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Exclusive Interview: Connie Nielsen Talks Post-Gender Horror & Infection Mentality in SEA FEVER

Gunpowder & Sky, a fast-growing independent global entertainment company, through its sci-fi label DUST, will bring audiences the ultimate at-home experience by being the first to participate in the live stream premiere of Sea Fever, followed by a Q&A with the film’s stars Hermione Corfield (Star Wars: The Last JediMission: Impossible – Rogue Nation), Connie Nielsen (Wonder Woman 1984Gladiatorand BAFTA award-winning director Neasa Hardiman (Happy ValleyJessica Jones).

Check out the trailer embedded at the top of the article and read more about the film below.

Synopsis:
The crew of a West of Ireland trawler, marooned at sea, struggle for their lives against a growing parasite in their water supply.

The live stream event will take place on https://seafever.watchdust.com on Thursday, April 9 at 5pm PT / 8pm ET.  For a small pay-per-view fee, fans can tune in to watch the official film premiere together, post their comments in a chatroom, and have their questions answered by the cast and crew via a moderated Q&A following the credits.  The event will kick-off Sea Fever’s On Demand and Digital release on April 10th.

We were lucky enough to sit down with Sea Fever star Connie Nielsen to discuss the film’s gender dynamics and how its infection themes are especially timely. Read our conversation below.


Dread Central:  Sea Fever has amazing female characters, including your character, Freya. Even though there are these long-standing stereotypes and superstitions involving women working on ships, the film completely eliminates these preconceptions with a very gender mixed crew. You could almost say the film is post gender, like Alien. Would you agree?

Connie Nielsen: I agree with that completely.

DC: Even though the women hold as much power as the men in Sea Fever, there’s still a hierarchy on the boat where people’s prejudices are revealed. It seems to suggest that even without gender politics there are still issues that divide us as a society, right?

CN: Human beings are stupid, what can I say?

DC: Without giving anything away there are themes that involved self-quarantine and self-sacrifice for the greater good that are especially relevant during the Coronavirus crisis. Can you speak on that?

CN: I do think our behavior on the boat is similar to our behavior now. You have people who take it seriously and are scared and you have people who are not taking it seriously and behave stupidly and put themselves and the crew at risk. There are people who are trying to find answers, then there are people who are trying to get away from there, and those are all human reactions, like we’re seeing right now.

DC: Yeah, it really is a microcosm of what we’re seeing on a larger level around the world.

CN: We have denial, which is a very strange thing, to see people in denial about something that is evident. Like, people are dying every day and yet somehow they are in denial about it. I am really failing to understand how that works.

DC: There were some aspects of Sea Fever that reminded me a lot of Alien, which I mentioned earlier, and The Thing. Are you a fan of those films?

CN: Very much. Alien I think of course is a classic, on the level of Jaws. The fact that the alien is such a presence throughout without really seeing this monster, and instead having to guess, I think that’s where you will see some similarities as well.

DC: Yeah, and the scene where the crew sits down for dinner, really almost from the get go reminded me of that famous chest bursting scene from Alien, to the point where as soon as I saw them all sitting down laughing together, I got a feeling of dread instantly, even before anyone started showing symptoms.

CN: We keep forgetting how trained audiences really are, who already paid those dues.

DC: You have a really diverse filmography and you’ve done some really amazing thrillers in addition to Sea Fever. How is making a thriller or horror movie different from other genres?

CN: I think with thrillers, I really like that you were almost always under acting. You’re almost always doing less, which I like because I’m very much a minimalist. I look at myself almost like a realist when it comes to acting. I love trying to find a real experience if I can and in thrillers you almost inflate a moment when you do less, if it helps weigh tension and put more air and density into a moment. I kind of really like that; I like the mystery of the heart of every human being and in thrillers you kind of see how that mystery is key to building the tension.

DC: Fantastic. You know, the setting of Sea Fever creates a sense of isolation and claustrophobia. Was the entire film shot on a boat or were there sets?

Connie: We started shooting on the boat from the beginning of the film so that we would have the experience of claustrophobia. So we started out on the boat to get really familiar with that experience, then we moved inside for the sets. It really was perspective; you’d come in and immediately transfer your experience onto the set from the boat, I forgot sometimes that we were.

DC: Yeah, I didn’t know anything about the making of the film so it was a genuine question. I almost asked, “What was it like filming an entire movie on a boat,” before it occurred to me that maybe I should ask.

CN: Yeah, we do things like that sometimes, it’s weird.

DC: Well fantastic. It’s a real testament to the entire crew, the set design, because I never doubted for a moment that you guys were on a boat when I was watching it.

CN: I’m glad to hear that; that’s awesome.

DC: Definitely. Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers about Sea Fever before I let you go?

CN: Just I really love the story, the core of the couple. These people’s lives at the outset and those traumas are just really the way I felt so much compassion for the characters, that sad but beautiful story that we also had spun around each of these people. They each brought traumas to the boat and they were also traumas that came out and were exasperated by what happened, and played into what happened as well. I really loved that type of beautiful writing.

Sea Fever Poster - Exclusive Interview: Connie Nielsen Talks Post-Gender Horror & Infection Mentality in SEA FEVER

Are you excited to check out the Sea Fever live-stream premiere on April 9th? What do you think of our exclusive interview with Connie Nielsen? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.

Written by Josh Millican

Josh Millican is the Editor in Chief at Dread Central.

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