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Old 02-11-2014, 02:21 AM
masterofmystery masterofmystery is offline
Post Emma Watson & Douglas Booth talk 'Noah', Aronofsky, 'The Queen of the Tearling'

Emma Watson and Douglas Booth's joint interview to promote Noah in the February/March issue of Wonderland magazine was released online, where the two - who first met as models for Burberry's fashion line in 2009 - discuss working on Darren Aronofsky's Biblical tale, and some of the challenges in the roles.

Emma also briefly commented on The Queen of the Tearling, the book series that will become a film saga, from Harry Potter producer David Heyman and Warner Bros. The first book from The Queen of the Tearling will be out this summer.

Wonderland: Emma, tell me about The Queen of the Tearling. When did you first read Erika Johansen’s novel?
David Heyman sent it to me last summer. I had kind of said I would never do a franchise again, so I was desperate to hate it. Unfortunately, I didn’t sleep for about a week because I couldn’t put the bloody thing down. It would be fair to say I became obsessed with the role and the book. Now I am executive producing it. Ha!

Wonderland: Tell me about filming in the ark – and for so long. You weren’t chilling in a west London green screen with freshly blended gingerbread lattes just off camera – the director built it and sent you all to Iceland. Kind of torturous, no?
Douglas Booth:
I think one of the obvious ones was the weather; we actually started filming in the summer in New York. It was so hot that Ray Winston [who plays Tubal-cain, Noah’s arch enemy] at one point, who wore a beard and heavy makeup up, nearly fell down a flight of stairs.
Emma Watson: His makeup was literally melting off his face. Then we decided to shoot the soaking wet scenes. We literally went through all the seasons.

Wonderland: Well, that’s weirdly atmospheric…
The whole film felt atmospheric and also being on location in Iceland felt like we were on another planet. We were very cut off and secluded and away from the world so it made everything more intense. We simply had to focus, as there was nothing else to distract us. I was impressed by the lack of green screen involved in Noah – we tried to make the film as real as possible.
Emma: Darren really hates special effects. He tried to do as much as he physically could without using green screen. The special effects guy was like a magician. If he could turn leaves from brown to green on camera without using CGI, he would.

Wonderland: How much in the way training did you have to do for it?
Because of the storm, Doug and I ended up shooting most of our scenes between the hours of 4am and 7am – and at that time I never function well. Because the film has a pro-environment message, Darren didn’t want anyone drinking from plastic water bottles on the set, either. So that made things slightly harder. Everything we used had to be recycled or recyclable. Having no water bottles on set at five in the morning – when you’re exhausted and delirious – wasn’t ideal. I was so tired one morning I picked up a mug from my trailer and drank some stagnant water that had been there for the duration – so three months. I was so ill. I came in the next day and was like, “Darren, I don’t think I can do this, I’m really sick.” He was like, “Use it for the scene.” And I turned around to the bus and was like, “Is he joking? He’s joking right?” and there was deadly silence.

Wonderland: You’ve been friends since 2009. How did it feel being cast together in such a high budget big screener?
Well you [Emma] probably had insider knowledge of casting because you’re friends with Darren.
Emma: No I really didn’t, I had nothing to do with it.

Wonderland: When you first met as models, did you talk about films that you had done, actors you mutually loved, or directors you wanted to work with in the future?
Oddly, we have the same favourite restaurant in London, and I remember asking him out for dinner and both of us dreaming about what kind of films we wanted to make down the line – not thinking we’d film together only three years later. Weirdly still, Doug bought me a first edition signed copy of the album Just Kids by Patti Smith. Patti ended up working with Doug and I and Darren in Noah – she wrote a lullaby, which is going to be used in the film. She was very present and around on the set, too.

Wonderland: Emma, tell me about your hair in the film. Are you wearing dreadlocks?
Dreadlocks. I essentially had a bob at the time. I had a chestnut brown bob, which was sort of the opposite of ideal in that situation. So she put in these hair extensions and we just couldn’t hide the fact that my hair was so short. She [her hairdresser] suggested matting it all together. I mean they didn’t have baths or showers or anything like that on set, so that worked out really well for everyone.

Wonderland: You and Aronofsky have been friends for years. Where and when did you meet? Did he help turn you into the staunch environmentalist you are now?
He was at the trailer premiere for Black Swan and I was at the BAFTAs accepting an award for Harry Potter, and so we were both backstage at the same time and that was that, really. But I was aware of his work, and that was definitely one of the things that drew me to the project and to the script. It’s cool to be working on a movie that tells a story that is thought-provoking in a realist way.

Wonderland: Darren has said that he wanted to tell a heavily embellished version of the biblical story – he is, after all, an irreligionist…
For me, I didn’t necessarily sign up to make an environmental movie, I just signed up to work with Darren Aronofsky. I’m such a huge fan.
Emma: Darren wrote the script with Ari Emanuel, his writing partner. They did a huge amount of research into various versions, scriptures, writings and different telling of the story – from King James’s Bible to other editions. The main problem is that, in the Bible, the story of Noah’s Ark covers about half a page. He made a three hour movie from three paragraphs’ worth of storytelling.

Douglas: But everything he did take from it was deadly accurate. The measurements for the ark were exactly the same as it was in the Bible – the exact shape and dimensions. Darren is one of the best filmmakers out there, and it was down to his bizarre imagination and creativity to bring a story like that to life.
Emma: To me Noah as a story is very much “doves and rainbows” – it’s a little cheesy in an hilarious kind of way. Mixing that with someone like Darren Aronofsky – who is the lord of darkness and angst – makes for a really interesting dialogue.

Wonderland: Aronofsky has made a point to not let on much about the film, its contents, or its narrative arc (no pun intended). I remember reading an article in The Guardian about it – the writer was clearly interpreting the plot from the film’s slightly opaque two-and-a-half minutes long trailer. Did he mention the importance of secrecy to you?
Let’s put it this way – we haven’t even seen this film. Darren talks a lot about his films being a bit like a ride – like a rollercoaster. He explained, in an interview I just did with him, that: “If people are going to pay a sum of money to come and see my movie, I want it to be an incredible, terrifying, overwhelming experience from beginning to end.” I think it’s much easier to do that when there’s a level of mystique or nervous energy about a film. I think Doug and I feel it’s important that we protect it.

Wonderland: What’s next in the ongoing Booth and Watson saga? Are you this generation’s Starsky and Hutch?
Richard III and Queen Anne would be cool…
Douglas: That would be different.
Emma: Maybe Bonnie and Clyde?

Wonderland: Amazing!
Myra Hindley and her husband, for sure. Didn’t she used to shower in people’s blood and stuff?
Emma: Wow, that sounds awesome. This is an official film pitch.
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