WHOGOTTHEROLE.com recently had the chance to sit down with upcoming starlet Olivia Thirlby, who most recently co-starred in the sci-fi action flick Dredd 3D opposite Karl Urban. Needless to say, we took full advantage to chat with the actress about her upcoming , albeit slightly different film, Nobody Walks.
Olivia Thirlby is cast alongside The Office’s funnyman John Krasinski as well as Dylan McDermott and Rosmarie DeWitt in the new drama, which was helmed by director Ry Russo-Young. Russo-Young co-wrote the film with Lena Dunham, known for the television series Girls and a few supporting roles, including the upcoming comedy-drama This Is 40.
Nobody Walks, however, follows a family as they take in a young artist, Martine (played by Thirlby) into their home. Martine’s extremely sexual lifestyle becomes more than problematic for all parties involved.
Thirlby offered plenty of insight about the upcoming film – which can be viewed at Amazon.com already, but hits theatres October 19th – mostly in regards to her character Martine, but also about Libras, partying with your parents, and identifying with her inner innocent rookie in Dredd 3D.
WGTR: What drew you to this project? How did you get involved?
OT: I knew Lena and Ry before reading the script, and I been hearing about this project that they been working on. Then when I read it, I was just blown away. I thought that the ensemble nature of this drama was really fascinating. I thought all the characters were really dimensional and well developed. I appreciate a film that doesn’t tell you how to feel. I like how this film is kind of like a window to show the dynamic between people that exist between people – between all of us – are actually too subtle to even talk about sometimes.
WGTR: Do you think the characters were acting way more instinctively then you would normally expect people in a film to act, drawing that correlation between human behavior and animal?
OT: I think that defiantly sexual energy and sexual expression is a big theme of this film. You watch it and there is something sensual about it. I think that sexual impulses are hard to control. It’s part of being human and this film is people not controlling their sexual impulses. [Laughs]
WGTR: The film is brave enough that it kind of puts it out there that “no” means “maybe” or probably “yes” as opposed to the typical “no” means “no”. What’s with that?
OT: I think that that just has to do with Martine. I think that Martine is very comfortable with sex. It’s not a compartmentalized part of who she is. It’s everything she is and does.
WGTR: Do you consider Martine the bad guy?
OT: Certainly not. She definitely makes a big mistake, but I think her mistake is born from naivety and lack of experience rather from any kind of malicious guile. She’s comfortable with sex – and the notion of having sex with her friends. I think that’s a modern reality that a lot of people have sex with their friends and they’re still friends. Peter, John Krasinski’s character, definitely makes the most questionable decisions of the film, because he takes something his wife says, which is, “Don’t embarrass me,” and he takes a lot of liberty with that statement. He can’t control his lust and give himself permission to have an affair. That’s a little bit worse than what Martine does.
WGTR: So you think Peter’s the bad guy because he should have known better?
OT: No, I don’t think that either. I think one of the strengths of this film is that it doesn’t present any clear-cut notions about who did the right thing and who did the wrong thing.
WGTR: Is she, in a way, a victim of being the object of everyone’s sexual desire? Every character in the movie has some sexual attraction to her.
OT: I think she is a stronger character than that. I don’t think that she understands what that means or what it does, like she hasn’t developed the strength to use her power for good so it still gets out of control and taints things.
WGTR: And how is that, for you, to play a character that has that kind of power but doesn’t know where to put it?
OT: I think it’s something that I can identify with. Sometimes in my life I feel like a sorceress who can’t control her powers. I’m a Libra so you know Libra women are pretty magical.
WGTR: Can you give me a few examples of that?
OT: No, I meant that in a kind of metaphorical way. [Laughs] I think that it’s something maybe a lot of women can identify with, because we get very mixed messages from society about our sexuality and whether we should or shouldn’t use it. We are told that we should be ashamed of our sexual power and to use it we should be ashamed of that, but we’re also told that in order for people to like us, we have to be hot and sexual.
WGTR: Anything in your personal life that you could draw on for the character?
OT: I identify with being 22 and emerging from a situation and saying, “Oh boy, I really could have handled that better.” That’s what happens with Martine.
Q: Are you a fan of Girls? Do you watch it?
OT: I’m a huge fan of all things Lena Dunham. I think she is a genius and I could just listen to her talk forever.
WGTR: Any chance of a role on the show? Would you be interested if they offered?
OT: Absolutely. Initially, I was supposed to be on Girls, but things did not work out timing wise.
WGTR: In Dredd 3D, you were more of the innocent rookie. For that role, is there anything that you can identify with more?
OT: There is so much I identify with my Dredd character. She’s my favorite character I think I have ever played. She is the most dynamic and fascinating woman that I can even imagine playing, so I love her. Her sensitivity is her greatest strength, so the thing that makes her unworthy – on paper – is the thing that distinguishes her and makes her extraordinary in real life.
WGTR: Another message in the film is that LA is clearly the place to be to party with your parents. Do you agree with that or would say there is another city out there that’s better?
OT: I think it’s a great idea to party with your parents. It’s something that I have started to do, and nothing helps me bond with my parents honestly like hanging with them and all my friends together. It’s a great bonding experience.
WGTR: Can you tell us what do you have coming next?
OT: There are a couple of things that I’m attached to that don’t have start dates, yet. Mystery White Boy kind of tragically deferred this summer but I’m sure it will get back on its feet. And hopefully, The Red Knot will be in an obscure film festival near you.
Be sure to check out the trailer for Nobody Walks below and, as always, let us know what you think about Olivia Thirlby, her new feature, Dredd 3D or just life in general. Enjoy!