Thandie Newton Video Interview On ‘Rogue,’ Learning To Shoot A Gun
Thandie Newton goes to the dark side in the new DirectTV series Rogue trying to solve the mystery of her son’s death. Newton connected with the role through her own work as a human rights activist. “The loss of children, the loss of family is happening all the time and all around the world,” she told Uinterview in an exclusive interview. “I work hard to try to raise awareness of those things.”
The British actress has appeared in a number of films, making her debut in the 1991 romance Flirting. She earned her reputation as a great actress with the roles in Beloved, Crash and Mission Impossible II.
Playing as the revenge-seeking mother in Rogue, Newton needed to learn how to shoot a gun — a situation she wasn’t very comfortable with. “I am very well aware of the fact that these weapons have been developed and made for one thing,” she told Uinterview. “I was very sad about that. I didn’t want nor did the show promote firearms as being cool.”
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Yeah, I mean she's been dished a horribly moral conflict in that her child has been murdered and the police are adamant that it was an accidental death and she has an instinct that it was something to do with the work she was doing undercover. You know, even though she isn't being supported by her family, isn't being supported by the police department, the world that she has just been working in goes against any of those rules. It's almost like the work she has done undercover has tapped into her more immoral understanding of the way people can be. So she goes undercover, back undercover without the police protection and without her family support, and we'll see what happens, whether it's worth it or not because the truth has consequences for sure.
Yeah, we had police training for a couple of days and the key to the training was in the firearm, and respect for the firearm, a healthy sense of fear of the firearm and really the understanding of the seriousness of having a weapon and that was terrific, and then we went to the shooting range. I must admit I did feel a sense of dread about being there with these four other actors that I was working with; all of whom had training in shooting and weapons and so on. And I just thought, 'Ugh! This is going to be so awful. This is going to sort validate the fact that I can’t play this character.' All these insecurities! Anyway, it turned out I was the best shot out of all of them. I just had a natural ability to hit the target. And they said it was because I was much more relaxed than they were. These guys, they were already trying so hard to do it and that the key was to just allow the bullet — whatever. It was weird, it was kind of a bitter-sweet feeling afterwards, I must admit because I am not proud of being good at doing that, I feel really — I am very, very well aware of the fact that these weapons have been developed and made for only one thing. I feel very sad about that. I didn’t want, nor did the show promote weapons and firearms as being cool. It was absolutely not something that I was comfortable with, that notion for a second. So, hopefully that’s something which the audience will take away, there’s always a consequence to any kind of death or injury in the show.
Well, the writer Matthew Parkhill had had that kind of loss and grief in his own family and that was something that because he and I are good friends, very close, I was able to hear from him and I could feel it coming through in the writing, really well, really authentically, and also the work I do as a human rights activist. The loss of children, the loss of family members is happening all the time and all around the world. I work hard to try to raise awareness of those things and remedy the terrible plight of people for example in Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo; these are things I think about a lot anyway. What it does is make me very keen to deliver an authenticity to the grief that I am feeling. Grief is a complicated thing I think because there is so much denial in our culture about losing a child because it isn't an everyday occurrence. The denial, the anger, we need to go through those things before we finally accept what's happened. That's very well drawn in Rogue. In a way Grace is, you know, her insistence on finding the truth is a way of keeping her son alive. She's in a denial state. So, all of these areas are authentically thought about, you know me as an actress, Matthew Parkhill as the writer and then the whole hosts of actors that were working on the project.