After conducting three interviews with the principal players from "John Carter" -- with this one, Lynn Collins, being the third -- it's hard to not come away with the notion that this wasn't a particularly fun film shoot. Not that anyone didn't get along with each other -- and it's obvious that both Taylor Kitsch and Collins love director Andrew Stanton -- but the whole thing just sounds so... grueling.
Collins plays Dejah Thoris, the Princess of city called Helium on the planet Mars, who attempts to enlist John Carter (Kitsch) -- a man from Earth with super powers -- to fight with her against the enemies of her city. Here, Collins shares some tales about the shoot which, again, just do not sound like a particularly great time.
Hi, Mike from AOL!
Hello, Lynn from "John Carter." OK, first thing. Did you know anything about John Carter before this role came along?
I was not familiar with "John Carter of Mars." The script was the first thing I read and the thing that attracted me to it: I was flipping through it and I saw this monologue from Matai Shang [Mark Strong] and I started crying...
Why would you cry?
I felt so connected. I felt it's parallel to Earth was so poignant. So I then read the script and was really like, "Wow, Dejah Thoris is the dream role of a lifetime," and pursued it with all of my might. I read half the first book, then somebody told me to just put it down because that's not necessarily the way that the film is going. And "Dejah in the book is very one way that we'll use, but we're going to add on a lot of other things to her."
Did you stop reading?
I did. I'll tell you why: Those books, they're fucking amazing, but they stretched my imagination so far that I was like... I'm an avid reader, but they were intense.
Were you surprised with how complicated the plot is in this movie?
It is a complicated plot. I'm into complicated plots. I like something that's going to really, really juice my brain -- like the books. I think they had to pare down the plot, with so much of it being so crazy, to make it more accessible, but you still have to pay attention to this movie. That's the key. That's what good movies do: pluck your heartstrings and your brain-strings at the same time.
I will say, there are so many effects in this film, that, at times, I got caught up in that and would miss a plot point because I was looking at a pretty rock, or something.
I think that's a good thing because that means that you have to go twice! [Laughs]
Right, just go ahead and buy your two tickets now. You know who's great: Mark Strong.
He barely breaths and he's a genius. I sat down with him to have some dinner and he said two words. He listened to my whole life story. My whole life story! That's the kind of guy he is -- he'll just listen. The smartest people do that. I'm not calling myself dumb, I've changed since.
When filming, was there anytime that you were like, "You know, I have zero idea what's going on right now"?
Oh, no. The way that I work is very specific, very thorough and the process has to be totally clear. I have to know what's happening, everything. Where Andrew was amazing is that, in the midst of this chaos, I'd come to him and say, "Help me out. What are we doing? On a scale of one to ten, what level of cacophony are we at?" It was a constant dialogue to make sure the chaos didn't get a hold of the actors' work.
Did you meet Taylor Kitsch on the set of "Wolverine"?
Oh, we've been good friends for a long time? Yes, before even that.
That has to help, right? Or does that make it more difficult?
No, it's huge. Entering into this project, it was so enormous, and thank God we knew each other and knew each others' chemistry on how we work. Because it was just really hard. We made our days, we made the money issues, we made everything. We were trying to be the type-A perfect production for Disney -- so that we would have the option of doing additional photography or other things.
When you're filming, what scene stands out as one that you remember looking around the set thinking, OK, this is ridiculous?
The scene where Dejah is fighting on the balcony, that was really intense for me. Because I had to learn both of those fights and say both of those lines and it was my worst day on the shoot. I couldn't do it. It was so hard. And, finally, it happened. There was a lot of hard stuff. Like stunts -- I did most of my own stunts and the adrenaline, to come down from the adrenaline, and continue working was really difficult.
Taylor mentioned that he collapsed and was ordered to bed rest. Did anything like that happen to you?
No, no. No. I'm Irish and Cherokee Indian. I can't faint.
Mike Ryan is the senior writer for Moviefone. He has written for Wired Magazine, VanityFair.com, GQ.com, New York Magazine and Movieline. He likes Star Wars a lot. You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter