Sitting down for an interview with Lily James, Matt Smith and Douglas Booth for their roles in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was quite lively. Not only had they had cuban coffee, and having been raised on Cafe con Leche I can only imagine the amount of energy they must have been feeling, but they are also all great friends. So much so that they had actually all spent the “Holiday” on vacation together for Christmas and the New Year.
All in all, it was a fun Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Interview with Lily James, Matt Smith and Douglas Booth. Here’s what they had to say…
When approached about this script/role
Lily first thought the title sounded ludicrous, it also intrigued her. She then read the script, fell in love with it and immediately wanted to be apart of making this film…”I thought that Pride and Prejudice has always needed a few zombies.”. As for Douglas and Matt, Douglas was already interested in the role because he had heard of the New York Times Bestseller book while Matt jokingly said, he did it because all his friends were doing it.
On Training for the role of Elizabeth Bennet
Training for her role was extremely difficult for Lily because she hadn’t exercised in a long time. Part of her training involved waking up at 6am with her trainer and doing a lot of boxing and hitting a punching bag with a bat. She later began training together with her “sisters” from the movie which she jokingly described as “weird deadly version of the Spice Girls” (because of the girl power).
How they approached their character and keeping it true to the original
Douglas viewed his character like the original Bert, but that it was fun exploring how his character would handle the circumstances around him in this film with zombies.
Lily felt her character was very angry because of an an ongoing internal conflict inside her (dealing with life, marriage, being a woman and other frustrations that she is later able to express physically in life or death situations). Of course, she found it funny that her character’s mother is so focused on finding her a husband even though they could be eaten by zombies at any moment.
On adding Zombies to Pride and Prejudice
Matt feels that zombies could really be put into any story, because it will give a new element of drama. He then jokes about combining Jaws and zombies to which I said would be too much for us (not being safe on land or in the water). The thought of hanging out in the trees then came up as a solution.
On selling this movie to a Jane Austen enthusiast
Lily says that the story line is still all the same; it’s still the same love story that everyone loves but with zombies. She compares this to the way Shakespeare’s works have been re imagined and put into different timelines (Romeo and Juliet Movies).
Douglas feels that enthusiasts should embrace this as a cool new way to view a classic film they already love. He enforces the fact that the film is re veering Austen and its a way to see it in a different light.
Matt says its a testament to the timelessness of this story. He says, despite the apocalypse of it, you’ll still be demanding that the two main characters get together (and don’t get killed) in the end.
On who is most like their character in the film
Lily jokes that Matt is exactly like his character and that there was no actual acting required for him. Of course, he replied with how tough it was to get into that role considering how different they were. Douglas went on to say that Lily is a strong independent woman just like her character.
Lily on the amount of girl power in the film
She said there are so many ways you can be strong and in control of your destiny, without having to use a sword. She went on to say that she loves her character in this film because in the original movie, her character was already a very strong, forward thinking independent person, but the zombies bring on a whole new element where she must fight to survive. There is also an element of girl power where her and her sisters in the movie “push the men aside” and kill the zombies themselves.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is in theaters on February 5, 2016.