She’s got the Oscar buzz going for her role in the The Reader. Former Alias star Lena Olin takes your questions here!

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  • Susan
    Susan on

    She’s fabulous in The Reader. Go see it immediately!

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Q: Hi, Lena, I heard that the movie was delayed because the lead actor was under-aged. How long it take to film the movie from beginning to end? - Susannah, New York City

I wasn’t even involved in that part because that was the love scenes between Kate Winslet and [David Kross]. [David] wasn’t allowed to do the love scenes before the age of 18–he turned 18 in August. They froze the shoot, and I think it had a huge effect because we switched cinematographers because the original cinematographer was busy with other things when we came back to shoot the love scenes.

Q: You play a Holocaust survivor in The Reader. How did you prepare emotionally for the role? - Matt, Los Angeles - Uinterview User

Well it's interesting because I've had the privilege of portraying another survivor in a movie called Enemies: Love Story that we shot in
1990. Paul Mazursky brought us to New York a couple of months ahead of the shoot and we went downtown to the restaurants where we would find
survivors who worked as waiters and we had so much preparation for that movie that it has helped me to prepare for this movie. In the
late 80s you could go to a lot of places and find survivors. They were very happy to talk about their experience and the devastating thing
was that they had survived but they were still in those camps in a way and still so consumed by their experience. When Stephen approached me
with this project he said, 'I want to portray another kind of survivor. Someone who has actually moved on.' She's an affluent, successful
woman today. She grew up in hell though because she grew up in the concentration camp.

Q: What was the atmosphere like on the set when you were making the movie? - Matt, Los Angeles - Uinterview User

It was very intense. We filmed it in Berlin and it was interesting because the German crew was extraordinary, very sweet. But I found that the scenes I'm in when we filmed the trial is intense because of the subject matter and because of the way Stephen works too. He puts it up like a play. He rehearses, we really have a lot of rehearsals
before we start shooting and it's an intense set.

Q: What do you hope people will take away from the movie? - Susannah, New York City - Uinterview User

When I left the theater from watching it the first time, I felt that the movie had cracked me open and I felt so emotionally raw and so furiously thinking about these things. That's where I want to be as a person. I don't want to be caught up in all these things that we get caught up in. I want to be that honest and raw. I think when movies work the best, that's how they work. They open us up and I think this movie does that in a very fantastic way.

Q: Is there one moment that stands out for you as representing the experience of making this movie? - Bill, San Francisco - Uinterview User

The way Stephen deals with actors. He will just go with an actor and what the actor brings. We had a day when we shot a lot of things and the next day we came back only for a pick up and he saw that I was on to something else. He kept redoing what we had done the day before and I thought that was so wonderful that he had the courage and that he would go against - people would be like [points to watch], 'We've
done this we need to move on.' He would just go with what the actor wanted and that was incredible and wonderful.