Kate Bosworth and Michael Polish Talk Amnesiac!


Sometimes all you need is the correct mix of talent in order to make a great film, and no greater truth could be spoken than in the case of leading lady (and executive producer) Kate Bosworth and her husband, director Michael Polish, whose latest memory-loss thriller, Amnesiac (review), releases today, August 14th, in select theaters and on iTunes.

We here at Dread Central were fortunate enough to grab an interview with both of them to discuss the film, and what it means to work with each other, so sit back and enjoy!

DC: Kate, can you give us a little description of the film as well as your character?

Kate Bosworth: I play a woman where when the film opens up, we see a husband who’s been in an accident and a wife who’s caring for him, and she’s seemingly very loving, kind, and caring, and he’s lost in a fog of ambiguity because of memory loss due to the accident. Through the course of the film, you start to realize that things are not as they seem, and she’s actually keeping him captive. For me, I was intrigued to play this role, and Michael and I had talked about Hitchcock and Polanski, and those types of films that we were referencing for the movie visually, but I was really intrigued to play the Hitchcock blonde as the psycho rather than the victim, turning that on its axis a little bit – it was a rare opportunity. I saw her as this woman who was spinning language into a kind of web for Wes Bentley’s character, and her voice was the first thing I found – I wanted her to sound like a morphine drip… very hypnotic, very medicinal – something at first that would sound very comforting to him like a lullaby, and obviously as the film progresses it becomes more irritating and uneasy.

The world that she’s created for herself is kind of timeless – the desire to create a moment when the nuclear family was so strong, and the idea of family values, the husband, the wife, and your children – that meant security and stability – all things that my character felt she was missing and wanted to create. That wasn’t something that was on the page, but Michael wanted to bring it to the CinemaScope, and I loved that – it’s one of the benefits of being married to the director of a project that you’re on. I know what I’m looking for with the character, but with Michael being so visually driven with the movie, he’s got these brilliant ideas of how to elevate what you’re given. The biggest challenge with me was to find empathy with her and a sense of humanity – it’s not that hard to play someone psychotic, but the real challenge is to connect with her – why is she making these choices, and what is behind her sense of desperation?


DC: Michael, what was it that drew you to this movie?

Michael Polish: The fact that it could be so much more of a psychological piece, rather than just a straight-up horror film, and I thought it would be nice visually, and we could add a lot of psychological elements to it.

DC: Kate, with you having executive producing duties, and Michael on as the director, give us a little look at the creative process – was it a lot of push and pull, or were you both in tune with what each other wanted?

KB: It was pretty fluid, actually – it’s been that way since we met on the set of Big Sur – we weren’t together on that movie, we just met and started working with each other – purely an artistic relationship at the time, and it was as fluid then as it is now, and of course it’s a lot stronger now with us being together 24/7. I can assimilate it to football (I’m a huge fan) – whereas, you’re the quarterback, and you’ve got that receiver that you know is always going to run the perfect route and make the catch for you – it’s so instinctive and precise. I feel like, and he might have a different answer, but we feel what the other one doesn’t – Michael has an insane and interesting brain! (laughs)

DC: Michael – I’ll pose the same question to you and see what your response is!

MP: With this being our second movie together, we had a somewhat working relationship, and she was the one who originally gave me the screenplay, so she was my boss, and I didn’t have a lot to say there (laughs). But I brought some ideas to the table, and she thought they were great, and we jumped off of the cliff together. The period aspect of the movie wasn’t in the screenplay, and I thought that it would work if the woman character lived in another time period, mentally – kind of like a time-capsule period, even though it was a modern movie.


DC: Kate, this role was quite the departure from the characters you’ve played in the past – can you see yourself in more of these types of roles?

KB: I loved playing her, and I love the genre, and I’m one of those people who prefers the psychological part of the genre, as opposed to the slasher stuff, so I’m definitely more intrigued with the mind.

DC: Michael, where do you draw your inspiration from – any directors whose work you admire?

MP: You know, there’s so many good directors these days – David Fincher just keeps doing really good work, and it’s always nice to see someone keep pushing it, and I think Spike Jonze is somebody whose work is fantastic. HER was a movie with some really great boundaries, and I like a lot of the new directors and their stuff as well.

DC: Kate, after the release of this, what’s going to be keeping you busy in the future?

KB: Michael and I just finished our third project together, which is the total opposite of this film, and it’s called 90 Minutes in Heaven, and Michael said that we often had to go through Hell to get to Heaven, and it’s the true story of a pastor who was killed on a highway in 1989, and there’s a big question about faith, and why are we here – it’s a hero’s journey. Hayden Christiansen plays the minister, and I play his wife – it’s a really beautiful story. I’m also wrapping up a show this week, and it’s a stream show on Crackle called “The Art of More,” and it takes place in the fictional world of auction houses – it’s a world that I’m intrigued with, and one that hasn’t been seen before in this space, but it’s sexy. It’s a world of lust, greed, desire, sacrifice – people having to make very desperate choices to get to the top. We’ve been here four months in Montreal, and it’s been really fun. Dennis Quaid plays one of the leads, and I’ve been watching his work for a long time – he’s just a joy to work with, and we’ve got Cary Elwes, which I’m excited about because I’ve seen The Princess Bride about 500 times! (laughs) I’m happy with the serial work because I can develop a character for longer periods of time, and this character has a little femme fatale in her as well. You’re not sure if she’s going to screw you, or screw you over, but it’s been a great time overall.

DC: Michael – what’s up for you on the slate?

MP: Aside from 90 Minutes in Heaven with Kate, I’m working on adapting a book called The Year of Fog, which was written by Michelle Richmond, and its setup is that of a classic kidnap story with a lot of tension – it’s great stuff!




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