I recently got the chance to talk to Jennifer Lim about her role in ‘Womb’. Here, Jennifer talks about what it was like working with Eva Green and Matt Smith and which three people she would invite to dinner…
Hey Jennifer. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘Womb’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
It’s a sci-fi love story about Rebecca and Tommy who are lovers. Tommy dies unexpectedly in a car accident and Rebecca decides to clone him.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
Mrs Muju is an Android – she represents the mid-point between a human clone and a robot. Androids already exist in the world and she is there to be a question mark in audiences’ mind as they examine the spiritual and moral mores of ‘cloning’.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I was seen originally for the part of Rebecca. I read the script and fell in love with it straightaway. The casting process was a lengthy one – it went on for months and I was told I was in the mix for a long time. When they cast Eva Green as Rebecca, I was offered Mrs Muju – a character that didn’t previously exist in the previous drafts. I saw ‘Dealer’ by the director Benedek Fliegauf and didn’t want to pass up the opportunity of working with him and so I accepted the part.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
The film is beautiful and haunting and is reminiscent of works by Kieslowski and Tarkovsky. We don’t see films like this very often these days. The film presents the possibility of eternal love – something we hear pledged and wished for amongst people in love and then examines the possible repercussions and effects when it becomes a reality. The Oedipal relationship between Rebecca and the clone Tommy is complex and unique.
The film stars Eva Green, Matt Smith, Lesley Manville, Peter Wight, Istvan Lenart, Hannah Murray and Ruby O. Fee – with Benedek Fliegauf onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
I met Eva and Matt who are both lovely and I greatly respect Benedek as a director. He is a wonderful filmmaker with great attention to detail and with a real passion for what he does. I was only on set for a day but had a great time doing it. Good anedotes?….mmm……we were really well looked after in Berlin…..we were housed in these amazing apartments…..mine had a huge living room, drawing room, dining room etc which could house an entire family and I felt like a Chekov character wandering from room to room. When I wrapped on set, I was handed a bottle of champagne and as I don’t drink, I gave it to Benedek who informed me that he didn’t drink either……..
Let’s talk a bit about you Jennifer. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
A theatre group came to my school when I was 12 and we played some theatre games. I’ve always been shy as a child but I felt a joy and liberation when I was playing those games. It was as if pretending to be someone else frees me from my excruciating shyness. When I realised that you could be different people for a living when I was a bit older, I thought why not. Plus the thought of settling down to a sedentary job and doing the same thing day in day out terrifies the life out of me.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
To believe that you can do it, have faith and be tenacious. Acting is a funny business – it’s either feast or famine for the majority of us. The beauty of it is also the fact that you don’t know when or what is going to happen. You can be unemployed for months and suddenly get a phone call or land an amazing job! Hang in there and keep the faith.
You’ve had a number of roles in different films and TV series – which actors have been your favourites to work with so far and why? Any good stories?
I enjoyed working with Ewan McGregor – he’s very generous and down to earth. Worked with him twice. Once in a short film called ‘Happy McGee’ alongside Jude Law and Danny Webb. Tim Robbins in ‘Code 46’ was pretty cool too. We were shooting on the day he was going to Hyde Park to deliver a speech about the Iraq War. We spent a long time chatting about the war and this was the time of Bush and the weapons of mass destruction….I’ll never forget what he said to me …..‘Truth Will Prevail’ (about the WMD). Leo Gregory was fun to work with too, he’s cheeky and funny……
In 2005, you were in the original ‘Hostel’ film – where your character was horribly disfigured by having her eye taken out – what was it like working on that movie?
It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Eli Roth was a joy to work with – very passionate about horror. We had a great ball working on it – we were filming in Cesky Krumlov and Prague which were stunningly beautiful. The beauty of it was – I had fun working on it and didn’t anticipate how huge it was going to get when it came out.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
- Shakespeare – (no disrespect – but I’ll ask him if he actually wrote all those plays?). He had an amazing depth and breadth of human understanding and the universe. I hope it’s one of those long dinners that go on forever – guess there’s so much I want to talk to him about.
- Jesus – what he thought of the whole Occupied Movement?
- Liv Ullman – she’s such a legend! I want to talk to her about Ingmar Bergman and achieving longevity as an actress.
What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
Tasmania – it has everything – mountains, sea, good food as well as one of the world’s best museums – the MONA.
What is your favourite word?
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
Am doing ‘Wild Swans’ at the Young Vic Theatre, London at the moment until the 13th May. ‘Act Of Grace’ directed by Noreen Kershaw – (director of ‘Shameless’) and co-starring Leo Gregory is out on DVD on the 21st May. ‘Piercing Brightness’ – (directed by Shezad Dawood) is in post-production and I play ‘Shin’ – an alien in human form who visits Earth to recall the sleeper cells.
I’m waiting to hear about a couple of meetings I had recently and developing a few feature projects I have in the pipeline as a filmmaker. I made two short films last year – ‘Night Lives’ that I produced, wrote, directed and acted in which was funded by the London Film Fund and ‘Mercutio’s Dreaming’ that I co-directed with Daniel York which was commissioned by the BBC Writers Room and B3 Media.
Thanks for the interview!