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  • Interview: Rose McIver of The Lovely Bones

    Mon, 11 Jan 2010 08:20:34

    Interview: Rose McIver of <I>The Lovely Bones</I> - <I>The Lovely Bones</I> star Rose McIver talks to ARTISTdirect.com editor and <I>Dolor</I> author Rick Florino in this exclusive interview about how darkly hypnotic the film is, "contained creepiness" and rocking out to Patti Smith…

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    The Lovely Bones is the most haunting, hypnotic and heartfelt film of the year.

    It's impossible to turn away from at points. Like Vladimir Nabokov did with Lolita, Peter Jackson takes extremely unsettling subject matter and crafts a distinct fairy tale all his own.

    Jackson follows the Salmon family as they cope with the brutal murder of oldest daughter Susie. In the aftermath, each character undergoes a transformation sparked by this heinous act, and the director illuminates a wide spectrum of emotional responses arising from the wake of Susie's death. The most intriguing response to the tragedy comes from Susie's younger sister Lindsey, played by Rose McIver. Lindsey begins to discover herself and, at the same time, she starts exploring her sister's death for answers—with even more clear head than her parents. Rose imbues Lindsey with a combination of sensitivity and pragmatism, making for an enigmatic emotional character that glues the family (and the film) together. A cavalcade of feelings and a foundation for the Salmons, she's simply fantastic…

    Rose sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino to talk about Lindsey's growth, how people grieve differently, "contained creepiness" on set and finding inspiration from Patti Smith in this exclusive interview.

    Do you feel like the movie is about self-discovery through tragedy?

    Yeah, actually, I do. Something I feel quite strongly about is—in lots of films—how death, loss and grace all go together. There's actually a much more diverse scope of what happens to somebody during a tragedy. The film is amazing in that explores everybody's different ways of grieving—the jealousy, the humor, the love and everything that falls in between.

    Each character realizes something about him or herself in the aftermath of Susie's death.

    Absolutely, it allows for that vigilance.

    In some ways, Lindsey is allowed to grow up after Susie dies.

    I think that's a really conscious decision that Lindsey makes. She doesn't want to be defined by her sister's death. She really chooses not to let that overcome her. Lindsey doesn't want to be identified as the dead girl's sister. So she really consciously works on herself. She focuses on sports and she's really determined to grow and change.

    It's terrible that it takes such a horrible event for her to become a woman though.

    Absolutely, but she's able to deal with it. Who knows what would've happened if her sister hadn't been killed…It's funny to think about the journey she might have taken otherwise. It certainly has compelled her.

    Was there something that resonated with you personally about Lindsey?

    Lindsey and I aren't actually hugely similar, but because I admire her so much, I understand her position. That really compelled me in the performance.

    There are so many unnerving moments in the film, especially because Stanley Tucci's so great at playing evil. Were you ever jarred on set by the subject matter?

    Stanley's a chameleon! We'd be laughing on set and having fun. It was very contained creepiness. Peter really worked to achieve a sense of that, and it was always controlled. It still was very unnerving at times though.

    Did you have any idea what the movie was going to look like while you were filming?

    I had no idea at all! I knew it was going to be something wonderful because it was Peter. But it was the first time that I saw the film that I really saw the vision. It's such an emotionally based world. It's not like the in-between is one distinct place, there's so much going on.

    Your performance has a real rhythm to it. Do you ever listen to music to get into character?

    I do listen to music to get into character. I don't know if there was anything in particular that I listened to for Lindsey. I tried to really listen to '70s music when we were shooting. I hadn't listen to that too much before, so I really immersed myself in films, music and images from that era. That really helped me create that teenage character. I really liked Patti Smith. Carolyn Dando who plays Ruth was also listening to Patti Smith a lot. Although I don't think it's something that Lindsey would've been a fan of, it's from that era, so I listened to. I don't think Lindsey's a hugely musical character, so she probably would've been more into pop and the top-20, so I listened to some of that. It's quite a contrast between that and Patti Smith [Laughs].

    Rick Florino

    Check out Rick Florino's new novel Dolor available now for FREE here

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