VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Jodie Turner-Smith Says ‘After Yang’ Costar Colin Farrell Is Her ‘Second Favorite Leading Man’
Jodie Turner-Smith returns to the big screen in director Kogonada’s sci-fi drama After Yang. The film explores the world of technology, encouraging the audience to grasp the complexities between humanity and technology. The film has taken top honors at the Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals.
In a slightly futuristic world, robotic children serve as babysitters. Turner-Smith plays Kyra, the mother to Mika whose babysitter, Yang, becomes unresponsive. Colin Farrell plays Jake, Kyra’s husband, who tries to find a remedy for Yang.
In Turner-Smith’s exclusive uInterview, she gives insight into how her character views the loss of her child’s robotic babysitter.
“I’m not so much thinking Mika’s losing her mind,” she told uInterview’s Erik Meers. “I’m more so saying we as a family need to step in and be closer with her and not just rely on Yang to pick up our slack … because it’s a lot of slack. This is just a desire for saying the human connection is what’s most important. As Yang breaks down, I’m thinking that this is not the time for us to not rush to fill that vacuum. Like ‘Jake, stop searching for answers with Yang and fill the vacuum that’s been left now that Yang’s gone.’ Any mother’s just going to be concerned about the well-being and mental health of her child.”
The film explores themes that society is facing with the rise of technology. The movie obviously takes creative liberties but faces futuristic scenarios head-on by telling a story of a family grappling with the toll the loss of a robotic babysitter has on their daughter. Turner-Smith elaborated how the film’s messaging makes it stand out.
“I love the future that Kogonada envisioned,” Turner-Smith said. “The way technology has been introduced with humanity is in such a positive and amazing way. The conversations that Yang has with Nika – that tree grafting scene – it’s life. If that’s the way we move with technology, yes, please. I think it’s interesting because we mediate on technology and we use it in a way that it feels like humanity is getting more separate from each other. The film explores how Yang was seeing all of us and how technology can actually show us our humanity. That’s what is really special about the messaging.”
The actress was quick to praise her co-star Colin Ferrell but said there was still a different co-star she pegged higher.
“It was really wonderful,” Turner-Smith said. “Colin is super kind, generous, just wonderful to work with. It was such a gentle environment that Kogonada created – just a beautiful, familial, kind, warm, open environment. He truly is a wonderful leader on set. I feel so lucky that my second leading man was Colin Ferrell. I didn’t think that anybody could top Daniel Kaluuya. Colin is almost tied. Daniel is still in a league of his own. Colin was just a beautiful person to work with.”
The film, which originally premiered at Cannes Film Festival last summer, will open in theaters on March 4.