Connie Nielsen has had an eclectic career, catching international attention initially with her role as Lucilla in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator. Since then, she has had a variety of roles, both on the big screen and the small screen. Now she will be returning to the big screen as Queen Hippolyta in Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman.
Screen Rant got a chance to sit down with Connie on press day, where we discussed how she tackled her character, how she developed the character with Patty Jenkins, and what it was like working on set.
So in this film you get to play a nurturing mother, a badass queen, all of the above. How hard was it to get all of that under one character because not a lot of actresses get that opportunity?
Connie Nielsen: I mean, it was a pleasure. It was a complete and utter pleasure and I absolutely loved every second of playing her. I loved every scene I did, every minute on set and off set too. The whole training period was a revelation for me. I’ve always been athletic, but I had never ever seen that level of training regime. I did six hours a day. You know, two hours of weight training, two hours of swords training, and then two hours of horseback riding. And I did all of that with these incredible athletes and actors, all of them women, and it was extraordinary and I absolutely had a blast.
That’s amazing. Patty probably had this character in mind obviously. How was it developing the character with her and how was her pitch to you for the character?
Connie Nielsen: I think that we just basically spoke the same language from day one. We sat down at lunch and it was supposed to be a 1 hour meeting and I think it stretched into four hours until we had to leave and we just couldn’t even stop talking. She’s also the kind of director that I really flourish under. She has very strong and particular and specific ideas about what it is she wants to say. She comes from a place of strength always. And so, when you are dealing with someone like that, you feel absolutely free to be vulnerable, to be creative, and I am a big researcher. I put a lot of effort into research and I brought all of that research back and you can always tell if somebody is interested or not and the fact that she was interested and made sure that there was space for all of that research and space for those nuances and every time I wanted to try something else and maybe something that wasn’t even a part of it, she always not only went with it, but actually was interested in exploring further with me. So, for me just as an actor and I knew it would be. I was crazy about, obviously, Monster and just knew intrinsically that she would be that kind of director and it was just confirmed every day. This is a woman who just rose to head such a huge vehicle. You should have seen the actual size of the crew and the studio and the setups and the amount of people she was just blithely oversee everyday. It was just like when I would see Ridley standing in the middle of Malta, this fort in Malta, and chomping on his cigar and just looking happy. It was the same thing kind of with Patty. That kind of real comfort on a set.
From Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Entertainment comes the epic action adventure starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright, directed by Patty Jenkins.
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.