We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with “Game of Thrones” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” star Natalie Dormer to discuss her new supernatural horror film “The Forest,” which hits theaters on January 8.
The Forest focuses on a young woman named Sara Price who is searching for her twin sister in the Aokigahara forest. It also doesn’t help that the forest (located at Mount Fuji’s northwest base in Japan) is where people go to commit suicide. Ignoring prior warnings, Sara still braves the forest, while battling her inner demons and the pissed off souls of the dead. The film stars Natalie Dormer and Taylor Kinney and is directed by Jason Zada. It is written by Ben Ketai, Nick Antosca, and Sarah Cornwell.
Check out our interview with Natalie below:
In The Forest, you are on the journey of your life. If you were on a real forest adventure, what would you take with you?
Natalie: Well a cell phone is useless isn’t it apparently in the forest. I don’t know. Like some decent hiking gear. Sara walks into the forest in this movie without decent clothes on really.
I noticed that, too. Was the forest cold?
Natalie: It was cold! Yeah because you’re up on an altitude, you’re up on a mountain. Well that’s where we shot up in Serbia in the mountains and the real Aokigahara forest under Mount Fuji can get a bit cold. There’s all this wind that gets trapped in the ice caves underneath so especially in the ice caves, it’s freezing. There’s a real ice cave that you can go into at the real Aokigahara forest and it’s literally freezing (laughs).
In the film you play twins. There’s a couple of sequences where your talking to yourself. How was that?
Was it weird? (laughs)
Natalie: It is weird. It’s a life tick box as an actor to play a scene with yourself. It’s a surreal experience. It’s not very easy.
How did you help differentiate between the two sisters?
Natalie: I mean the look of them is very different. I tried to give them slightly different voices — different cadences in the their voice. They definitely have a different attitude. Jess is kind of aggressive maybe is the word whereas Sara is very repressed. Sara is very sterile, very control freak, very everything is going to be ok. It was fun giving them different characteristics.
If you had to pick a sister to have in real life, would you pick Sara or Jess?
Natalie: Uhhh Jess I think. I mean you know they’re both wild personalities in different ways.
Natalie: Yeah I mean it’s interesting when you play [both], they’re at either end of the spectrum, you’d be looking for my real sister someone whose a little bit saner than both of them. They’re both basically crazy. You need someone whose a little bit more in the middle of the spectrum.
What originally attracted you to the project when you first read the script?
Natalie: Well like I just said I think I could imagine — I have a sister and within the first ten pages I thought yeah I could see myself traveling half way across the world if I thought she was in trouble or if I thought she was in pain. I think that’s something all audience members can identify with. Someone that they love needing them and then that makes you ignore all reason when people are telling you don’t go in the forest, don’t stay after dark, don’t do all those things and you do it for that person that you love, but also Sara is carrying so much guilt and some psychological demons. To me this is like a smart person’s horror movie. It’s got more a suspense thriller element to it. It’s so much more about what the scariness of what up here (in your head) really does as opposed to the freights, but it’s got the freights as well.
It does have some good freights.
Natalie: It has some good freights, did you jump at all?
I did, it’s like every time you’re in a tent, it’s bad news!
Natalie: (laughs) Basically don’t ever get into a yellow tent.
Lastly, you’re on a role with playing badass female characters and heroines. Why is it important that you pick these character and that little girls see that.
Natalie: I think it’s important for young girls to see strong women, but not just strong women. You wanna see women who are in trouble, but are pushing to get through that trouble, that struggle. It’s not interesting to watch someone who’s almost superhuman that doesn’t feel fear or worry or anxiety. What’s interesting is when you play a character that is scared, that is worried, that is anxious and they find their way through it. Try to get through it. That’s what good drama is.
Very cool. Congratulations!
Natalie: Lovely! Nice to see you.