*It is truly encouraging to know that one of best films to open this year was “Broken City,” written by black writer Brian Tucker and now the engrossing, disturbing thriller “Stoker” was penned by Ted Foulke. Foulke is the pseudonym for Wentworth Miller, whom we all know from the TV series “Prison Break” and the film “The Human Stain.”
Because he believed no one would take an actor’s first screenplay seriously, Miller told his agent to submit the story under a pseudonym. The script eventually ended up on the 2010 Black List, the prestigious unofficial list of the best unproduced films available.
The Film Strip sat down recently to talk to “Stoker’s” two leads. Matthew Goode plays the shady, sinister uncle Charlie. Kicking off the interview, he was asked if it made him feel uneasy to be cast in a role symbolic of a demented charmer. Laughing, he says, “Typecast again!” On a more serious note, he continued with, “In some ways you can’t help but go, ‘I think I’m doing something right.’ I was lucky…It wasn’t offered by any stretch of the imagination, it was a process. It was a really great script. It comes down to the director’s taste I suppose and luckily on this occasion, he went with me.”
The duet between you and India was very impressive. What was that like?
MATTHEW GOODE: I hadn’t played the piano for twenty odd years so coming back into the fold of piano playing with a Phillip Glass piece was sort of unbelievably daunting because it’s so arpeggio. Luckily, I don’t have a bad sized hand so it wasn’t like I had to leap. It was hard work but it was really great working with Mia (Wasikowska). We learned about three quarters of it because it was so hard–too much going on with both hands. But we were able to fake some of that so he was always given the opportunity to shoot the whole thing from whichever angle.
How did you read Charlie? How did he see his relationship with India as daughter, lover, protégée?
It’s all about what director Park Chan-Wook called ‘bad blood’ and how in the family there is this bad blood line who do these acts. Charlie I thought, and my whole thing with him is he’s isolated. He’s lonely. It’s not a vampire film but there are things about it that are similar and the idea of it. He is trapped in the past for me and never really grew up. He must have heard his niece is like him. That for him is very powerful and he thinks—‘Someone like me, finally I’m not alone in the world.’ We didn’t seek to answer every question because an audience is intelligent and I think it gets very boring when this is concrete and with each kinds of emotions and these complex psychologies. It never got to the length of being a sexual relationship but you see no doubt there is a strong connection between sex and violence.
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