Lily Cole latest film “Orion” is the story of a post-apocalyptic fable set in a future dark age in Detroit. It was directed by award-winning director Asiel Norton. I caught up with Lily who stars alongside David Arquette in this challenging thriller. Read the interview and discover how Lily takes her filmmaking career and knowledge like the pro she truly is.
- “Orion” is a challenging film to watch , slightly auteur and art house filmmaking and one of those films that are more about the experience than about pleasing the audience. What made you say yes to such a project, what was it that made it for you and how was working with Asiel Norton, the director ?
AFTER BEING OFFERED THE ROLE, I WATCHED ASIEL NORTON’S FIRST FILM AND WAS IMPRESSED BY HIS VISUAL STYLE – THE IMPRESSIONISTIC IMAGERY REMINDED ME OF TARKOVSKY’S FILMMAKING
- This is a post-apocalyptic film set in a future dark age and when I was watching it, it looked as if this was also a difficult shoot for actors and crew, was it hard for you to be on this set ?Somehow i thought of ‘The Revenant’ and all the stories I’ve heard from the actors and director about the difficulty of that shooting.
WE WERE FILMING IN DETROIT IN THE WINTER IN OLD RUINS SO IT WAS COLD TO SAY THE LEAST. ONE OF THE SEQUENCES WAS SHOT ON THE ROOF OF A HALF DEMOLISHED BUILDING THROUGH THE NIGHT WHICH FELT COLD AND ALSO DANGEROUS! I FELT VERY BAD FOR THE CREW AND EXTRAS (ACTORS)… I AGREE WITH THE COMPARISON TO THE REVENANT, AS THE REVENANT REALLY REMINDED ME OF ORION WHEN I WATCHED IT… AND INTERESTINGLY TARKOVSKY HAS BEEN COMPARED TO BOTH THESE FILMMAKERS SO PERHAPS THEY SHARE THAT REFERENCE.
- Post-apocalyptic films by nature are challenging to me because they kind of try to show us what will happen if we human beings disappear. This film is also a filmmaking experience for the viewer more than a film to watch with your girlfriends on a Sunday night. Were you into this type of filmmaking before you decided to take on the role? Are you more Tarkovsky girl or would you be just as happy to act in a Nancy Myers type of film?
I LIKE DOING A MIX DEPENDING ON THE MATERIAL AND THE PEOPLE INVOLVED. I APPRECIATE DIRECTORS WHO PLAY WITH FILM AS A MEDIUM AND PUSH ITS BOUNDARIES, BUT SOMETIMES ITS FUN TO DO SOMETHING MORE LIGHT HEARTED THAT WILL ACTUALLY GET WATCHED BY MY COUSINS!
- What directors/films have been inspiring and influential to you , what was the movie or role that made you decide to take on an acting career ?Are you a trained actress or do you just go by gut and instinct ?
I STUDIED ACTING THROUGHOUT MY CHILDHOOD AND TRY AND WORK WITH A COACH ON EACH FILM SO THAT WORK HAS BECOME MY TRAINING. I ALSO RELY ON MY GUT, EXPLORATION AND INSTINCT. EARLY WORK BY WOODY ALLEN, STEVE MCQUEEN, WIM WENDERS AND JEAN-LUC GODARD GETS ME EXCITED ABOUT CINEMA.
- In this film you play a Virgin Mother who needs to be saved by Orion from being held prisoner by a powerful magician. Did your maternal instinct kicked in while preparing the role? Also there is an element of fragile beauty to your role in Orion, did you ever feel like “I want to be the one rescuing others not others rescuing me”?
YES IT ACTUALLY REALLY IRRITATED ME THAT MY CHARACTER WAS WAITING FOR A MAN TO RESCUE HER RATHER THAN JUST DOING IT HERSELF!! I GUESS THERE IS SOMETHING DEEPLY PATRIARCHAL ABOUT THE HISTORICAL MALE/FEMALE ARCHETYPES THAT THE FILM WAS EXPLORING.
- What has Orion given you as an actress, what did you learn from this film?
ORION GAVE ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLORE AN INTERESTING ASPECT OF MYSELF
- Films were to the 20th century what literature was to the 19th, how do you see filmmaking in the 21st century? Audiences have now every excuse possible to just watch a film from the comfort of their homes rather than going to the movie theatre, and with tv series raising their game in the last few years, are you optimistic about the future?
ITS A GOOD POINT AND QUESTION. I BELIEVE THAT ART HAD A SIMILAR EXISTENTIAL CRISIS IN THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY WITH THE RISE OF PHOTOGRAPHY, WHICH ARTISTS RESPONDED TO BY SHOWING WHAT ART UNIQUELY DID AS A MEDIUM (GIVING RISE TO ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM AND ALL THE MOVEMENTS THAT HAVE FOLLOWED). I THINK FILMMAKERS NEED TO SIMILARLY DEFEND WHY FILM IS UNIQUE AS A MEDIUM AND WHAT CINEMA CAN OFFER. THE ADVENT OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES, INCLUDING VIRTUAL REALITY, MAY HAVE AN INTERESTING ROLE TO PLAY IN THAT EVOLUTION.