Adelaide Clemens on Her Role in Silent Hill: Revelation
We recently got a chance to catch up with actress Adelaide Clemens—who plays ‘Heather Mason’ in the forthcoming movie Silent Hill Revelation 3D—during Konami’s recent Gamers Night, at San Francisco’s Ruby Skye nightclub (on Mason Street, oddly enough):
CHRIS HUDAK: Unless we’ve missed something major in your filmography, Silent Hill Revelation 3D has got to be the hands-down creepiest film you’ve ever been a part of—is that fair?
ADELAIDE CLEMENS: Absolutely—it was really, really terrifying, actually.
CH: In other movies, you’ve been known to do some ‘research.’ For example, with Parade’s End, you kind of ‘hit the books’ [in regard to the role of suffragette Valentine Wannop]. Is there anything in particular you did to research, to get into your role in this new movie?
AC: I really took on the role of Heather Mason herself—the psychological journey that she’s going on. You know, in the games you have the ‘real’ world—and then you have the hell-world. In the film—and in ‘my’ version of what Heather was experiencing—she was in the real world, and then she would have… she would have these, um, projections of Silent Hill coming into her world. She literally thought she was going crazy. So that sort of psychological concept—of not knowing whether what you are seeing is real or not, or if it’s just your deranged mind, or if it’s… if it’s, you know, if it’s these dark Forces—not knowing, that terror of your own mind, that’s what I really tried to get my head around. If you understand that—I know that’s very, very… um… [here she gives a bewildered kind of smile, which is harder to pull off than it sounds] that’s very… yeah.
CH: This isn’t your typical ‘horror movie’, in the sense of some slasher/gory kind of thing, is it? What was it about getting into this kind of role—as opposed to a ‘screamer’ sort of vulnerable character?
AC: Yeah, you know, I think, obviously, with the mythology of the game, the gravity of what the monsters are—what they mean; their symbolism, and all of those things—I did research the game, and look into the ‘history’ of Silent Hill, and what has been created there in the franchise. And, physically! I had to get incredibly strong, and incredibly fit—just really immerse myself in Heather Mason.
CH: You mentioned having to research the games; now I know you’re not a big gamer or anything, but—
AC: No, and I didn’t do it through playing the games, but through researching things like Pyramid Head, and the Missionary, who Vincent is, the Seal of Metatron, and things like that: What they mean—the thing is, they represent different psychological states of mind as well, you know. When you see the film, it’ll all come together.
CH: Did you have to work very hard to suppress the, ah, the accent?
AC: No, no; I’ve done quite a few American films at this point—I’ve done about 9 films. Yeah, I think the accent is actually something that liberates me from myself; it’s, you know, I don’t hear myself coming out of my own—you know what I mean? [laughs]. So yeah, no—it’s, it’s actually, for me, a positive!
CH: Since this is a movie shot in 3D, was there anything in the technical sense that was different—for you—from doing a normal movie? Normally that doesn’t so much fall on the actors, but still I wonder.
AC: Yeah, no—absolutely; proximity to the lens and, you know, and physically you have to be very aware. You’re a lot more physically dynamic in a 3D-oriented film, so you just have to be aware and understand the mechanics of what the 3D camera does.
[At this point, because the people running the venue are really really really really really really smart, the volume level of the music in the already-loud Ruby Skye club suddenly nearly doubles—which, in terms of conducting our interview, is of course just, like, awesome]
CH: [now and henceforth hoarsely bellowing anything that needs to be communicated, even though Adelaide is standing less than 12 inches away]: Oh, good! They turned up the music even louder!
AC: [likewise at the top of her voice] Oh, fantastic!
CH: Um… okay, you’re aware that in Silent Hill—story-wise—people tend to end up there for one of two reasons: They’ve done something wrong—or, unaware, they’ve simply wandered into a Bad Place…
CH: Okay, so: You’re in Silent Hill. Personally—you; I don’t mean the character, I mean you: How did you get there…and what are you going to do?
AC [all at once, there's a look very close to actual horror on her face; she is, for a few moments, the veriest proverbial 'doe in the headlights']: Oh. Oh, gosh—
CH: You—I mean, you don’t have to answer that first one, if you don’t want to, but…
AC: I don’t…um, yeah, I…what am I gonna do? [she asks this not as if to confirm the question, but rather as if to spell out some new, terrible and suddenly very real train of thought to herself]
CH: Yeah; I mean, you—you—you find yourself there, and—
AC: I’m going to get out! I’m going to get out of there!
CH: How long do you think you’re going to last?
AC: Well…I like a challenge. [By this point she has recovered herself; her smile comes back]. And I don’t give up. So—I think I’d make it! [laughs]
CH: In terms of the technical aspects of making the film, what was your favorite time—or I should say, your favorite experience—in making this film?
AC: Working with Malcolm McDowell, and pointing a real gun at him; or practicing with a real gun, and then walking onto set and then doing that scene—with all the veins in my body just completely on fire.
So there you have it: A pleasant demeanor, a winning smile, a cute accent, a nicely-creepy-looking Silent Hill sequel to add to her filmography…and she aimed a gun at Malcolm McDowell. Perhaps not quite as unnerving a potential target as a gaggle of those creepy, lurching, faceless Silent Hill nurses…but still, man, a good, solid second all the same.
Silent Hill Revelation 3D comes to theaters October 26th .