"When I was younger I was a huge videogame player, original NES, Genesis, [original] PlayStation. Then when I was about 16, I moved out and decided not to take my videogames with me. It's unbelievable when the last thing you remember so intently was Crash Bandicoot… which is a great game." That's Ellen Page who's also recently, played The Last of Us, which she loves too.
Movies, videogames and those blurred lines in between. We sat down with Oscar nominee Ellen Page to discuss her work on the PlayStation 3 exclusive Beyond: Two Souls, which also stars another award nominee, Willem Dafoe. She had a lot to say, lot to gush about, in short, the former Juno star brought it.
"I got to literally one day open the door and walk into the future!"
In Beyond, Page plays a young woman named Jodie who has another soul attached to her body, Aiden. The story spans 15 years and takes players across the globe. A trip to off a warlord is intense, but not as moving as ending up homeless on a wintery street. The most unexpected moment? Preparing for a date where the player decides to dress up or dress down in jeans and a T-shirt? (Oh heck, just order a pizza!) These varied and surprising levels are born from the mind of French game developer David Cage. (His last game, the masterful Heavy Rain had us changing a baby's diapers.
This is so no not Call of Duty.
Five things we learned about Page's experience making the game:
1. Interactive vs. Passive: Videogames are a "younger medium" as Page says. "Filmmaking has been around for longer, so now videogames are starting to go in certain directions that sure, are cinematic in scope because that's the only thing we can relate it to, but really it's just utilizing this technology to tell stories in a new way. I think it's super cool."
2. On Beyond's Creator, David Cage: "I think David is really subversive in telling his stories, like the whole part that's in Somalia. I think that's a very cool, subversive way to talk about something like that, I don't wanna give anything away, but people will know when they play it. It isn't just about imagery of terrorism, there's something much deeper there. I think his vision and his heart is about creating this new medium."
3. On Jodie: "It's a very well written character. I play her over the course of 8 years. I had no idea it was would be one of the most fulfilling acting experiences I'd ever had. It was relentless, so challenging, and so much fun. I wouldn't have thought that two years ago if someone said, hey you're gonna be in a videogame and it's gonna be one of the most fulfilling experiences as an actor, I would been like ‘you're drunk.'"
4. On the Script. Over 2000 Pages! "It's thirty to forty pages a day, you're never waiting for lightning or the camera to turn around, to like get in the zone, like you can't be intellectual about it. You can't be in your head about it. All you can do is just do it. When everything was stripped away, no sets, no wardrobe, sometimes there's not even another actor, you always could get there emotionally… This experience was some kind of insane acting camp, it was really cool."
5. On Playing with Controller in Hand: "When I sit down to play I'm just as intrigued to see how it came together. At first, it's like oh, I that's how I walk? I walk weird! Then twenty minutes later I'm like on the edge of the couch hoping I don't get young Jodie in trouble! So far I've been an asshole, I strangled the shit of out that kid! I'm [playing as] a horrible person so I think I'm learning that I'm a horrible person."