Double Feature: Olivia Wilde and Beau Garrett

Olivia Wilde stars in the Sci Fi Blockbuster Tron Legacy as Quorra, a mysterious warrior who aids Sam Flynn in The Grid. Thanks to Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Singapore, we managed to find out more about Olivia’s training for the role and how she felt about being on someone’s hard drive.

Q : Do actors of your generation think about keeping versions of yourself on a hard drive?

OLIVIA WILDE : I don’t think I could escape that images of myself will be kept on a hard drive now.  I think that it’s inevitable.  It’s you know, there’s permanence to everything you do now, uh, whether you like it or not.

And so it can be utilized in the future, hopefully for good reason.  But it isn’t it just a concept and you know we’re still cresting that way.  Its still completely new and I think, you know, there’s only a few actors in this business who have gone through the process that Jeff went through.

I think he and Brad Pitt can really discuss the benefits or the challenges of working with a head rig like that face replacement. Um, so it’s really exciting for all of us to be a part of that new technology and be able to share that experience and be part of something so revolutionary.

Q : And how did you come up with your look?

OLIVIA WILDE : The look was a true collaboration, to create Quorra.  And when we originally started putting together ideas for it was really kind of up for grabs because Quorra, of course was not in the original film.  And Joe Kaczynski was very interested in making her a unique and unusual femme– not even femme fatale, a female heroine, if this type of film that was unlike any other.

And so we worked very hard to make her very intelligent and powerful but at the same time childlike and nuanced so that she would, not just be there as a kind of foil for the men, not just the eye candy.

I remember calling or emailing Joe at 3 AM six months before we started shooting anything saying I think I figured it out.  I was looking at ancient Korean Buddhist warriors and I think that Quorra’s one of them.  And they fight with swords so Quorra needs a sword.  And the next day, great Quorra has a sword.

So that’s part of the reason I feel so proud of the finished product of Quorra is because so much hard work went into it, so much collaboration, so much love and I feel very proud of the way she’s come out.

I want girls to feel inspired by her strength and her wit and her intelligence and her compassion. I think that it’s rare these days to have a female character in these types of movies that isn’t just there to look really sexy in a suit.

Q : How do you like being turned into merchandise?  This is your first experience with that?

OLIVIA WILDE : It’s a funny out of body experience to see some miniature version of yourself on the shelf. But you know I again I feel so proud to have created this character so whenever I see a little Quorra or I see a Quorra costume I just feel that this was something that we created together and it’s just a very different experience when you feel like you designed the character.

And every part of her look and being is something that comes from the research that went into creating her personality and her history.  And so I’ve enjoyed the experience so far.

Q : Tell us about your physical training for the role of Quorra.

OLIVIA WILDE : It  was challenging.  I was shooting House while I was training for Tron so I would you know wake up way earlier than anyone should ever wake up and go and do a few hours of training a day, uh, included crosstraining, cardio training, martial arts training,

A lot of what Quorra does in the movie is mixed martial arts.  And so that was something that I worked very hard on.  We had an incredible stunt team called 8711 and I really appreciated that they gave me the confidence to do a lot of my own stunts.  But they said you’re going to have to train for it and I was completely open to that.

I completely physically transformed my body.  I have never looked like that before and I will never look like that again. It was important in creating Quorra to transfer myself physically because once I understood what it was like to be able to fight and to have those kind of muscles and to have that strength, it changed the way I walked.  It changed the way I stood.

And I suddenly understood what it felt like to be, uh, able to protect myself, which I had never really felt before.  So it was the first time I really realized how important that physical training is to creating the character beyond just the aesthetic.

Q : Did you stop training after?

OLIVIA WILDE : Yes, oh, it was such a relief.  I couldn’t wait.  The entire time we were shooting Tron I was planning my meal of the wrap day.  I was like oh, well, you know, I’m married to an Italian so it was all about the pasta and wine.

I couldn’t wait.  I would just dream of my giant plate of pasta while we were on set.  But, no, it was, uh, it was you know on these big films you’re so lucky to have you know the best trainers in the world teaching you how to fight and everyone in their department is the best of the best.

Q : The costume is so sculpted to you.  Does that pose problems while you’re training and your body is changing?

OLIVIA WILDE : Well the thing about these costumes is they don’t stretch.  So it was certainly, once we had our last fitting it was like okay this is the size of the costume now.  So just so you know it can’t change.  And so there was a certain dedication to the suit, a relationship we had to have with our suits, uh, good and bad.

Interview courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Singapore

POPCulture Online Jan 2011 All Rights Reserved

BEAU GARRETT was recently cast in the CBS spin-off “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior,” opposite Forrest Whitaker. She will portray Gina LaSalle, a tough girl from the streets who is extremely loyal to her fellow team members.

Garrett’s film credits include “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” “Made of Honor,” “Ivory Trade,” “Unearthed,” “Live!” and “Turistas.”

In Tron Legacy, Beau Garrett plays Gem, one of four programs known as Sirens. The Sirens operate the Grid Game armory, equipping combatants with the armor needed to compete in the games and she tells us more about how she got into the role.

Q:  You play someone very far from the girl sitting in that chair. Who do you play, and what can you tell me about her?

BEAU GARRETT :  I have to gauge myself. I don’t want to give anything away. I play Gem, who’s a Siren, a program, in the world of “TRON: Legacy,” and she’s pretty void of emotion. I’m a program, so it’s somewhat robotic in many ways but also, not. She’s very different from me, obviously, in both personality and physicality.

Q:  And you worked with a choreographer on this.

BEAU GARRETT :  Yes, but way beyond even the choreographer. I mean, we did work with one, just to gauge movements, but once you’re in the suit, it kind of does it for itself. You get in it, and your entire body changes—the way you walk, the way you carry yourself. You can’t physically walk any other way. So once you get into it, you are immediately transformed.

it was quite a process. It was hours and hours of hair and makeup, and an incredible team of costumers who really knew what they were doing. It was four hands on me just to put the suit on. So, around three hours.

Q:  What went through your head when you first saw how Gem would look? Did you see a rendering? Did they show you pieces?

BEAU GARRETT :  I went to the audition, and it was one of those where you don’t really have a script, you have what could be sides [bits of dialogue], but they really don’t relate. You don’t really know what you’re getting into. And, so when I first read for it, they wanted me to come back and meet Joe. And I walked into his room and there was “TRON” everywhere. You stepped into the world as soon as you stepped into his office.

He showed me what his idea was for this character, and I thought, “I will do anything to be a part of that,” because it was so not me. You really have to play a character, something that’s not even human. It was strange and beautiful and so streamlined—his vision was so clear. And I totally understood it, and I thought, “This would be such a fun thing to be a part of.” I didn’t even think about how it would be possible to play that character. I just wanted to be a part of it.

Q:  You were lucky in that a lot of what Jeff, Garrett and Olivia got to do was work with a lot of blue and green screen. You walked onto this amazing, actual set. How did that work into your finding Gem?

BEAU GARRETT :  Well, I had to first figure out how to walk! That was huge, because you couldn’t see much, and it was so lit from everywhere. You couldn’t see when you stepped down.

It was so bright, and the suit was a challenge to walk in. But when I would walk on the set, I was immediately in it, in that world, and I’d think, “Of course this is how it looks. It wouldn’t be any other way.” It was such a cool feeling on the set, where they basically built this tiny city. Everything wasn’t green, it was real. You were actually there. And it really did help to make it feel like we existed in it.

Q:  There were no Sirens in the original TRON. What is your memory of that?

BEAU GARRETT :  Well, in all honesty, I never saw “TRON.” And I chose—I know, I feel like everyone’s going to  hate me for this—I chose not to view it. I wanted to wait to see it after our film is out. I also didn’t come from a family of film buffs. They were kind of hippie, so they didn’t really watch TV. So when this role came about, I made a choice to wait to see it. I want to compare the two films at that point, when “Legacy” comes out.

Interview courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Singapore

POPCulture Online Jan 2011 All Rights Reserved

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