Cast & Crew Roundtables for ‘Aeon Flux’

Charlize Theron, Marton Csokas, Director Karyn Kusama, Creator Peter Chung, and producers Gale Ann Hurd and David Gale talk about the upcoming flick.
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Aeon Flux Roundtables

Charlize Theron, Marton Csokas, Director Karyn Kusama, Creator Peter Chung, and producers Gale Ann Hurd and David Gale talk Aeon Flux

Undeniably, the most iconic image associated with Aeon Flux is that of a common housefly getting caught in an animated set of eyelashes. That five second trademark will be fully realized in the flesh this December 2nd, when a live action version of the popular animated short arrives in theaters to much anticipation. This is a film that has been ten years in the making. It originally started as a series of interstitials on MTV’s Liquid Television. Then it was turned into a short lived episodic series that ran for just a season. Now, exactly a decade after creator Peter Chung introduced the animated vixen to audiences around the world, Charlize Theron is stepping into the leather bodysuit that has become every anime fan’s wet dream.

This past weekend, Movieweb caught up with the cast and crew of this surefire hit for some roundtable interviews. First, Charlize told us what she thought about the genre roles currently being offered to today’s actress…

“I think they’ve been heading in a pretty strong direction. You look at something like Lora Croft, and that’s a great female character. I think the genre lend itself very easily to those types of characters. People are attracted to women playing these strong parts. I think that it’s evolving, and will get stringer. It’s definitely on its way, sure.”

The idea of Aeon Flux having a political residence was also a means of discussion…

“I think that it’s pretty hard to make a film about that future that does not touch on the political issues that we’re faced with today. I think the whole point of this story and this character is someone questioning what is happening around them. She’s actually brave enough not to watch propaganda and fall into what is being fed to her. She is a pretty forceful, ferocious fighter against it. That was something that I very much liked. Anime is so non-linear; we had to base this on some actual things that are happening, so that there is some social residence to it.”

Charlize told us why, even after her accident on set, it was important to do her own stunts…

“The physical aspect of the character is very important to me. In many ways, you have to play the character both emotionally and physically. I felt that way about this. The physical challenge is what appealed to me just as much as the emotional aspect. For me, it’s very important to actually be this person. If you want to call it method, or crazy, so be it. It was important for me to take enough time off after the accident to go back and do what I needed to do physically. That was so much of the character. I can’t imagine going back and not doing any of that stuff. I also believe you feel that in a movie. When someone is not completely throwing there body into it. I never want to see a film that I’m in that I can see that.”

And about the merchandising of the film…

“I didn’t put too much thought into the merchandising. The most important thing was the film itself. I didn’t want to think about sequels, or the dolls, or anything like that. Sometimes you can get ahead of yourself. That’s like putting the cart in front of the horse. The most important thing was to take what Peter had created and make a linear story out of it. And make an entertaining film. Now I think that other stuff will follow. It’s not the most important thing. The most important thing is too deliver a good film. Something I’m proud of.”

Who is Aeon Flux?

“She’s a strong thinker. And she’s an independent thinker. She’s comfortable being Independent. She’s a soul trader. She’s comfortable in that role. Even though you always have to play the love interest, that’s what I loved about her. That she was independent. And I liked how ferocious she was. She acts on instinct. Why does a lion kill its cub sometimes? You know? There was this natural force inside of her that I was attracted to. Sometimes she will act a certain way that you can’t justify. Her belief in freedom was something I really liked, too. She’s a freedom fighter, and very passionate about that. She was ballsy.”

Next up were creator Peter Chung and Producer David Gale. Peter was asked if ever envisioned his creation being realized in the flesh…

“No, I never did. I don’t think I ever thought the live action film would be anything like the animation, because honestly, the animation was creating as something that would never work in live action. Like her costume, her hair, and her movements. I tried to use my animation to show things you couldn’t do in live action. But I think there’s an approach that has captured the look and feel of the animation without it becoming unbelievable. I think it will work with an audience.”

Did Peter ever think about doing a whole live action animated film?

“Yeah, I did think about it. But it was out of my hands.”

David Gale added to this…

“One of the great things since this is coming out is that it’s being introduced to a whole new audience. People that were fans when it came out are still fans. And then there’s a whole new group of people that will discover Peter’s art. They have a whole boxset coming out, and he’s been able to do things and find things that hadn’t been around in a while. And we’re hopeful that this will bring new life to the animated series. It is distinct, and has its own vision.”

David Gale told us what he thought about having somebody that had worked in independent film as the director of this live action anime…

“It wasn’t intentional. Whoever came in had to have a great appreciation for what Peter had done. And had a way of accessing it. The series does have an independent feel to it. That’s clear in what Peter’s done. Until we found someone that could come at it with a new style, it really wasn’t feasible. Karyn Kusama really got the job based on her own vision.”

Peter was asked if he spent a lot of time on set…

“Not all the time. I did visit the set in Berlin. I saw them shoot. And they were actually shooting a scene that was straight out of the series. They didn’t build these sets, they found the actual locations. They really matched the look of the series.”

Marton Csokas was asked about working in the Sci-Fi genre…

“I’ve done some sci-fi film shorts that you wouldn’t have seen. But I’m not a sci-fi aficionado. Stalker was my favorite Sci-Fi film. And THX, the numbers I can never remember. I like the existentialism of it; that I quite enjoy. But I approached this less from a sci-fi perspective, and more from a storytelling perspective.”

Marton also addressed the political undercurrents of the film…

“I think it’s natural to do that. And desirable to do that as well. Rebellion and unification of common believes is important, so that we don’t remain isolated. There are certain individuals that have far too much power. And this is a popular forum to address that.”

Is Marton’s role a very physical one?

“Not so much. In the dominate-submissive relationship, I was the submissive.”

Why did Director Karyn Kusama decide to shoot the film in Berlin?

“From the directorial side, there are a ton of reasons. On my end, I was just really excited by the visual landscape. And surprised by it. There were so many choices of real locations. We found so many uncanny places that had an unreal quality.”

Gale Ann Hurd was asked why she thinks there are not as many women shooting genre films as there are men…

“Well, the good news, in terms of producing, is that there are. The landscape has changed considerably since I started twenty-five years ago. The statistics are, that in those last twenty-five years, half as many woman shoot films now as they did then. It’s a perception. It’s harder for women to get hired. We’ve had an opportunity to change that perception. We had breakthroughs early on in producing. And I would get approached to produce a film.”

CLICK HERE for the audio interviews from the convention.

Aeon Flux was released December 2nd, 2005.

Sources: Paulington

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