Vera Farmiga Interview For Duncan Jones ‘Source Code’
In Duncan Jones fantastic sci-fi thriller ‘Source Code’ Vera Farmiga stars as Colleen Goodwin, the main ‘real-time’ contact and “Source Code” coach for decorated soldier Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal), who wakes up in the body of an unknown man, discovering he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. In an assignment unlike any he’s ever known, he learns he’s part of a government experiment called the “Source Code,” a program that enables him to cross over into another man’s identity in the last 8 minutes of his life. With a second, much larger target threatening to kill millions in downtown Chicago, Colter re-lives the incident over and over again, gathering clues each time, until he can solve the mystery of who is behind the bombs and prevent the next attack. ‘Source Code’ comes to cinemas April 1st, 2011.
First off, how did you get involved with the film?
Vera Farmiga: I received the script and a request to speak with Duncan Jones, that Duncan would like to have a word if I needed more persuading. I hadn’t seen ’Moon’ at this point, the script came with a DVD copy of it. To be honest just knowing Sam Rockwell was going to be in that film was enough for me to watch it. But I genuinely loved it, I saw it seven more times (laughs). I then pedalled it to everyone I knew. I thought this guy is special, he’s a visionary, he’s got a bold vision and new ideas. I loved the puzzle ’Moon’ was, I reacted to the same puzzling quality ’Source Code’ has.
Were you thinking about the limitations your character has? She doesn’t get to move around much.
Vera Farmiga: Candidly yes (laughs), I was really excited to work with Duncan but I was scared the part would be…I saw the limitations, it was apparent in the script. But I wanted to be a piece of this puzzle so badly I just saw it as a challenge. I genuinely had to like her before I could have an audience connect with her. To me the key to unlocking that was not so much what’s written on the script, but more what’s in-between the lines. Not so much what she says to Jake’s character, more what she’s not saying, the secrets she’s keeping, what’s difficult for her to say, what she doesn’t quite know how to say. That’s where the character came to life for me.
Did you have to create a back story for her? Obviously there’s so many layers in what your character’s not saying.
Vera Farmiga: Yeah, you don’t have to write novels about it, but you make up enough for the audience to know this is a women who’s married to her work, who spends a lot of time in the office, and as a result of that someone who probably doesn’t have much of a social life. This kind of becomes that for her. Someone who’s used to operating in a certain capacity, then who starts opening up.
How was it working with Jeffrey Wright? He’s the one you’re interacting with face to face.
Vera Farmiga: In the flesh (laughs). Even he would just hobble in from time to time, mutter something eccentrically then just hobble off. I’m a fan, big fan of his so it’s always a treat to watch someone who you admire work and observe them. It’s Jeffrey Wright (laughs), he’s a fascinating actor. He always makes the most interesting choices, unexpected choices, I dig it, he’s inspiring.
Now that you’re directing yourself now (Higher Ground), do you observe them more, do you emphasize with them more?
Vera Farmiga: I’ve always been pretty director friendly (laughs), by nature director friendly, and production friendly. I’m pretty accommodating. I’ve been privileged to work with REALLY great directors, hopefully they’ve rubbed off on me. I’ve been inspired by them in different ways. It took me by surprise, directing. I was attached to the script, and developed it, the more I developed it the more my personality and sensibility became a part of it, I just wanted to defend its tone because it’s tricky subject matter. It’s so rare for a film to be actually made these days so when financing comes you seize the day. It was snowball effect, even before I could realize.
I think if anything, in hindsight, now I’m more considerate of the editor, in terms of continuity and how important that is. The fact that your performance will be better if you consider that. Maybe that way I changed. More of an awareness.
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