I really lucked out with this one. I asked for a 1:1 with Lily Collins for Priest just because I thought the pretty girl from the action movie would be cool. The day before the interview, she gets the part of Snow White in Tarsem Singh’s next movie.
Lucy (Collins) is the target of Priest’s (Paul Bettany) quest in the movie. She’s kidnapped and he goes back on duty to find her. In the footage screened for WonderCon, she hangs from a speeding train.
Q: What an exciting day you must’ve had yesterday, seeing the Priest footage and landing the Snow White role.
Lily Collins: Yeah, first time in 3D, saw it yesterday, that was shocking. Put those glasses on and I thought that was incredible. I didn’t know what the 3D was going to turn into and it was just so amazing and exciting. Yes, and then found out that I was cast as Snow White so it’s quite the big day.
Q: And it was April 1st, but it’s all true, right?
LC: I know, actually that’s the first thing I said when my team called me and told me. I said, “If this is an April Fools joke, I don’t know what I’ll start to do.” Because I was so excited. I had literally read the day before and met the director the day before and then was cast yesterday, so it was less that 24 hours.
Q: What cool stuff do you get to do in Priest?
LC: I have knife fights, I set people on fire, I get thrown off a train and I’m flying through the air, grabbing ont Paul, being whipped by the air. I’m seduced, locked in a cage, starved. I’m kidnapped. I was dirty the entire time and it was really fun.
Q: That’s a lot. Is this a six hour movie?
LC: No, I know, exactly. The cool thing about it is it cuts so quickly and it’s so fast paced, you have a second to breathe but it’s constant action. Yet the story is told in a way that you still fully understand and you can immerse yourself in it. Scott’s vision with the visual effects of it all and creating this alternate post-apocalyptic world is so fantastic that when you see it in 3D you really do feel like you’re there and part of the story.
Q: Who seduces you? Is that vampire Stockholm syndrome?
LC: Karl Urban plays a human vampire which is a new breed of vampire because the other ones are more horrific creatures that were all CG and created by Scott. He wants to turn me and in order to do so it’s kind of that seducing character, tries to seduce me through food and tries to lure me to the other side.
Q: The train sequence looks amazing. How long were you working on that?
LC: I’m on the train pretty much the entire film. When I’m kidnapped I’m put onto the train.
Q: I guess when the motorcycles start chasing the train is what we saw.
LC: Oh, that, yes. That took weeks because the exterior shots and the interior shots were completely different places. The motorcycle training, obviously they had tons of stunts, tons of training, days where you had a certain amount of light time and then all of a sudden the sun was going down so you had to push to the next day, but it was a crazy process and it was all amazing. Crazy journey.
Q: What is the secret to a good movie scream?
LC: I don’t know. They said, “Scream” and that’s what came out. It was my first day of filming. They put me down in this wet dungeon and they just said, “All right, now you’re reacting to stuff going on upstairs.” I just was listening to sounds and they said, “And scream.” That’s what came out. The next day my voice was gone but I only had to do it twice.
Q: How do you plan to make Snow White a modern girl?
LC: I think with Tarsem his vision is so incredible and his imagery from The Fall and then Immortals coming out. We’re not modernizing it. It’s still going to be period but I think it’s more of the action comedy, maybe like The Princess Bride, Enchanted, trying to relate to all generations while maintaining the core values of the story, making people laugh at the same time. It’s not so much making it edgy or making it anything different because I think the fairy tale speaks for itself. It’s just taking the Tarsem twist on it.
Q: I meant modern girl in spirit, for today’s audiences.
LC: Oh, right. I think bringing her spirit and her spunk to life, she changes in this story. She’s very feminine but she also then goes to be with the dwarves and then she has to come back and fight, so she’s got kind of two personalities. She’s the girly princess but at the same time, she’s got this kick butt side. I think she shows a lot of different qualities that young girls have today with the confidence and the excitement. It’ll be really fun. It’s all new for me.
Q: There are other Snow Whites being made too, but yours is going to be the best, right?
LC: [Laughs] Kristen Stewart is the other Snow White and I really admire her as an actress. She’s so fun and so sweet and we’re both very different. We’ve both very, very different and I think we’re going to have two totally different takes on it. So it’ll be interesting to see what happens but I’m very excited to be involved with mine with Julia Roberts and Armie Hammer and Tarsem. I’m still completely amazed.