NY Film Festival 2014: Rosamund Pike Talks Gone Girl

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British actress Rosamund Pike has taken the leap from Bond girl Miranda Frost in Die Another Day, to her more domesticated version of a freaky femme fatale in David Fincher’s peeved housewife noir, Gone Girl. Pike stopped by the NY Film Festival where Gone Girl premiered, to weigh in on assorted relevant topics. Including bizarre married life, toxic intimacy, and creepy boyfriends. And, well, taking a shower with Batman.

How did you go about wrapping your head around being part of such a bizarre married couple in Gone Girl, and what do you feel that says about marriage?

RP: Um, being a couple … Oh my goodness. Um, I mean we really dissect! We put our marriage under a microscope, don’t we.

And from the sort of really giddy early days. And then right through to the sort of, you know …

But it seems to me it’s about intimacy, really. And the wonderful things that can go with intimacy.

And the treachery that can come with intimacy! When you know someone so well, that you can just screw every sort of little knot! Ha!

And really, I think when we were on set, we would go from either the early romantic scenes where we were having a laugh and chatting, to barely speaking. And when we go into the more … toxic stages!

rosamund pike
Rosamund Pike, January 2011

What about that creepy boyfriend you meet up with again in the movie?

RP: He was … sweetly creepy!

The only normal living thing in this movie, seemed to be your cat.

RP: Ha! I do win him over in the end. With the creep!

How would you say your character expresses what women are all about, and could that wicked manipulation only come from a woman and not a man?

RP: She’s got a very fragile sense of self. And she’s got a very, very good idea about all the different selves she can try on.

Um, it was really fun! I mean, to be sort of every kind of woman that you can, you know. You can put her out there.

And know that she’s alluring, unpalatable, compelling, confounding. All those things.

And it was, you know, kind of for me, it wasn’t about liking or disliking her. It was kind of for me, not about do you like or dislike her.

It was, do you like her. And I was like, I don’t know. I understand her. And then like or dislike really doesn’t come into it.

But I really, I don’t think she could have been a man. The way her brain works, is really purely female.

And I don’t know, a lot of people haven’t liked me for saying that. But I think it’s true.

And a lot of the time, a strong woman in a film tends to have the qualities of a man. And she’s just being a female.

Or she’s using her sexual power to get what she wants. And Amy can do that, but it’s not her modus operandi.

You know, to use sex to get what she wants. It’s just one of her, you know, things that she can try on.

Um, but getting away with it? I don’t know. You know, it’s not her plan, is it. At the beginning. It changes.

As she sees what she’s created, and unleashed. You know, the whole way the media, the branch of the media we’re looking at, takes on the idea of this couple …

Aren’t you giving too much of the story away?

RP: I mean we’re trusting you, obviously! You know, not to … quote me! So that was … off the record! On the QT! Yeah …

But I think it’s pretty cool, what happens. At the end. And that it was beyond the original plan.

And it’s round two, it’s fair game. And then you see the two players playing each other.

It’s a rare thing to see such a scary woman in movies like the one you are. And with such emotional swings from happy to sad. So how did you handle that, if you had to shoot everything in order?

RP: No, we really didn’t shoot in order. We started, my first day was in the Ozarks. When Amy is on the run.

Um, and all that stuff, I have to tell you, became incredible fun. Because you know, obviously she’s playing different things to different people. And in a way, to the audience too.

But in the beginning it was grueling. It was terrifying to get your head wrapped, before you played the real Amy.

And to then play her, to play the persona she’s creating. You know, another persona she’s creating. And that was very daunting.

Um, so yeah. We did go back and forth a lot. And obviously it was dictated by my weight fluctuations that had to occur.

And I had to be sort of heavier – and slimmer – in all the different locations. And Ben too, becoming Batman before my eyes! And by the time we were in that shower, I was … with Batman!

What was it like being directed by David, with such an intense character?

RP: It’s not unbelievable pressure, otherwise you wouldn’t survive. You feel you’ve got the time.

And you feel you’ve got somebody who is really, really watching. And I remember wanting to, the first week, I was walking into Desi’s house.

And the camera was looking at me from behind. And David just said, you’re not impressed enough.

And I thought, that’s all in the back of my head. And yet you know, you see all that.

And then he taught me a tremendous amount about that. Because we got to do a lot of that sort of interstitial stuff.

That’s sort of the connective tissue of the film. Which is, a lot of it is silent. So I had to learn an awful lot about the character, in the silent mode.

And the other day I was in London, seeing the premiere of a film I did right before this. And I watched it just thinking, oh god. David would hate that!

David would absolutely whip that out of me! And you know, I think that comes with pretty much Fincher in your work, I think.

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.