- Starting August 27, Lena Headey can be seen in theaters in Navota Papushado’s “Killer Cocktail.”
- – In addition to the feminist overtones in “Cocktail…” I also liked the fact that he doesn’t take himself seriously – says the actress
- In an interview with Onet, Headey tells how the film industry has changed over the past 20 years
- She also remembers how “Game of Thrones” changed her life and position in the film industry: “It allowed me to break through very quickly and instantly to such a high level,” he says.
- More such stories can be found on the homepage of Onet.pl
Someone wrote that “Killer Cocktail” is “Tarantino in a Skirt.” The link to the master’s cinema is correct. Navota Papushado (“Big Bad Wolves”) is, for example, “Death Proof,” a villain with a cheerful undercoat, in which a corpse is littered thickly. The similarity can also be seen in luxury devices such as “Django” or “Inglourious Basterds” – women play the main roles here. Only skirts on the screen are not so many, because the heroines willingly choose such comfortable sets as Black Mamba from “Kill Bill”.
On the screen we follow the fate of the unscrupulous young killer Sam (known from “Guardians of the Galaxy” Karen Gillan). Her mother, Scarlett, who is also a killer (played by Lena Headey, Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones) was last seen fifteen years ago. She disappeared, as she herself claims, to protect her daughter. Now, on another impossible mission, Scarlet will return with an army of experienced friends – including legends like Michelle Yeoh and Angela Bassett. They will show the testosterone-boosted bulls what it means to “fight like a girl”.
In an interview with Onet Lina Headey It tells how the film industry has changed over the past 20 years, and whether it pays to kill bad guys in a movie — and how long pacifists can swing a gun to protect themselves from insanity.
Anna Tatarska: Your character, Scarlett, is a paid assassin and a mother who ran away from her childhood. An unusual combination, if we imagine the statistics for female roles.
Lena Headey: Scarlet does not fit the common, and often conservative, stereotype of the female figure. And he certainly doesn’t look like the moms the movies have shown over the years. It is mainly made of gunpowder [oryginalny tytuł filmu, “Gunpowder Milkshake”, to, w wolnym tłumaczeniu, właśnie “koktajl z prochu” — przyp. red.]. If there is still a mixture of something else, it may be a pinch, but a small one, of the mother’s feelings. Not the opposite.
When building this character, I imagined her as a monstrous version of Mary Poppins. Scarlett is a professional killer and the mother of several-year-old Sam. One day he goes underground. As she says herself, she disappears to protect her daughter. However, I think there is also some selfishness behind that. The feeling that Scarlett, as a mother, is unable to do her job to a satisfactory level, and that she wants to, has to be the best. In any case, not much goes out of protecting his daughter, because after Scarlett’s departure, Sam is taken over by “Verma”, a criminal syndicate with which the killer had collaborated earlier.
Like father, like son. Or: “What’s the matter, like that”?
Somehow, yes. The girl grows up and becomes herself a paid killer, the best of the best. But I think he doesn’t necessarily inherit this talent in his genes. Instead, it’s an acquired skill that later becomes second nature to Sam. And when Scarlet returns years later, it turns out that her daughter has become an independent woman on her own terms. She does not miss her mother but is angry with her. Scarlett may divorce gorgeous, but she can’t talk about feelings. Rebuilding this relationship will not be easy. Or the killer and the killer’s daughter? It is enough to start building an inconspicuous relationship, and when the emotional component is added to the competition, in a very “male” profession, it becomes even more interesting.
Film imitation is also stereotypically male, but the screen is almost exclusively female. And when a team of males intervenes, the ladies deliver powerful punches.
First of all, the heroes enter into delicate relationships with each other. I’m not only talking about the bumpy mother-daughter relationship, but also the interrelationships between the other characters. Scarlett has a whole “group” of friends they’ve worked with on murders for years, calling themselves “librarians.” One of them is Anna Mae, played by the gorgeous Angela Bassett.
Side note: I had a lot of fun on the set. It has been a great honor to work with actresses that I have admired for years. Plus, when we met face to face, it turns out they’re also great people. This atmosphere of the group seeps on the screen. “Cocktail…” is undoubtedly a story about the power of brotherhood. As I was reading the script, I noticed its quality of course, but most of all, that there are as many as six female lead roles in it! In the action cinema of the group, we are usually on our own, because a female character is the best screenwriter.
Lena Headey in “Killer Cocktail”
In addition, almost all of the Navota Papushado characters are over forty-five years old.
Accurate hit of the target! Such thinking about heroines is still rare. Aside from the feminist overtones in “Cocktail…” I also liked the fact that she doesn’t take herself too seriously. Although he tackles difficult topics, such as children repeating their parents’ mistakes, abandonment, and loneliness, he does so easily, with The Egg. Some of the action scenes are downright hilarious.
By the way, it’s amazing in a way that in 2021 we get excited to get six major female roles in the movie.
The industry has certainly changed drastically over the past 20 years. I can talk about this time, because I am more or less active professionally. Once, when a script came to me, I was expecting the role of someone else’s girlfriend, and the nude scene was almost certain. These proposals were radically different from what had been proposed to my colleagues. Their nature and size were different.
I feel today and I see that we have a really special moment. I am surrounded by more and more producers and directors who are making extraordinary films. Women’s roles are no longer decorated. Of course, the conversation on this topic can not end. We need to take advantage of this good moment when vociferous discussions about inequality or stereotypes in the industry are common and willingly conducted. Because there is still a long way to go. And it’s all too easy to get lazy, let go for a moment, and then find out that everything unattended is back on its old tracks. Change should be taken care of like a garden. Its worst enemy is laziness and dependence.
Among my colleagues after the presentation of “Cocktail …” there was often a remark that “killing men” should be a great pleasure for you. I was?
It’s funny because only men ask me about killing men. The answer might disappoint them. It doesn’t matter much what gender of opponent I have to shoot or kick.
But surprisingly, there are a lot of these shootings and kicks in your career. Is this a coincidence?
I’m a bit hyperactive, I can’t stand still. The movement has a cleansing effect on me, after an active day on the set I sleep like a baby. Maybe that’s why as an actress I’ve always depended so heavily on physical preparation, for me the physicality of the role is the door to the character. It’s not that I ignore feelings, because I also like to prepare biographies of characters in my head, imagining their motives, interconnections and desires. I choose my favorite songs, I put the meaning of the scars. In this way, I give importance to the little things, I love them so much in this profession. But the firm impression tempts me more than a thousand pages of dialogue. When I find the perfect way to express my feelings through movement, I feel proud. The opportunity to prepare for this show with the amazing staff, watch them and learn from them was so rewarding.
Lena Headey in “Killer Cocktail”
The life of the actor is full of variables. New faces, accents, changes to the scenery – do you like it? Can he take advantage of it?
I get the impression that the profession of an actor involves a curiosity about the world and people. Most of us come to the shooting set ready to learn from colleagues, see how they work, and how to solve certain problems. Diversity is definitely our strength. It was great to be back in Berlin. I came there the day before after my ex boyfriend. The relationship broke up quickly, but I was young, so I had a lot of fun anyway. It’s a lively liberal city where you can spend your time comfortably and in tune with yourself, without all that famous clown that I hate. At the hotel where I was staying every day someone stopped me at the elevator and made sure I stayed there. Because I don’t look like a “star” on a daily basis.
Undoubtedly celebrity status was given to you by “Game of Thrones”, to which you have dedicated a decade of your life. After you type your name into the search engine, this address almost always appears. Is it a burden somehow? Something you wish you could cut?
No. This series changed my life and my position in the film industry. It allowed me to hack really fast and to a high level instantly. It’s a one-in-a-thousand chance that many of my colleagues never got, even though they were very talented. I’m just thankful for “Game of Thrones” for letting it out loud in so many different places. I will always be part of this family. It is not a toxic relationship!
Are you always feeling? Your love for acting has no crisis?
Acting frustrates me, but I love it. If I hadn’t loved him, I wouldn’t have been here for long. But the world of cinema is unpredictable and brutal, and needs perseverance and strength to survive in it. It’s easy to let him eat you. For years, I’ve been protected – and still are – from the fact that I have a wealthy life outside of the film industry. Big roles or success isn’t everything to me.
Lena Headey in “Game of Thrones”
Cersei Lannister has been one of the most ruthless characters in television history. Often – as in “Cocktail” – she plays brutal roles and performs with a pistol. Are you comfortable with this?
I personally am a pacifist. Handling weapons causes me discomfort, it is not pleasant to me, on the contrary. These screenshots do not conform to the values I state on a daily basis. I separated them from my own self. It’s a bit like having multiple personalities. I often feel torn. Was my roof uneven? On the set of “Cocktail…” I cried when our coach told me to shoot the gun to his head. I knew the magazine was empty, but the situation was too intense for me anyway.
You have surprisingly many roles in dubbing. What comes from?
As I mentioned, my roles are often very violent or sexual. My children are not allowed to watch these movies. Sometimes I feel like they question my work. They don’t fully understand what my mom does when she leaves, and they don’t believe I’m on screen if they can’t see me there. By dubbing, I make something of their own. Besides, playing with the voice does not require you to style your hair, apply makeup, or wear a costume. You can cheat, make silly faces, try new things. This is a huge relief for a student like me.
After the “Game of Thrones” final She confessed in one of the interviewsShe dreamed of a different, more exciting ending for her heroine. The actor has no influence on many things, he has to accept the fact that decisions are often made by others. Are you good at it?
I get the impression that acting is such a long exercise. On set, I do my best, and then I can sit back and silently watch what the director and editor are going to do. It’s a bit like raising a child: at some point, it grows up and moves on, and you have nothing to say. That’s why I think more about the output. I am intrigued by the possibility of growing film from seed to flower. I also have my own small production company, I can search for projects that allow me to train muscles that have not yet been used. Had it not been for COVID-19, one of my short films would have already been a conspiracy. Moreover, I really understand the actors. I love them with great and sincere love. Believe me, after years of working in the cinema, I know that this is not the norm at all.
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