Interview: Kaya Scodelario from "The Truth About Emanuel"

Photo Credit: © 2013 - Tribeca Film/Well Go USA
January 9th, 2014

Actress Kaya Scodelario is world famous for her role as Effy Stonem on the hit TV show‭ ‬“Skins‭”‬,‭ ‬and now she is preparing to release her new film‭ ‬“The Truth About Emanuel‭" ‬which co-stars Jessica Biel,‭ ‬Alfred Molina,‭ ‬and France O‭’‬Connor.‭  ‬Kaya was kind enough to talk with us here at Movie Room Reviews about her role as Emanuel.‭ 

Nick Leyland from Movie Room Reviews:‭ ‬Well I saw your new film,‭ "‬The Truth About Emanuel‭"‬,‭ ‬and it's fantastic.‭ ‬And I was wondering if you could tell our audience about your role as Emanuel‭?

Kaya Scodelario:‭ ‬Yeah.‭ ‬For me,‭ ‬the first time I sort of read the script,‭ ‬I had this amazing female character that was in every single scene and was controlling everything that was happening within the story,‭ ‬and wasn't naked or wasn't having a sex scene or any of those stereotypical female parts,‭ ‬so I really fell in love with it.‭ ‬And I‭ ‬felt like it was magical and out there and crazy.‭ ‬And so the story is basically this young woman,‭ ‬Emanuel,‭ ‬who hasn't really got any ambitions in life,‭ ‬doesn't really know where she's going or where life's gonna take her,‭ ‬and she feels as though there's something missing.‭ ‬And then she becomes infatuated with this woman who's moved next door.‭ ‬And they strike up a very surreal relationship,‭ ‬and then it gets deeper and deeper into almost a fantasy world.‭

MRR:‭ ‬How come they don't just write your accent into the part‭? '‬Cause you have such a beautiful accent.‭ ‬I'd figure they would just write that into it.‭


Kaya Scodelario:‭ ‬Oh,‭ ‬thank you.‭ ‬I don't know.‭ ‬They don't really like using us British the way we are.‭ ‬I don't know what it is.‭


MRR:‭ ‬I figured they'd be like,‭ "‬Well,‭ ‬they came from Britain five years ago and now they're here.‭ ‬So she has an accent.‭"


Kaya Scodelario:‭ ‬That would be great.‭ ‬I'm gonna request that next time.‭


‬MRR:‭  ‬There's so much beautiful cinematography in this film,‭ ‬and Polly Morgan has done a lot of‭  ‬great work in the past.‭ ‬Can we talk a little bit about the water scene,‭ ‬because I thought it was a really well done scene.‭ ‬How did that all work‭?

Kaya Scodelario:‭ ‬In fact,‭ ‬it's actually my favorite part of‭ ‬the whole film.‭ ‬What we did was we went to a‭ ‬20-foot deep tank in Long Beach,‭ ‬which I got really excited about because someone told me that's where Snoop Dogg was from.‭ [‬laughter‭] ‬So I was loving it.‭ ‬And they built the actual set of the bedroom,‭ ‬and they‭ ‬put it on a crane,‭ ‬lifted it above the tank,‭ ‬and then slowly submerged it into the water.‭ ‬And we played out the scene over and over again with the water slowly rising each time,‭ ‬which is a really great way of doing it,‭ ‬quite tough for everyone involved.‭ ‬It‭ ‬was quite technical,‭ ‬it was quite dangerous.‭ ‬Polly was under water for a really long time.‭ ‬We were quite far down,‭ ‬so we all had sort of scuba training and learning how to use the breathing apparatus and stuff like that.‭ ‬But I think it looked so good that‭ ‬it couldn't have been done any other way.‭ ‬I don't think it would‭ ‬have looked as great if it was done digital like that.‭ ‬So I'm really glad that we took two days to do it all under water.‭

MRR:‭ ‬I've seen some movies where they do a scene like that‭ ‬and it just does not look as real as this one did.‭

Kaya Scodelario:‭ ‬Yeah,‭ ‬well Polly was amazing.‭ ‬She really threw herself into this project‭; ‬whatever was asked of her she would do.‭ ‬And she was really geared up to do it all under water and do it properly and get‭ ‬as much as we could down there.‭

MRR:‭ ‬Throughout the film,‭ ‬it's funny because as you watch it,‭ ‬you can never really tell at any given time who's the crazy one.‭ ‬You can't tell if it's Jessica Biel's character or if it's you or if it's the rest of the cast.‭ ‬Frances O'Connor,‭ ‬Alfred Molina,‭ ‬you can't tell who is the crazy person in the film.‭ ‬Was it so emotionally tiring to do a movie like this where you kind of have to almost be a suspect of the craziness,‭ ‬and you can't smile really or laugh at all‭?


Kaya Scodelario:‭ ‬Yeah it was quite depressing.‭ ‬But then,‭ ‬for me,‭ ‬that's what film is about.‭ ‬I could never be content just playing the girl next door or a high school student that didn't really do anything.‭ ‬I like interesting parts,‭ ‬and I like exploring the mind and what that can do to you.‭ ‬But it was tough in every scene in the film,‭ ‬and we shot for five weeks straight.‭ ‬So every day I was her and I was in that zone.‭ ‬And I think I had to cry every single day for five weeks,‭ ‬which is really,‭ ‬really exhausting.‭ ‬I discovered In-N-Out Burger in Los Angeles and I'd have one of those in the evening and that would make me feel so much better.‭ [‬chuckle‭] ‬So I got through it with fast food.‭


MRR:‭ ‬Well,‭ ‬you had a great cast to work with and for only being‭ ‬21‭ ‬and you've had such a great career already with your show‭ "‬Skins‭" ‬and many other things.‭ ‬Can you tell me a little bit about your co-stars and how they affected your performance‭?

Kaya Scodelario:‭ ‬It was brilliant,‭ ‬because it was such a small film and so low-budget,‭ ‬and everyone really really gave a f‭&*‬%‭ ‬about making it good.‭ ‬And I think that's what matters when you're on a set,‭ ‬it doesn't matter how much money you've got or‭ ‬the biggest star in the world,‭ ‬as long‭ ‬as everyone is really focused.‭ ‬And everyone genuinely was unbelievably professional.‭ ‬And Alfred is just a bloody genius,‭ ‬so I'd sit there and just watch him in the scene,‭ ‬and I'd sometimes forget that I was at work.‭ ‬I'd feel like I was just watching him on screen because he's so amazing.‭ ‬And that's everything you dream of in an actor.‭ ‬To be able to work against someone like that is brilliant because it brings out more in you,‭ ‬and it just keeps you in the moment constantly.‭ ‬And we also had a really good time.‭ ‬We had fun,‭ ‬and we laughed and we joked,‭ ‬and we spoke to each other,‭ ‬and we all ate together and things like that.‭ ‬So it was as comfortable a set could be.‭

MRR:‭  ‬As you grew up,‭ ‬what kind of films were you into‭? ‬Are these the kind of films that you were into growing up and made you want to become an actress‭?

Kaya Scodelario:‭ ‬Yeah,‭ ‬I mean‭ ‬I‭ ‬was into a lot of movies.‭ ‬For me,‭ ‬it was always an escape from reality.‭ ‬And being able to sit and watch a good film,‭ ‬it would stir up so many emotions with me.‭ ‬I'd always cry or I'd laugh hysterically,‭ ‬and‭ ‬it would just take me out of whatever problem I was going through or whatever was happening in life in that moment.‭ ‬I grew up on Arnold Schwarzenegger films which is really weird,‭ ‬but I love him.‭ ‬They kind of really made me want to make movies because it‭ ‬would just make me so happy seeing him on screen and seeing him play these crazy characters in his movies and stuff.‭ ‬Even if critically they aren't the best in the world,‭ ‬for me,‭ ‬they are like magical.‭ ‬I'm so obsessed.‭ ‬I think film gives something to everyone in a unique way,‭ ‬and for me it was Arnie films.‭


MRR:‭ ‬I love Arnie films too,‭ ‬so that's great.‭ ‬And the film comes out January‭ ‬10th.‭ ‬Now one question I have to ask is I saw pictures of a premiere where Ringo Starr and his wife,‭ ‬Barbara,‭ ‬were‭ ‬there.‭ ‬Did you get to meet him there‭?

Kaya Scodelario:‭ ‬I did.‭ ‬Barbara's Francesca's mother,‭ ‬and while I was in Los Angeles I didn't really know anyone and she said,‭ ‬would you like to go to my step-dad's and have a tea and stuff‭? ‬I didn't know who he was,‭ ‬and I was like,‭ "‬Oh yeah,‭ ‬that sounds great,‭ ‬that sounds lovely.‭" ‬And we were driving and I was like,‭ "‬Ooh we're in Beverly Hills,‭ ‬this is nice.‭" ‬And then we drove up this big driveway,‭ ‬and I was like,‭ "‬Oh,‭ ‬what's happening here‭?" ‬And then he answered the door,‭ ‬and it was Ringo Starr,‭ ‬and I nearly collapsed.‭


‬I told her,‭ "‬You should've warned me first.‭" ‬But,‭ ‬he's great.‭ ‬He's really funny,‭ ‬and he was wearing his gym clothes,‭ ‬so he was really casual.‭ ‬It was the most surreal thing I've ever experienced.‭ ‬They're brilliant and they're both so supportive of Francesca and so supportive of the movie.‭ ‬And they're a big part of the reason why she wanted to make this story.‭ ‬So yeah,‭ ‬it was great actually meeting him,‭ ‬but really weird.‭ ‬Really weird.‭

MRR:‭ ‬I would've lost it.‭ ‬I think I would've just lost it.‭

Kaya Scodelario:‭ ‬I know.‭ ‬I nearly did.‭ ‬I had to try and calm myself down.‭ ‬It was awful.‭


MRR:‭ ‬Well,‭ ‬thank you so much for talking.‭ ‬What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future besides‭ "‬The Truth about Emanuel‭" ‬coming out on January‭ ‬10th‭?

Kaya Scodelario:‭ ‬I've got a film called‭ "‬The Maze Runner‭" ‬coming out September‭ ‬19th,‭ ‬which is Fox's new young adult adaptation,‭ ‬and that's really fun.‭ ‬It's about a group of boys that are put into a maze and don't have any memory,‭ ‬don't know why they're there.‭ ‬And a female turns up,‭ ‬and they've never seen a female before,‭ ‬and it's about them trying to escape.‭ ‬I know it sounds like a weird sex thing,‭ ‬but it's not.‭ ‬It's all PG and fine.‭ ‬And it's about them trying to escape out of this maze and work out why they've been put in there.‭

MRR:‭ ‬Cool‭! ‬Well,‭ ‬thank you so much for talking with me.‭ ‬I really appreciate it.‭ ‬I enjoyed the film and I hope it does great things.‭

Kaya Scodelario:‭ ‬Thank you so much.‭