Olivia Wilde Reveals the Question TRON: LEGACY Will Pose to Viewers
Published: September 26, 2010 - 9:43pm
An in-depth interview with the TRON sequel star pinpoints the problem with Clu, the plight of man vs technology and the comparison and influence Joan of Arc has on her character, Quorra.
Olivia Wilde's popularity is growing steadily. A recurring role in House and appearances in popular films such as Alpha Dog and The Girl Next Door have many people wondering what this femme fatale has been up to lately. Beginning this Christmas with the release of TRON: LEGACY and followed by next summer's Cowboys & Aliens, it's a safe bet to peg Wilde as one of Hollywood's next starlets. During a recent interview with Collider.com, the 26 year old actress talks in-depth about her character Quorra in the Tron sequel:
What did she think about the original Tron?
I hadn’t seen it in its entirety until before my first meeting with Joe [Kosinski] and Sean [Bailey], yet it was a part of my cultural awareness, as it is for many people. You think of the references to it in television shows like Family Guy, Chuck and several different shows, going back a long time, and it’s almost like Star Wars, in that there are a lot of people who haven’t seen Star Wars, but they feel like they have because it’s such a part of our cultural fabric. When I watched it, I was really taken aback by how funny it was and how beautiful it was. It doesn’t hold up, in terms of the special effects being incredible. It’s weird and quirky, but that’s why it’s still interesting. It wasn’t trying to look like anything else. It came from Steven Lisberger’s head and it was such a laborious project. There were 900 people in Korea, painting film to create that effect. CG had never been used, ever. And, it was disqualified from the Academy Awards because they said that special effects meant that it wasn’t a real film.
Now, films like Avatar are nominated for Best Picture. It broke ground. The reason this one is happening now is because technology has just gotten to a point where this film can be as revolutionary as the first. If you had made this film 10 years ago, it would have fallen short because it couldn’t be as new, groundbreaking and beautiful. That’s why I think it’s the right time for it and that’s why I think people will enjoy it.
How did she enjoy the physicality of the role... in heels?
It was much more challenging. I enjoy the physicality because it was a tool with which to unlock who Quorra was. I was doing a tremendous amount of research on Joan of Arc and Buddhist warriors, and all sorts of things that informed who she was, but it wasn’t until I had physically transformed through the martial arts training and cross-training, and everything else we were doing, that I was like, “Oh, this is how she feels. This is how she walks.” She’s the kind of person who could protect herself, if she were jumped on a dark street. That’s not who I am. I’m not a physically powerful person. So, without that training and the physical element of the transformation, I wouldn’t have been able to capture who she really is. It was really challenging, but useful as another tool.
Has the footage she's seen exceeded her expectations?
I knew it would be visually stunning, and I knew Joe’s plans for it. I knew what they were planning on doing, but it’s even more stunning than I imagined. But, there’s certain elements I hadn’t taken into account when we were shooting, like the way they altered the voices. I think that’s really interesting. When Sam is on the Recognizer and you hear the Black Guard program speaking to the captured programs, their voices are warped. And, the Sirens’ voices are warped. That element of changing the sound to differentiate programs from users was really interesting, and that was something new for me. But, it’s even more beautiful than I had imagined. The texture of it is not complete yet, but every time I see a little section of it, they’ve painted in more and more, and it’s just becoming more and more intricate. I’m still just blown away by the Clu head. Clu, to me, is the most fascinating character in the movie.
What does Clu represent in regards to this film?
Clu is like the abused stepchild. He’s been created out of this beautiful program that Flynn designed, in order to be a partner to Flynn, but he’s not his real son. He’s an avatar, and he’ll only ever be that because there’s a limit to what programs can be, and that is what frustrates and enrages Clu. The philosophy of Tron, for me, really is summed up by the question of monkey versus robot, and that’s what a lot of these movies are about, like Terminator. Any sci-fi film of the last 20 years is really about monkey versus robot, but Tron is, in a way that none of the rest of them are.
The question of the first Tron movie was, “What would happen if technology overtook our lives and this new thing became more powerful than us?” That was the premise. Now, 30 years later, the film is not asking that question. It’s saying, “Technology has taken over and we are slaves to technology, so now what? Can we escape this? Can we recapture what it is to be human and appreciate that, and harness the technology we have created for good?” I think that’s what Kevin Flynn has dreamt of doing, but he became swallowed up by his own creation, and Clu is just a symptom of that. But, I don’t think it’s irreversible. I’m optimistic about what technology can do.
For the rest of this interview, including information about Wilde's next film (Jon Favreau's Cowboys & Aliens) visit Collider.com via the link below. TRON: LEGACY is scheduled to hit 3D and IMAX 3D theaters December 17th, 2010.