From filmmakers James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez, comes “Alita: Battle Angel,” an epic adventure of hope and empowerment.
When Alita awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido, a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo offers instead to help trigger her memories. But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city come after Alita that she discovers a clue to her past – she has unique fighting abilities that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she’s grown to love.
We caught with Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly to talk working with Christoph Waltz, female empowerment and her role as the complicated Chiren.
The Knockturnal: I saw Alita last night. Have you seen it?
Jennifer Connelly: I have seen it, yeah. I saw it about a week ago. I thought it was really, really impressive. I thought the 3D was extraordinary, I thought that the performance capture was … I had never seen anything like it before. So sophisticated.
The Knockturnal: What about Alita’s story attracted you to do this movie?
Jennifer Connelly: I thought that James Cameron has such an impressive body of work, and I thought it was exciting, the idea of his involvement in this project. Robert Rodriguez is a really interesting filmmaker. Christoph Waltz was in it, I love him, I’m a fan of him as an actor. Mahershala’s great. You know, there are so many interesting components, and at the core of it was this big movie with a teenage girl at the center of it who winds up changing the world. So I thought it had a lot … There were a lot of things I liked about it.
The Knockturnal: You mention Mahershala and Christoph, two fellow Academy award winners. Talk about working with them. Did you learn anything working with them, and vice versa?
Jennifer Connelly: Christoph is really funny. I found him to be very funny and charming, and he’s very clever. I really enjoyed spending time with him. He’s a lovely, lovely person, and I could say the same of Mahershala, so lovely, just nice, professional people, great actors, both of them. It was a really nice experience.
The Knockturnal: Your character, she’s very interesting. I go through a process of “Oh, do I like her, do I not like her?” Talk about what you identify with her.
Jennifer Connelly: I sympathize with her and I’ve met people like her. I don’t really identify with her, but I have compassion for her and what she’s going through. I think she’s someone who has experienced such grief — it’s kind of distorted who she is. So she’s quite villainous at the beginning of the movie, and that changes. She makes a different choice as she’s confronted by Alita.
The Knockturnal: The film has so much cool technology, anything that you saw that you would love to have today with you, from the film?
Jennifer Connelly: I definitely don’t want any of those cyborgs in my house. I don’t know, well, I mean, I had this debate with my husband about even one of those vacuum cleaners that move around on their own. I was very opposed, but I was like “Let’s see what happens. If one day we come home and the vacuum cleaner has locked us out and is sitting on the armchair … We’ll talk about it then, you know. I’m blaming it on you.