CS Interview: Olga Kurylenko on psychological thriller The Room
ComingSoon.net got the opportunity to chat with Olga Kurylenko (The Bay of Silence) to discuss her role in the psychological thriller The Room, which acquired by Shudder last summer and has now arrived on VOD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms! Click here to purchase your copy of the film!
When the film first started coming together in development and Kurylenko was sent the script for the project, she found herself thoroughly compelled by the material and that with how much she connected to the writing she really wanted to be a part of the film.
“It was the fact that it was original to me and unusual from what I had seen, it had an interesting twist and I like the psychological part of it and all the metaphors that are in the film,” Kurylenko described. “The film speaks about so many different subjects and mixes of things, there are a lot of metaphors for material abundance, for the dynamic in the family, the Oedipus complex, all of that stuff, it was all put together in a thriller and I couldn’t put it down when I was reading it.”
Though there is a heavy psychological aspect to her role in the film, the 40-year-old star found it to be much easier stepping into her character and bringing her to life, especially in comparison to her work on her breakout hits in the action genre, while also noting this isn’t her first dive into horror as she started in the genre with the Vincenzo Natali-helmed segment of Paris, je t’aime.
“For me, sometimes in action films I’ll say, ‘Oh the stunts will be the big challenge,’ but here it’s just acting and it’s all psychological, the challenge was the emotional side of it,” Kurylenko explained. “I started in the horror genre, my first movie was kind of like, not similar story wise, but it was a mystical, fairy tale French film. It’s true that maybe in English-speaking films I’m more of an action hero, but in Europe, I’m actually a romantic character [laughs]. This here is a big serious where I change from the object of romance and it was such a fun thing, because I thought it was such a completely different image and role than what I’m used to here. It’s true that in England there’s a lot of being a fighter or a strong woman who’s riding a bike and wins every battle. In France, there’s more of this, this film is a France and Belgium production and this is exactly the type of role that I get there, so I love it. I couldn’t do only action films because I need variety, I need to do something more which is why I act. I could’ve abandoned Europe, for example, and I could’ve just moved to Hollywood and only do Hollywood films, but I need dramas, I need comedies. I especially love comedies as a genre, I recently did Johnny English with Rowan Atkinson. The idea was to try more of a comic role, because I think I’m actually made more for this kind of role. Not that I can’t do physical stuff, but I eschew more for the drama or romantic rather than the usual. The thing with the action films is that they are fun to do, it’s just such fun while you’re on set, but they’re all totally different things. You can explore different parts of your personalities, whether you do an action film or a comedy or a thriller, you go to different places when you do that and I would like to not only have one of them in my life, I want to do all of them. Every genre I think gives me a different pleasure and satisfaction and fun, so it’s great and I’m grateful that I’m managing to do a little of everything.”
Though finally hitting digital platforms and physical home media for American audiences the film has been making its rounds on the European film festival circuit for nearly a year now and when news broke that Shudder had acquired the film for a North American release, Kurylenko recalled she “was so happy.”
“This is a huge platform and I think my biggest following is the United States, from what I understand,” Kurylenko laughed. “But also that’s because the US is such a huge country and of course immediately I was thinking that I wanted to do this film, I was always thinking that I hoped it could go further than just Europe. We did have a good thing on our side that it was made in the English language, which is why we made it in English and not French. It’s also happening outside of New York, so the idea was to make this movie international, so I’m thrilled that it’s coming out here. The only thing is, of course, that you can not go to the cinema and watch films on the big screen, but this is life and we’ll just have to embrace what it is and hopefully people can see this at home. What’s interesting about this film is that there’s sort of a connection, I think, that people might make because the couple are stuck and somewhat trapped in this house, which is something we’ve all felt right now because of the virus. All of these lockdowns, people have been in lockdown and they couldn’t really get out, so that’s what’s happening in this story and obviously the story inside the house is very different, not all of us have the magic room, although maybe people would prefer not to have it when you see what it leads to [laughs]. There’s some sort of connection happening with what’s going on in the world and I hope that it’ll appeal to the audience.”
The story of the film does have a number of connections to the real-world pandemic still affecting a number of countries around the globe, with Kurylenko herself being one of the earliest celebrities to announced they had tested positive for it, and in looking at the renewed timeliness of the story and current state of the world, the former Bond girl found it to be “terrifying.”
“I had it kid of early, it was in March, and I really thought that by the summer it would be gone and it would be better and that it would last for a couple of months, but now seeing there’s a second wave coming back and it’s continuing, I have a different view,” Kurylenko opined. “I had more hope back then and now I’m becoming more skeptical to be honest and this is the reality. For example, I felt kind of not worried about being out and about because I already had it and had antibodies and now all these months later, I’m thinking the antibodies have to wear off, so I now feel like I’m in danger again. I don’t feel as confident or comfortable months ago, because I did get tested and did have lots of antibodies, but according to the recent studies the antibodies wear off every day, so I don’t know if today I have them or they’re gone or what the story is. It’s definitely a serious thing and people can get it again and again and again and I’m super careful now, I wear gloves, I wear masks, I’m about to buy the shield for my face.”
In The Room, when Kate and Matt leave the city to move into an old house, they discover a secret hidden room that has the extraordinary power to materialize anything they wish for. Their new life becomes a true fairytale. Yet beneath this apparent state of bliss, something darker lurks: some wishes can have dire consequences.
The film stars Kurylenko (Oblivion, Quantum of Solace) and Kevin Janssens (Revenge, Undercover) and is the live-action feature debut of directorChristian Volckman, whose previously directed the 2006 animated sci-fi action film Renaissance, which featured the voices of Daniel Craig and Jonathan Pryce.
The Room is now available on digital platforms, Blu-ray, DVD and Shudder!