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Olga Kurylenko

Olga Kurylenko

Q&A with the To The Wonder star

Film3Sixty Magazine

February 2013

Link to Article on External Website


Olga Kurylenko first broke onto the big screen when she appeared opposite Daniel Craig (Skyfall, 2012) in Marc Forster’s Quantum of Solace (2008). In her latest role, the Ukrainian born actress stars opposite Ben Affleck as Marina in Terrence Malick’s To The Wonder, which is released in cinemas this Friday. Film3Sixty met up with her to discuss what it was like working with the great director.

Terrence Malick is a mystery to most people because he never does interviews. How did you find him?
He’s a wonderful person. He’s warm, caring, sweet. He told me I was like his daughter. I would ask the First Assistant Director, “What are we doing today?” and he’d say, “I don’t know, go ask your dad.” Everybody was making a joke of it because he was so protective of me.

Malick’s camera certainly loves you in To The Wonder. Did you feel that adoration making the film?
Yes, and it made me very happy, especially because I admire him so much. I love his movies, I love his writing. When he gives you pages of the script, it’s like reading pure philosophy. It’s poetic, it’s beautiful – you want to put every page in a frame and hang it on the wall. I told Terry I wanted to make wallpaper out of his writings.

There’s scads of beautiful imagery and gorgeous sequences of you and Ben Affleck floating through fields, but not much actual dialogue. Did it feel strange to shoot at times?
Maybe sometimes it felt like we were just walking around, but Terry knew exactly what he was doing. Everything was controlled but in a very relaxed way. He makes you do things without you knowing that you’re doing them. It was almost like telepathy: you suddenly felt a wish to do something and I realised later he made me want to do that. He doesn’t intellectualise a scene, he makes you feel it, he makes you understand it on elemental level. He told me, “Always trust your instinct.”

What did he tell you about your character Marina? Did he give you a back story?
She’s a dreamer. I told myself that she probably wanted to be a dancer, but he didn’t tell me that. He told me certain things, like that she’d had a difficult past and that she’d had a disappointing relationship before she meets Neil [Affleck] with the man who’s the father of her daughter. There’s a voiceover in the beginning where I say, “I never thought I could love again”.

Your character is meant to be based on a French woman Malick lived with for several years. Did he ever discuss that with you?
I heard that as well but I never asked him about it. It’s his life and I respected him too much to ask him that question. And whether it’s true or not, I almost preferred not to know.
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