Rachel Nichols Interview For ‘Conan The Barbarian’
After his father is murdered and village destroyed, Conan (Jason Momoa) ventures into an unforgiving world where he survives as a thief, pirate, and warrior. On his path of wanton adventure and women, Conan chances upon the warlord responsible for his tribe’s destruction. As he tracks Khalar Zym, Conan battles monsters, Zym’s henchmen, and Marique, a powerful witch.
Adapted from the original works of Robert E. Howard and faithful to the mythology and psychology of his iconic character, ‘Conan The Barbarian’ stars Jason Momoa, Rachel Nichols, Stephen Lang, Rose McGowan, Saïd Taghmaoui and Ron Perlman. The film is directed by Marcus Nispel, and written by Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer and Sean Hood. Expect kick-ass fantastical shenanigans in abundance when ‘Conan The Barbarian’ is released in cinemas August 24th in the UK, and August 19th in the US.
For you, how does this movie reinvent or reinvigorate the franchise?
Rachel Nichols: You know, I think whenever you sort of run into retelling, there are many Conan stories, first of all, so I think when you do a retelling of the story, or reinvigorating of it, you need to maintain a certain integrity when it comes to the old version of the franchise. You have to update it and make it modern, you have to make it flashy and new for people – especially with the 3D and the action. It’s still the battle of good versus evil, it’s still a great story of revenge, and love, and friendship. But there’s the added level of modern-day technology, which I think they did a really good job of blending the two.
You’ve said Tamara’s not the victim. What role does she play in the story?
Rachel Nichols: Tamara is…she’s got a interesting path through the movie. There’s a big change for her. We find her and she’s in this monastery, we really have no idea who she is until it becomes very apparent that people are after her for a very specific reason, and it’s a reason that she’s not aware of herself. So there’s not only this coming of age story, but it’s realizing who you actually are on a very broad scale. And yeah, initially Conan takes me. I’m being taken away and protected from Khalar Zym and I’m sort of being taken away in a carriage. And Conan immediately realized, ‘Oh, she’s valuable, and the man that I’m looking for is looking for her, so if I have her, this works out really well for me.’ Then, obviously I’m a victim for a little while until the two of us decide to sort of join forces and then the change in their relationship is really nice because you see us being friends, and then it’s a very sweet ending, he gets me where I need to go and I get him where he needs to go.
Is this the character Sandahl Bergman played in the 1982 film or is this a new character?
Rachel Nichols: I have no idea you know, I didn’t see the original film. I won’t watch a movie before I go and participate in it. Like when I was in Star Trek, I didn’t go back and witness any green girls (laughs). I just feel that I try to separate myself from that. I rely on the script and the setting to supply the rest of it.
Jason Mamoa studied cats, what did you look at for your role?
Rachel Nichols: It was very interesting for me on a couple of levels, because I’m known for doing a lot of action, between Alias and between G.I. Joe, and there’s a lot of action in this movie, but it’s a different kind of action. I’d never ridden a horse before in my life before I got to Bulgaria, except for once maybe while it was being led by someone on a tether. I do all of the stunts in the movie except one, including driving a carriage with four horses going full speed which, believe me, does wonders for your arm muscles (laughs). But it was more physical for me, I had to learn swordplay, and we did a lot of training, and I spent a lot of time with the horses. It was physical in a different way, so I was more prepared on the physical end.
Jason and I worked together and we were fortunate enough to get on really well, we spent time rehearsing, which I think was really important for us as well. We had enough time to do it so that when we got to the day’s shooting, we knew where we wanted to go in each scene, which was nice.
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