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V for Vendetta in our magazines

THE MOVIE: V for Vendetta

Natalie Portman • Hugo Weaving • Stephen Rea
DIRECTOR: James McTeigue

Making a stand… THE CONCEPT:
Set in futuristic Great Britain, which now has a totalitarian state, the movie tells the story of a masked freedom fighter named V (Weaving) who rescues a young woman named Evey (Portman) from a life-and-death situation, who becomes an unlikely ally in his quest for justice.

U.S. RELEASE: March 17 2006, Nationwide • Rated: R


What was it about playing Evey that attracted you to the project?

“I was really excited at the idea of getting into the mind of someone who would use violence, and who goes through a transformation, someone who starts out as a non-violent person just trying to keep safe in this totalitarian society, and becoming someone who believes that violence is an acceptable means to rebel against an oppressive government.”

How did it feel to have your hair shaved off?

”For me personally, I was excited to have the opportunity to throw vanity away and go around with no hair, but obviously I was in character at the moment it happened, so for her it’s a very traumatic experience, she’s not choosing it. It’s being forced upon her, which is a pretty violent act.”

Was that the only take of that shot?

“Yeah, the biggest stress of the whole scene was that we only had one chance. In movies we’re so spoiled, if you mess up you can always do it again, and this was not the case, so we had several cameras that rehearsed many times shooting it, and they shaved other guy volunteers before to be sure the razor wasn’t going to mess up. I just tried to stay focused so that I would do my best job the one chance we had.”

What’s it like working opposite an actor who’s in a mask?

“Hugo Weaving is such an amazing actor, that even though he had the obstacle of not being able to use his face as a tool, his vocal and physical expressiveness was so specific that I had this amazing performance opposite me, and whatever I was feeling as an actress, like what’s going on behind that mask, is he smiling right now, is he crying, is he angry, the character is going through too, so I could use it.”

This film seems to take sides when it comes to terrorism.

“I think this film asks questions more than anything, because of the way that all the characters are represented – the hero is not a classic movie hero, but more of a classic Greek hero, with a tragic flaw that he’s out for revenge. So there are many points in the movie where he’s a pretty bad guy and you’re not with him. And how Evey makes her transformation to become violent is complicated, because in some ways you see that she’s meeting her destiny, but in other ways she’s finding her integrity, and in other ways she’s being manipulated, and so all of those things together give you a complex view of what it takes to make a person believe that they can use violence as a means of expressing their political beliefs.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official V for Vendetta site
Images above © Warner Brothers
Feature © 2006 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #668, April 2006 cover

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