'Stoker's' Matthew Goode On Becoming A Sociopath: It's Like Trying On A Suit

Feb 28, 2013

If there's one thing you walk away with after seeing "Stoker," it's the unsettling feeling that evil cannot be altered, disciplined, or stopped. The dark psychological thriller, directed by South Korean director Chan-wook Park ("Oldboy") and based on a script by Wentworth Miller ("Prison Break"), is the anti-"Looper": Evil is pure nature, there's no nurture involved.

"Stoker" focuses on a troubled young girl named India (Mia Wasikowska), who's dealing with the death of her father (Dermot Mulroney), her wine-addled mother (Nicole Kidman) and her recently arrived Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode). It's an exquisitely shot film, almost artistically so, with plenty of attention to detail. "Stoker" is also very dark, however, as it becomes a sinister tale of the beast within and what happens when you can no longer contain these excruciating urges.

At the New York screening of "Stoker" at the Walter Reade Theatre on Wednesday night, The Huffington Post spoke with Wasikowska and Goode and asked them about getting into the mindset of such malignant characters. "You read the script and you think 'Wow, this is a slightly odd character' but you have to try to find some psychological truth to it," said Goode. "The process is like trying on a suit -- when you go get a suit made, a bespoke one, you do it slowly but surely. You try it on, then you go back and fix it and then you try it back on. Finally, at the end, it's there."

For Wasikowska, whose character India is a far cry from her usual "Alice in Wonderland" and "Jane Eyre" roles, the process was more like a game of pretend. "You just sort of imagine really what it's like for them," Wasikowska told The Huffington Post. "There's half of her character that I can identify with, the more universal themes that she deals with like loneliness and desire. Then there's another part you don't understand, so I just sort of make it up. I imagine it."

As for dealing with a director who doesn't speak English, both actors agree the process was more seamless than initially anticipated. "He understands a lot more than he can speak, and he also can speak more than he lets on," said Goode. "On set we used a translator because it's quicker and easier, and we also had a shorthand going on. He's a very interesting man."

Wasikowska, who signed on to the project because she was a fan of Park's intense body of work, also had an idol on set: Kidman.

"[Nicole] really took me under her wing and was really sweet and open. She shared her experiences in films and it was great, especially since I grew up watching her career," she said. "I always really admired her, the choices she's made. She was one of the first to transcend just working in Australia and to kind of bridge the gap between the Australian and the American industry. She's wonderful."

"Stoker" is out in limited release on March 1.

'Stoker' New York Premiere

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