At 26 years of age, Mia Wasikowska has already had a pretty impressive career. She has one billion-dollar movie under her belt – Alice in Wonderland – in addition to more serious dramatic work like the titular role in Jane Eyre, the protagonist in Stoker, and so on.
Recently, we had the opportunity to talk to Wasikowska about her performance in Crimson Peak, but we also discussed her favorite horror movies, acting with practical effects vs. CGI, and what we can expect from Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Screen Rant: Obviously, Crimson Peak is a bit of a horror movie. Ghost story, gothic horror, that kind of thing. That being the case, what are your three favorite horror movies?
Mia Wasikowska: I really don’t know horror movies that well, but – oh, actually. Yes, okay, I like ‘The Shining.’ Is that a horror movie?
SR: Oh yeah, totally.
MW: ‘Eyes Wide Shut.’ Another one…can’t think of a third one. I don’t know!
SR: That’s all right. Your character goes through a lot of s*** in this movie. She reminded me a bit of Joan Fontaine in Rebecca or Ingrid Bergman in Gaslight or Notorious. Did you look to any past performances for inspiration for your role?
MW: I didn’t so much. But I have seen some of those films. I read ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘The Turn of the Screw,’ because they were vaguely associated with the film. You know, she mentions Mary Shelley. So just to get an idea or essence for that kind of psychological fear and kind of supernatural thing. Yeah, I looked to those books and they were really great.
SR: Yeah. Did they – they informed your performance?
MW: I’m not sure. I mean, what I liked about ‘The Turn of the Screw’ is that at the end of it you’re kind of totally confused about what perspective is the right perspective, or even if she knows what’s going on. I think [my character] Edith goes through a bit of a mind thing through her experiences. So in that way, yeah, I guess I did.
SR: As I understand it, all the ghosts in this film were played by actual human beings. In your other big genre film, Alice in Wonderland, I presume you had to act opposite tennis balls every once in a while.
MW: Yeah, yeah.
SR: What were the two acting experiences like? How did they differ?
MW: It’s always amazing when you get to act against something that’s physically there. Even just being in a set gives informs you of where you are and the tone and what’s happening. And so having Dog and Javier [Botet] there, it was great just to sort of see that movement and to see how creepy it is and not to have to be kind of guessing and in the dark about what’s actually there.
SR: Speaking of Alice, Alice 2 is coming out next year. What can you tell us about the sequel that we don’t already know?
MW: Well, there’s a new director, who did such a wonderful job. It’s the same cast, same characters, and I think it’ll be really sweet. I think it’ll be quite different but familiar enough, and – yeah, I think it’ll be great.
Crimson Peak is in theaters now.