WonderCon Interview: Lily Collins on PRIEST & Landing the Lead Role in SNOW WHITE
The Blind Side starlet, who only yesterday confirmed her casting in the upcoming live-action fantasy film based on The Brothers Grimm tale, was able to shed some light on her role in Paul Bettany's sci-fi comic adaptation.
Set 100 years from now after the war between Christians and Satanists, the film is about a Christian warrior priest (Paul Bettany) who disobeys church law by teaming with a young sheriff (Cam Gigandet) and a priestess (Maggie Q) to track down a cult of vampire outlaws that is led by a former Christian and now a Satanic priest, Black Hat, who kidnapped his niece before they brainwash her. Dubbed a superhero/horror/western, the film is loosely based on the comic book series of the same name. The film is being distributed by Screen Gems (Resident Evil franchise) and is scheduled for 3D release May 13th, 2011.
Is this your first foray into the action genre and what drew you to this role?
"It's such a departure from the only other film I've done, which is The Blind Side, and it was automatically appealing because the character Lucy goes... from being a damsel in distress because she's kidnapped to being in control of her destiny and being a fighter. So I liked the parallels of that kind of role.. and to be able to be a young girl who has this this empowerment about her."
If you were marketing this film and could only use a few sentences to draw audiences in, how would you describe it?
"It's an action-thriller based in a post-apocalyptic world... very Blade Runner-esque meets Mad Max. It's a world of muted tones with high energy... last night I saw the film in 3D for the first time and it was beautiful. You literally feel like you're in the city.. it's insane. I feel like it's the perfect way to bring the graphic novel to life."
What was your favorite experience on the set?
"There's this scene where I fly off the train. I'm in a tight corset for the whole movie but this time I had to have a harness under that so I was hardly able to breathe. And they flung me off.. I had to fall backwards off this train and 70 mile per hour winds were on me. I had to grab Paul [Bettany's] hand and literally I was screaming for dear life because it felt like I was being pulled away... and Paul's line is 'I'll never let you go' but the amount of times he'd let me go as a joke or because the winds were too strong I was screaming my head off. So I have fond memories of shooting that day but I was petrified; I'd never had to do something like that before."
How was it like working with Karl Urban?
"Oh, well he was my seducer/captor and he's so intense he would freak me out because he was so funny and then they would role camera and he would turn into this thing with his teeth in and [be] scary. He taught me a lot, you know, about immersing yourself into the role and just letting everything else disappear around you. He made it easy for me to be scared sometimes."
How do you feel about going from this to taking center stage in a film like Moral Instruments?
"I'm thrilled! Scott Stewart is directing it and Screen Gems is doing it. I'm a huge fan of the books, the fourth one is coming out in a day or two. I'm a fan just like all the other fans, so to be able to play this heroine that I love is an honor. It's crazy to think that [this] franchise is going to be based on a young girl.. but yesterday I found out I got cast as Snow White so that's going to happen first."
What can you tell us about that project?
"I can tell you that I read for it two days ago at three o'clock, met [the director] Tarsem that night and was cast yesterday. So.. I've read the script but it just happened so it's all new to me. It's a dream role, it's my favorite fairy tale growing up and I'm still shocked. I'm excited to meet the rest of the cast, because I haven't met anyone yet. It starts in June and I'm really excited for it."