Old: Star Thomasin McKenzie on Living a “Whole Life Within a Day” for the New Thriller
With most M. Night Shyamalan films, the cast will portray somewhat grounded characters who encounter some sort of otherworldly threat or presence, but in the case of Old, it’s the character themselves who physically endure inexplicable forces, resulting in some truly challenging moments for its stars. A key component of the narrative is that time moves at an expedited rate, resulting in characters aging years in the manner of hours, with star Thomasin McKenzie noting that her character Maddox not only had to grapple with the situation she’s found herself in, but also the effects of growing from a child to a teenager to a young adult in one afternoon. Old lands in theaters on July 23rd.
“It is such a complicated thing to approach and to achieve, the whole thing of living a whole life within in a day, it definitely was very intimidating to me, so I did rely on the script and I relied on M. Night a lot to hopefully be able to pull it off and to keep the continuity good between the different ages of Maddox,” McKenzie detailed to ComicBook.com. “It was a big task and it was an interesting one.”
The new film is described, “This summer, visionary filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan unveils a chilling, mysterious new thriller about a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly … reducing their entire lives into a single day.”
McKenzie’s character starts as a child, with Alexa Swinton playing the younger version of the character, as the actor recalled how she attempted to replicate what the younger performer initially accomplished to seamlessly mature the role.
“We didn’t sit down and have like a serious conversation about mannerisms or anything like that,” McKenzie pointed out. “I think, for me, the main thing I wanted to do was just see the energy that she was bringing to the role and trying to capture that and, hopefully, bring that energy to my performance. Because, of course, Alexa, who plays the younger Maddox, she’s the one that starts the film that establishes Maddox, and so it was my job to be on set when she was doing her scenes and keep that same energy. I think, also, part of that comes with relying on the script, but also with the casting and making sure that Alexa and I looked as similar as possible, which I feel like they did a good job of casting it.”
Shyamalan is only the latest acclaimed filmmaker that McKenzie has collaborated with, as her breakout role came in Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit. While she can’t wait to work with Waititi again, she’s going to hold off on asking for an opportunity to join his Star Wars or Marvel Cinematic Universe projects for now.
“I feel like Taika’s got enough on his plate, I don’t want to be bothering him,” the actor joked. “I love Taika, I would love to work with him again because he’s such an incredible director. I’m really excited to see what he’s up to, because, also, he’s a Kiwi, a New Zealander like me, so we’ve all got to stand together and get our voices out there.”
Old lands in theaters on July 23rd.
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