ But he’s that kind of director. I think he comes from the school of understanding that the marriage between that real set and CGI is what makes it good, because to have the actual set is helpful for your actors. And so, it helps raise the stakes for the performances, which makes the movie better. I know that what we did as actors in this film would not have been what it is if we were just acting with green screens around us and stuff like that. It was amazing. I mean, I walked on and had a bit of a—I could like chill my ego down because I was like, 'My ship, my ship, my ship…'"

One of Scott’s goals was to “scare the crap out of” his audience and Theron delved into her own personal fears a bit.

“It’s the unknown. When I watched the film ('Alien') for the first time, I had a bruised elbow because I knocked my elbow into the steel part of the chair next to me like, three times. All of those moments were once they were out there in the unknown. I think there’s something incredibly scary about that. I mean, and that tagline is still on my head, 'When you’re in space, no one can hear you scream?' That screwed me up for life. Like, sometimes I’m by myself and I’m like, 'When you’re in space. No one can hear you.' So I think that stuff for me coincides,  in ‘Prometheus’ with wanting to believe that you’re going to get an answer to something, and then discovering, obviously not, and the discovery is just f***ing horror. That’s scary."

The actress also touched upon the collaborative environment that Scott creates on-set.

“It was just one of those environments where we were always talking about it, always, and there were even moments where Michael Fassbender and I would kind of enhance on our scenes and talk about it. Ridley was incredibly just open to all of that stuff. It was just a very collaborative set, and my fear was that we were trying to answer things that you can’t answer, and that’s when it becomes problematic, and it wasn’t that kind of set. We really just enjoyed asking all the big questions, and not necessarily finding the answers."

Theron’s character, Meredith Vickers, is as the title indicates a company woman. There on the ship to make sure that Weyland gets what it needs from the mission (which may or may not be in line with what the scientists who are leading the expedition to discover the origins of mankind have in mind). The actress spoke a bit about the role and what she feels is driving her character.

“There is a power struggle here for her. She is very much in constant need to want to be in control of everything. That’s all she’s doing. From the moment that the movie kind of takes off, she’s up first, she’s making sure... There’s always something about her trying to control the situation. Ridley and I talked a lot about people, especially women who come from these kind of dynasties that are kinda set up by men, their fathers usually. There might be other sons in the family, but for some reason, the girl just kind of has the DNA of the dad. We wanted to have something of her kind of come across that was reflective of those people that I’ve seen and know. When I watched those women, there was something very interesting about her almost being condescending and passive-aggressive in the way she talks, you know? It’s tricky because you don’t want the audience to kind of go, 'Euuch.' I liked that because it made her a little bit more interesting to me than someone who was just completely confident and they’re in control the entire time, or not. I didn’t want to play it in the extremities. I wanted it to just be kind of that she was condescending most of the time and she was very passive-aggressive. I think all of that comes from a horrible place of insecurity and vulnerability.”

You will want to see how that plays out for her when “Prometheus” opens in theatres next week.

Scott directs a cast that includes Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green and CharlizeTheron.

“Prometheus” opens in AMC 3D, 2D and IMAX 3D theaters on June 8th purchase your tickets here.

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