Ruth Wilson & Lenny Abrahamson On ‘The Little Stranger,’ Character Psychology [VIDEO EXCLUSIVE]
Actress Ruth Wilson and director Lenny Abrahamson opened up to uInterview about their new film The Little Stranger. Wilson plays Caroline, the daughter of an aristocratic family in post-World War II England. With the aristocracy on the decline during this period, Caroline’s family is fighting to hold on to their social status and crumbling mansion. When Dr. Faraday (Domnhall Gleeson) arrives to treat Caroline’s brother (Will Poulter) for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the family discovers a supernatural threat to the estate. Charlotte Rampling also stars in the film.
In this exclusive video interview, Wilson and Abrahamson discuss a family clinging to archaic notions of class, character psychology, playing with genre and their favorite scenes.
The Little Stranger is based on Sarah Waters‘ novel of the same name. Abrahamson reflected on his desire to adapt a Gothic novel into a film. “There’s something there and I want to keep digging away at it,” he said. To Abrahamson, Waters’ novel is not just a ghost story, but a tale rich in character and psychology. “It’s really, really great about the characters, why they’re behaving the way they are, what’s motivating them and how that plays into the ghost story element.” Abrahamson said. “For me, it was just the challenge of playing with genre, but not doing genre. You know, teasing and playing as a storyteller with elements that would normally dominate, but like using them to do something else.”
Wilson recalled that her favorite scene in the film is when Caroline attends a dance with Faraday. “I really loved that for my character anyway as well. Because she got out of the house and it’s where you see her most alive. Where you see what she was, what she could be and what she was,” Wilson said. “It’s just a contrast of the character, you know, of what you see in the rest of the film.”
Abrahamson’s favorite scene is one where Caroline and Dr. Faraday share a close moment in the basement kitchen of the house. He praised screenwriter Lucinda Coxon for how beautifully written the scene is. “You go into this scene not having any idea that these two characters are gonna walk out of it together, and yet, when they do, you sort of believe it,” he said.
The Little Stranger comes to theaters August 31.