Lena Heady Interview

It's been a busy few months for Lena Headey; the British actress has been all over the world shooting and promoting two of her features which happen to be releasing on the same day.

She stars in The Brothers Grimm as a villager who helps Matt Damon and Heath Ledger stop the evil queen from killing all the little girls. In The Cave, she's part of a diving team sent over to Romania to search an ancient cave.

We had the chance to sit down with her to talk about both films. Here's what she had to say:

How did you like playing the kick-ass chick?

Lena Headey: It was great, obviously it's preferable to a damsel in distress.

Did you read the fairy tales as a kid?

Lena Headey: Yeah, I had the books, a whole stack of them piled on my bed; I had a big book of the Grimm tales and Hans Christian Anderson, all that stuff.

What's your favorite?

Lena Headey: I liked the one where a group of dogs' eyes start growing and you weren't supposed to look at them and some girl had to go inside and rescue something inside a box. I loved them, I love the darkness of them.

How would you explain Terry Gilliam as a director?

Lena Headey: I wasn't really that familiar with his name, I'm not a collector of names, but all my male friends were like ‘Terry Gilliam!' And then I had seen what he did and I said ok. Then when I met him, you get the full force of him and I didn't know what to expect and it's just a crazy ride cause he's a visionary and a unique filmmaker. His drive, passion, and commitment is so huge; he paints this amazing picture for every scene and every detail is in his mind. And you can see his drawings, but you're not sure what's fit into his picture. You learn a lot; I learned so much about filmmaking. He wants to make something great and he's not commercial in his approach; he wants something that's going to stand the test of time.

If you're not into Gilliam, what are you into?

Lena Headey: I would love to work with Shane Meadows, great director. Terry has a theme.

What attracted you to this film?

Lena Headey: I've been working a long time, and mostly European films. When I got this script, I knew Gilliam was unique and the script was really great. And the female character – I just loved her. That was really it for me.

What about The Cave?

Lena Headey: That was crazy! It was three months in the water in Romania. After the first three days, I didn't even want to put the wet suit on again. Bucharest is hell.

What was shooting like?

Lena Headey: I never considered I'd be running around from a monster. And I read it and I thought ‘Why not' because this is my job and why not try all kinds of genres. And I did it, and possibly will never do it again.

How much of the movie was real and how much was CGI'd?

Lena Headey: Most of the sets were incredible; they built the entire forest, you would walk in the door and there it was. You could ride horses in it; it was huge. The tower, it was up to a point, but it was huge. The wolf wasn't there, the Gingerbread Man obviously wasn't there.

How would you compare the CGI from The Cave to The Brothers Grimm?

Lena Headey: In The Cave there was a guy running across in tights with a monster head on and that was so they could CG him. In The Brothers Grimm with the Gingerbread Man, I was all alone so I had to get that done so I could work with it. Also, it was minus degrees and we had been shooting for days, early morning and there was so much to get. There was so much to get because you're looking into nothing and trying to keep your eye line without looking crazy or drunk is really hard.

The Brothers Grimm and The Cave are rated PG-13; they both open on August 26th.