Rhona Mitra InterviewYou're no stranger to action but is it different when you're playing a character who's a vampire?
Rhona Mitra: "It’s entirely different, yes, and I actually found it to be a lot more playful. You have much freer rein, really. Even though obviously I had to keep in this world of vampires, you know, with all of those things, it was a lot freer than having to sort of take on all these incredibly strange, unusual things which are like viruses and the world ending - which I did in Doomsday. But to actually play it as a 30 year old woman who was going to deal with this, it just seemed entirely like an impossible task to make that authentic. Whereas when you're given a world where you don’t have to worry about authenticity necessarily because your poetic license is endless, you don’t really have to worry about whether or not you're kind of getting it right or not or whether people are believing you or not because it’s already…it’s not that it’s not plausible, it’s just that everybody’s already on the trip with you. Whereas in the other one, it’s like you're really making people believe that you're actually a human being who’s taking care of this stuff. So it was a lot more playful to be involved in this one."
When you get a script and it’s the third movie of a franchise, are you wary about that or did you just jump into it?
Rhona Mitra: "No, I was completely, completely wary and against it. I wouldn't even have the conversation because I thought it was a bad idea, for me."
Rhona Mitra: "Well yes, because I didn't know it was a prequel and so I was of the mindset that I think a lot of the fans or people who don’t know about the fact that it’s a prequel would have been which is like, 'Really? Another one? How are they going to…?' And, Wait, somebody’s going to be playing the role of Kate Beckinsale? That's just suicide,' which is what I thought which is why I was like, 'It’s not happening. I don’t want to have the conversation because I wouldn't do that. It doesn't make sense.'"
"So when they told me that it was a prequel, it was a completely new character, it was a period piece. It’s a completely new scenario, really, pretty much except that you have the two, I mean the most phenomenal actors being Bill Nighy and Michael Sheen, it’s just the best environment. Because you also have Patrick [Tatopoulos] as well who created the look of the first two Underworlds, so you don’t have somebody who’s going to come in… And that's the other thing, is like is there going to be a director who’s going to come in and try and put his own flavor on it, which is going to be completely new and radical, which you can't do to a movie like Underworld because the hue of it has to be the same. The temperature has to be the same. And I think that you have a fan base that you have to adhere to because they know that as familiarity, and yet you do have to set it apart. So all of the things that were necessary for it to be the home that it needs for me to walk into it were there. So the minute I understood that, it was an absolute blessing because it’s the most awesome part for a female to play."
The most awesome part? How so?
Rhona Mitra: "Oh my gosh. I mean I get to be this wonderful warrior who rides horses, who is a swordswoman and is the daughter of this fantastic man who’s (a) Victor, (b) Bill Nighy, and so I have to take on some of his character traits. But in the same breath, you know, she's this wonderful woman that was supposed to be more like the first born son. So it has this incredible tenacity and has this wonderful love story with Michael Sheen's character who’s a Lycan. And it’s a true, true love story with real heart. So I get to play out all of these amazing things in one character, where I get to go and put armor on and ride horses and chop wolves' heads off and be in love and have this issue with my father which, you know, everybody may or may not have. And these wonderful, I mean amazing costumes, amazing costumes and play all day in this fantasy world. So yes, I think to me, that's an amazing character."
How do compare the action in Doomsday where it’s a futuristic apocalypse to this where it's set in the world of vampires and werewolves?
Rhona Mitra: "Well Doomsday felt like an apocalypse, and I think that there was a lot of… I mean they're just night and day. Night and day. I couldn't even begin to start figuring out how to compare the two. Mainly in that I told you that this world is a fantastical one and it was an environment that has already been created, so I’m not responsible for that. They've already done that. Underworld 1 and 2 have created this home and this environment and all of these things, and all I have to do is figure out a way of molding myself, walking into it and fitting into it. And Doomsday was about creating, for me, I had one responsibility which was a character and making her authentic and the rest of it was up to the vision of a director who chose to use lots of other movies to create his environment, which I had no control over. I could only be responsible for what I brought to the table. But it’s a very different approach and a very different project."