Warm Bodies in a Windy City
Maybe you’ve heard of Teresa Palmer from her role in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and maybe you know Nicholas Hoult as a young Beast in X:Men: First Class, but after you see Warm Bodies, you’ll certainly never forget them as Julie and R, respectively.
I met with the two leads for Warm Bodies last week in Downtown Chicago. There were a few spoilers from our chat, but nothing that will take away from your enjoyment of the movie.
David Limacher: Thank You both for taking the time today to talk with me about Warm Bodies.
Teresa Palmer: You’re VERY Welcome.
Nicholas Hoult: You’re Welcome.
DL: Warm Bodies takes place after the Zombie Apocalypse. This is something that has recently exploded and become HUGE in our culture.
TP: VERY HUGE!
DL: Now Warm Bodies offers something new to the viewers with the fact there is aspects of Horror, Comedy, Action, and a Love Story that’s the center of the movie. Warm Bodies actually gives Zombies a heart and a soul; is that something that intrigued you about the script and making this movie?
TP: I think you answered the question already! (Laughs)
NH: Yeah, I loved the short story, and I fell in love with the character of R from the beginning. This was something that intrigued me from the beginning that I knew I had to be a part of it. It doesn’t parody and make fun of the culture and it is something fabulous to be a part of in whole.
TP: Actually, yeah. There was something fresh and unique about this script that was so brilliant that I was happy to be a part of it. This was something different for those Zombie Die Hard Fans, and I hope they enjoy it! Now are you one of those Hardcore Zombie Fans?
DL: Actually, yes I am! I’ve followed the culture for many years. Read every issue of The Walking Dead, watched every episode, and grew up watching George Romero’s movies as well. I believe the fine people from Zombie Apocalypse Defense Force, or ZADF.org trust me to speak for them that I am as well.
TP: Oh WOW! Yeah, that definitely makes you a Hardcore Zombie Fan! You’re the MOST Hardcore Zombie Fan we’ve talked with yet, and this is just AWESOME!
NH: Yeah! So, would you suggest Warm Bodies to your friends and fans of the Web sites that you work for?
DL: Most Definitely! There is such a new and fresh take on the Zombie Apocalypse in this movie, which I believe most people will take something away from it and thoroughly enjoy the ride they were taken on. I also enjoyed how they explain some of the rather unanswered questions about Zombies as well. The first thing that comes to mind is why Zombies eat Brains.
NH: YEAH! That was way cool to read and be a part of for me! The fact we get to understand that the brains are the most delicious part of the human to a zombie, but also the fact the Zombie that eats a person’s brain inherits those people’s memories. It helps the zombies to gain understanding of the person and gives them memories that can possibly replace their own. I also enjoy how the whole eating of the brains helped to establish the relationship between R and Julie as well.
DL: Nicholas, can I ask what did you do to research being a zombie?
NH: I actually watched every single movie I could get my hands on with “Dead” in the title. Not only that, but I watched movies like “Edward Scissorhands” in which the character doesn’t talk much, but has to use other things to get across emotion.
TP: You also had that guy from Cirque Du Soleil come in and help you with motions as well, right?
NH: Yeah, we had a guy from Cirque Du Soleil come in and help me get my zombie movements correct as well.
TP: And they videotaped them, and I got to watch them and have a good laugh! (laughs)
NH: Yeah, I would get an instruction like go get the food, so I would movie and go AHHHH! to get the food!
TP: The thing is that with everything Jonathan wanted to get everyone involved, so I loved the fact that we developed this relationship over time with working together so much and having to learn that the character R was trying to communicate with Julie without being able to talk too much. It made it a very interesting working environment, and the fact I had so much dialogue that I was just going over and over with and feeling like I was becoming long winded with everything going on, like I am right now.
DL: I really don’t mind you going on and on talking right now.
TP: It’s me accent isn’t it.
DL: Yeah, I would have to say so.
TP: (laughs) Well, I thank you!
DL: So, I was curious to know if there was any tension on set with Nicholas, you being British, and Teresa, you being Australian?
TP: I would LOVE to give you the “Inside Scoop” that there was some tension between us, but the truth is we got along from the start, and everything was great between the two of us throughout. Wasn’t it Nick?
NH: Yeah, it was actually very easy going, and we developed a quick friendship on the set. There was no tension between the two of us, and we just had a lot of fun working together. I would particularly “Corpse” a lot…
NH: Corpse! I suppose here you would call it “breaking”, but just constantly laughing!
DL: So, basically in the movie you were Corpses Corpsing, because the Zombies in the movie are referred to throughout as Corpses!
NH: Yeah! I never thought of that; Corpses Corpsing, I like that! That’s good.
TP: And there were so many sexual innuendos in the script as well that made it difficult for both of us when I was lying in bed saying “Wow, it must be so hard for you!” or “You must really be stiff right now!” “I know you didn’t want to eat me!”
DL: That actually brings up the line that got the BIGGEST LAUGH when I saw the movie. It was while, Teresa, you were getting undressed and R simply has the inner monologue of “HOLY SHIT!”
NH: Really! That’s awesome!
DL: Yeah, it’s the first time I can recall where two words got that big of a laugh!
NH: Holy Shit! Yeah, that was a good line, and I’m glad it got such a big laugh. But, can you imagine being my character and not being with a woman for so long, and then seeing that happen!
TP: Yeah! I’m glad you told us that got a huge laugh, and I hope people continue to have that same reaction when they see the movie as well. Holy Shit gets a huge laugh; that’s great! Funny thing is that in the book, the character of R had his “dang-a-lang” as I like to call it fall off, so how could he even get anything going for him down there?
NH: Yeah, in the short story R has nothing down there, but I decided to change that, as an actor, and somehow in the movie everything down there is still in place! (laughs)
DL: (laughs) Nicholas, I was wondering if it was difficult for you, while reading the script, when you were in your scenes with Julie was it difficult to (groan)
DL: was that difficult for you to plot out; and Teresa was it difficult for you to react if Nicholas was supposed to do a (higher pitched groan) and it came out a (lower pitched groan)?
TP: You really didn’t over think your groans, did you?
NH: No, I really didn’t over think my groans; but when it came to the zombie stuff, I had done so much work on it that it came somewhat naturally at a certain point. I just wanted to show that there was more going on what was going inside then I could express. It still didn’t stop me from forgetting lines though!
TP: Yeah, I would go through pages and pages of lines and then he would forget his line or cue!
NH: I would just be there enthralled with her acting, and how she remembered all these lines and then just thinking “Wow, she hasn’t spoken for a little while” and she would be giving me these blank stares wondering what the hell was going on with me. And then I would be like, OH, my line!
TP: Yeah, I’d be sitting there going “Safe…” “Not Eat…” I was thinking, you know I should play R!
DL: Well, if there’s a sequel, you can switch roles?
TP: YEAH! I was very nervous with all these lines and lines of script, but when we were filming Nicholas had these facial expressions and such great emotions that he was able to get across without having to speak I was just amazed and felt lucky to be working with such a talent.
DL: So my last question was for both of you, and how you feel about this being your “Breakthrough” roles and a big success and notch in your cap? Showing the world that you’re talented enough to hold your own as the STARS of the movie; because you always had MAJOR roles; but this is your movie as the stars of the movie. Would you classify this as your “Breakout” movie?
NH: I never really thought of it like that. I don’t want to think of it like that, cause you don’t want to count your eggs before they hatch kind of thing. I just will know that I had a great time making this movie and that it is something I will always remember and cherish as part of my acting career. Unlike most movies of this type, I like to think of it as the perfect “date” movie. I would take a date there, but I’m now in it so that would be a little awkward. I’d be like “Oh, wait, that’s ME! Would you like some popcorn?” But yeah, definitely take a date to see Warm Bodies!
TP: I feel exactly the same! I haven’t thought about it in terms of what it will or won’t do for my career. I LOVE the character of Julie, and I miss R! I miss going to the set everyday and being able to work with such AMAZING people. I haven’t ever worked on a movie or a set that I miss going to shoot every day, or miss the character I’m playing, or miss the interactions with the other characters as much as I did on Warm Bodies! It was such an amazing experience, and I hope that audiences take away the same feeling that I did from this movie as well.
DL: I think that about wraps it up for us, and I wanted to thank you both for taking the time today to chat with me about Warm Bodies!
NH: Thank You! It was fun, and everyone should go see Warm Bodies on February 1st!
TP: Thank You so much! It was fun, and didn’t feel like an interview as it did a conversation about something I love! Oh, and go see Warm Bodies on February 1st everyone!
I had so much fun doing this interview and I agree with both Nicholas and Teresa that if you like Zombies, want a good time at the movies, or can’t agree on what movie to see on “Date Night”; then Warm Bodies is the perfect choice for everyone.