Monday, April 4, 2011

An Interview with Olivia Wilde for Tron: Legacy

What training did you have to undertake for the role of Quorra in TRON: Legacy?
Quorra is the most physical role I’ve ever tackled in my career. I spent months training and transforming my body for the role. I took up cross training to get to the peak of physical fitness and then I learned all types of mixed martial arts, including Capoeira. We had an amazing stunt team that was really helpful in making us look great for the movie. In the end, I looked like a real warrior.

Did you enjoy the physical aspect of the role?
After all that training, it was great to feel strong and powerful. I’d never been so ripped, and I never will be again. I had huge muscles and I felt like I could really protect myself, which was cool. It wasn’t easy to build up that upper body strength, but I got there in the end. I had major guns!

How intensive was the training?
The training took months, but it was all worth it. A lot of effort goes into creating a movie like this, so you have to give your all in everything you do. For example, the fight sequence in The End Of Line Club flies by in the movie, but it actually took us four months of training to be able to accomplish. It was four months well spent.

Did you enjoy the combat choreography?
I grew up dancing. I was a ballerina for a long time, so I think that was really helpful when it came to learning the choreography on the set. To be honest, I had a blast with it all.

How would you describe Quorra’s costume in the movie?
Quorra’s suit was totally revolutionary. We were wearing electro-luminescent lights woven through layers of neoprene and loads of other amazing materials. Costumes like this had never been made before, so it was a complete honor to be able to wear the suit. It was so beautiful that it felt like I was wearing a sculpture.

How long did it take to get into Quorra’s costume?
In the very beginning, the prep time for wardrobe, hair and makeup was five or six hours every day. However, once we got the hang of it, we were jumping in and out of the suits in no time.

How did the extras react to the high-tech costumes?
I think the light suits blew everybody away. In fact, we would all get really excited every time the suits were switched on. The whole room would light up with people in these amazing costumes. You’d look around and think, ‘Oh my gosh… This is really amazing! It’s going to look awesome in the finished film.’ There was a unique glow to the room that couldn’t be achieved by CGI, so I was really glad they did not add the lights in post production.

Did you enjoy wearing the black wig for the role?
I loved the wig because it was an iconic look that I hope inspires people. I felt really lucky that [director] Joseph Kosinski was open to having a heroine in a movie not have flowing hair. When we first talked about the role, I said, “I think it would be really cool if Quorra had a Joan Of Arc vibe to her.” That’s something I researched a lot in the beginning and that’s how we came up with her androgynous look. It made Quorra more interesting.

In what way is Quorra similar to Joan Of Arc?
Quorra is an unlikely warrior, just like Joan Of Arc. She is both a child and a warrior – and she’s also very strong. She’s extremely compassionate and she’s completely selfless, but she also seems to be in touch with some higher power.

What about the physical similarities between Quorra and Joan Of Arc?
Quorra’s haircut is definitely inspired by Joan Of Arc. I also noted that Joan Of Arc wore a suit of white chain mail, so I said, “Quorra’s suit has got be white.” They didn’t think anybody would get that reference, but I knew it in my head, so it was really fun to have that as an inspiration.

What do you think of Quorra?
I love Quorra. I think she is a wonderful character and she’s been a joy to play. It would have been easy to make her a sci-fi vixen, a temptress of the TRON world, but I’m very happy that we made her a real character. She’s someone people can empathize with. I like that.

What was the rehearsal process like for the movie?
We spent a great deal of time talking about the script and working through scenes. The writers and producers welcomed everybody’s ideas, which was really nice. I really valued the extensive rehearsal process because I feel like I was there from the very conception. We tended to focus on the family story and the human story of the movie, and the rehearsals were really important because it’s where we all learned so much about our characters.

What do you think of the music of the movie?
Daft Punk’s music was an integral part of the shooting process. They were on set for a couple of scenes, but we’d always be playing their music if they weren’t around. If I needed to find the tone of a scene, I would listen to a Daft Punk track and I’d understand where I was in the movie. I found that really helpful and really inspiring. We were lucky to have them on board.

Do you remember the first time you walked onto the set of TRON: Legacy?
I’m so grateful that they took the trouble to build such huge, practical sets for TRON: Legacy because they informed me on how different this world was and how non-organic it was. The sets were beautiful. They allowed me to understand where my character was from, although there was certainly some green screen work involved during the filming process, too.

Did you enjoy the green screen work?
I found it a lot like theater because you have to imagine different worlds in your head. In that sense, it was really fun. However, I enjoyed working on the practical sets much more. The director of TRON: Legacy, Joe Kosinski, was an architect before he became a filmmaker so he had some wonderful input into the sets. The ‘safe house’ set really blew me away. It was very Kubrickian and beautiful. There would be an audible gasp whenever people walked onto that sound stage. Hopefully, all that hard work translates to the screen.

TRON: LEGACY is Available on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and Movie Download April 5th!


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