Actress Yasmin Paige talks Submarine, working with the cast and director Richard Ayoade, and more.
Yasmin Paige certainly seems to be an actress we'll be hearing quite a lot more from after her performance in Submarine, which hits Blu-ray and DVD October 4. The actress plays Jordana Bevan in this coming-of-age comedy from director Richard Ayoade, a young girl whom Craig Roberts' character Oliver takes a liking to. He attempts to lose his virginity to Jordana while simultaneously trying to mend his parents' ow relationship, often in bizarre ways.
Could you talk about your initial thoughts on the script and your first meetings with (writer-director) Richard Ayoade? This must have been quite an interesting script to read.
Yasmin Paige: Yeah, definitely. When I first read it, I thought it was really great and I just wanted a chance to be a part of it. It was really funny and I remember thinking I don't think I've read this kind of humor before. I sent in a tape in like May of 2009 and I didn't meet Richard until late August. We just had a chat and he tried to get me to improvise, which I'm awful at and I didn't want to do that (Laughs). We just had a really nice chat, and after that we did a screen test with Craig. It happened really quickly. I was so shocked at how quickly it happened.
Was Craig already signed on when you first read for this?
Yasmin Paige: I don't think so. When we met at the screen test, we didn't know what was going on. It was a lot of fun. We did it over three days. We kind of shot a mini-version of the film, but without dialogue. It was really weird, but it was great. I don't think Craig had signed on at that point, but we were just auditioning together.
We've seen a few movies like this before, about these teens going through these different relationships. Do you feel this was more honest and truthful to how teens today are actually feeling?
Yasmin Paige: Yeah. It's a very pure account of teenage adolescence, I think. It's very romantic, but I think it is a true account. It's also very idealized as well. I wish my first crush was like that (Laughs).
Was there any kind of preparation you needed to go through for a role like this? Did you look at friends of yours or anyone else to play Jordana, or was it a more natural approach?
Yasmin Paige: Well, Richard gave us different people to look at. He gave me a lot of Christina Ricci films. She is very good at being mean, so I watched a lot of her, Buffalo 66, The Ice Storm, The Opposite of Sex, stuff like that. She's amazing and I just wanted to get that meanness that she has, that nonchalant coolness as well.
There is such a great cast here, with younger actors like yourself and Craig and then veterans like Sally Hawkins and Paddy Considine. Can you talk about the overall feeling on the set, and what it was like to get a chance to work with seasoned pros like this?
Yasmin Paige: It was really relaxed and really fun. It was really like a family, especially the last two weeks of filming. It was extremely small. We used to do days where it would be just me, Craig, Richard, and the DP. We just went out with the camera. It was a lot of fun. Paddy is hilarious and it was really a wonderful experience. It just felt like a family, and you felt really safe to ask questions. It was really great.
Did you have a lot of time before shooting to get to know Craig and build a rapport with him?
Yasmin Paige: No, we had a really long rehearsal period. Craig and I hung out a lot, and we hung out a lot with Richard as well. We would watch films together and get to know each other when we were in Wales shooting it. It's great that we had that kind of bond with each other. It was really, really lovely.
Can you talk about working with Richard? As an actor himself, do you find that helps his relationships with the actors?
Yasmin Paige: Yeah, I think it helps a lot. Richard is so kind and he understands. I think that he was always sensitive to us feeling comfortable and he was so lovely. He made it really easy. He was wonderful.
This was based on a novel, and I know people have different approaches. Some don't read the novel and some do. Did you delve into the novel before shooting, or did you just go off of Richard's script?
Yasmin Paige: Well, Richard said there is a lot of similar things with the book, dialogue and things like that, but there are also huge differences as well. I loved it and I read it beforehand. It really made it that much more enticing, because the book is extremely different and they both stand on their own right. It was really, really good.
It's cool to see an adaptation where, even though it's very different, fans of the book can enjoy it as well.
Yasmin Paige: Yeah. I think Submarine is one of those films where you can watch the film and then read the book. I think for Twilight and things like that, you can do that. You will just see Craig when you're reading the book (Laughs). But they're both just wonderful in their own right. They complement each other and yet both stand on their own.
Is there a specific scene or a moment on the set that will always stick out for you when you look back on your experience in Submarine?
Yasmin Paige: There were so many things. I think one thing that stuck out was when we shot the scene where I was rollerblading with these fireworks in my hand. Maybe that's because I fell and hurt myself, but that stuff was really, really fun. We were just running on the beach and climbing in trees and things like that.
Is there anything you're looking to sign on for now that you can talk about? Does the experience of doing something like this really open new doors for you, after the movie's release?
Yasmin Paige: I'm at school at the moment, but yeah. I think Submarine is one of those things where the experiences at the festivals were so amazing and mind-blowing. It was a completely different experience than I've ever had before. The fact that people liked it was also great. When we filmed it, we couldn't imagine the outcome of just how wonderful it is. It will be something that's very dear to me, the whole experience.
After an experience like this, do you find yourself gravitating to more smaller, indie films?
Yasmin Paige: Well, Submarine is one of the only things I can draw from. I don't really know the difference between studio films and indie films are. I wouldn't know if there is a huge difference. I certainly would love to have the same experience I had here, but I don't think it would ever be the same.
What would you like to say to anyone who didn't see Submarine in theaters about why they should pick up the DVD or Blu-ray next week?
Yasmin Paige: Because it's really good (Laughs). The cinematography is really, really good. I think I've said that in every interview, but it really, really is. Whichever TV you have, it will still look amazing.
Great. Thanks so much for your time, Yasmin. It was a pleasure to talk to you.
Yasmin Paige: Thank you very much. It was lovely talking to you too.