PLANET OF THE APES - ESTELLA WARREN
How did you feel when you were asked to be in PLANET OF THE APES?
It was pretty amazing. I was supposed to sign on to a different movie the day we got the call to go to the casting for Apes. I met the casting director and he asked me if I would like to meet Tim Burton and I said 'wow, yeah, that would be great' and I met with Tim and we spoke about my athletic background and his movies and he put me on tape. At the time the script was so secretive that I had to read from another script. I had to do a proof because I was a new, unknown actress. But when I got the part it was overwhelming considering the talent that is involved in the movie. It was a great surprise and I was just ready to go and happy to be a part of the film.
Would you have preferred to play an ape or were you happy to be a human?
I was very happy to stay human for the film. There were four or five hours of hair and make-up for those guys in the ape costumes. We tried to be as sympathetic as possible to them but it's a great tribute to Tim Burton that actors like Tim Roth and Helena Bonham-Carter were prepared to put up with so much time in make-up.
Have you seen the original PLANET OF THE APES?
I didn't grow up with the original like some of the others did because I'm a bit younger. But I saw the first one when I was about 12. I was always intrigued about how the movie was made because it was such an amazing concept. When I got the part in the new Apes film, I went straight out and rented all the DVDs. But when I got onto Tim's set I realised that the new version was going to be very different. I realised he didn't want to remake it or make a sequel because the original was such a part of pop culture. And I think that because the new version already has this pop culture movie status and the fact that Tim chose to make it, and he's a kind of icon himself, something truly amazing has been created.
Are you pleased with the outcome?
I'm absolutely thrilled. It's a visually shocking movie and the action and make-up are fantastic. The acting from Tim Roth and the others through all the make-up is very impressive. You will go to the cinema for two hours and be completely entertained and when you leave you will still be thinking about it.
How was it working with Mark Wahlberg?
One of my favourite films is BOOGIE NIGHTS and I never imagined I would get the chance to act alongside him. I'm so impressed at how well he has made the transition through his career and has evolved into the person and the actor he is now. He shared a lot of his acting experiences with me and it was fascinating because we come from quite similar backgrounds and I had to make similar transitions to develop my acting career. He is an impressive actor and he does his job really well.
You did many of your own stunts. What was the one you remember most?
I did most of my own stunt work because of my athletic background. There was one stunt I did where there was an ape attached to a cable and he was running behind me and had to jump and, in the air, take me to the ground. So I had to learn how to fall properly without breaking anything. When you see it, when he grabs the back of my head and pulls it back and you can see all these veins popping out of my neck and I thought that was a really cool shot. I also did a lot of horse riding but I grew up with horses around me so that wasn't too tough although it was great to act on horseback. It was an adrenaline rush. And it works well because, like me, my character Deana doesn't go to ground easily. She's proactive and a bit of an action hero.
Did you dream of being an actress when you were young?
I never did. I was a swimmer in Canada and that was the main thing on my mind. I used to dream about going to the Olympics. When I was 12 I moved away from home to swim for the national team and then I swam in Toronto for another five or six years.
Where do you go from here?
I just finished working on a film in Australia called DOWN AND UNDER with Jerry O'Connell and Anthony Anderson. That was really interesting and it was a change from movies I had done previously. It's nice trying to see what I can do and figuring out what I enjoy because the last couple of years have been a whirl. I'm going to take a bit of a break now and really focus on what movie I want to do next.
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