“There are two kinds of individuals on this world,” says the coolly assured voice of Rosamund Pike, taking part in Marla Grayson, within the opening voice-over of “I Care a Lot” because the digital camera slowly pans over the dazed-looking inhabitants of a nursing house. “The individuals who take, and people getting took.”
From the primary shot of the again of Marla’s razor-sharp blond bob, it’s clear which class she belongs to. A ruthlessly amoral and icily confident con lady, she performs the function of a conscientious, court-mandated guardian completely, all whereas deftly separating the aged wards underneath her care from their households and financial institution accounts.
Pike, the British actress greatest recognized for her Oscar-nominated efficiency in “Gone Lady,” is the blazing star of “I Care a Lot,” written and directed by J. Blakeson, arriving on Friday on Netflix. Pike has already earned a Golden Globe nomination for the function, during which she is each chillingly villainous and seductively fearless, a real antihero doing very unhealthy issues with relish.
“Marla is sort of a scrappy avenue fighter in designer clothes,” Pike stated in a latest video interview from Prague. “It was a deep dive into discovering a spot the place I may personal the starvation for cash, the starvation to win, the conviction that your individual objective is extra necessary than anything.”
All are traits “that aren’t usually portrayed by girls in movie,” she added.
Pike, 42, is disarmingly lovely with flawless peaches-and-cream pores and skin and clean blond hair. Articulate and considerate in the course of the interview, she thought-about questions rigorously, often going off-piste: “I want I may ask you some questions,” she stated at one level.
Pike, who discovered early limelight at 21 as a Bond lady in “Die One other Day,” has had a profitable appearing profession for greater than twenty years, however she has by no means acquired — or apparently aspired to — the mega-fame of a few of her friends.
Maybe that’s as a result of though she might need efficiently specialised taking part in the English rose (see her flip as Jane Bennett in Joe Wright’s 2005 “Delight and Prejudice”), Pike has by no means allowed herself to be pigeonholed by prettiness. She has spoofed the British spy movie in “Johnny English Reborn,” acted reverse Tom Cruise within the motion thriller “Jack Reacher,” and performed a hilariously clueless socialite in “An Schooling,” the hard-bitten reporter Marie Colvin in “A Personal Struggle” and the enigmatic Amy of “Gone Lady.”
“I believe she generally will get a bit bypassed as a result of she hardly ever goes showy in her roles,” Blakeson stated. “It confounds me that she didn’t win the Oscar for ‘Gone Lady.’”
Blakeson added that he had lengthy wished to work with Pike. “She is completely different in each half; you by no means know what you’ll get,” he stated. “In ‘I Care a Lot,’ taking part in a personality that couldn’t be extra not like her as an individual, you might be reminded of simply how good she is.”
Pike grew up in London, the one youngster of two opera singers who spent lots of time on the street as they traveled from job to job. She stated she knew that she was going to be an actor from in regards to the age of 4. “You develop up in a artistic family and also you assimilate that,” she stated. “Adults to me had been individuals who may play and inform tales in compelling methods. I’d sit for hours in rehearsals for operas and work out why I believed issues, or why I didn’t. I discovered a sort of magic within the theater; it felt like a great place the place I belonged.”
She didn’t do a lot about it, she stated, till she was 16, when she noticed a flyer at her college for the Nationwide Youth Theater, a British establishment that has constructed a repute for producing actors like Daniel Craig, Colin Firth and Helen Mirren. Pike auditioned, was accepted and spent the subsequent two years performing with the group, finally taking part in the heroine in “Romeo and Juliet.”
Her efficiency as Juliet received Pike an agent (who she continues to be with), a truth she stored quiet when she went to Oxford College. “I’d secretly go to London to audition for issues I principally wouldn’t get, and marvel, ‘Is he going to surrender on me?’” she stated. Pike additionally acted at college — “a hotbed of alternatives to fail,” she stated dryly.
She traveled for a bit after commencement, returning in time to audition for the Bond film. “I used to be all shaggy haired, in a cardigan and previous denims,” she stated. “I couldn’t have been much less acceptable, however fortunately they might see past that.” However though she was praised for her half within the film — her first movie function — Pike stated it opened few doorways.
She returned to stage work, performing in Terry Johnson’s “Hitchcock Blonde” on the Royal Courtroom, which she described as a profession spotlight. Since then, nonetheless, she has principally labored in movie, and has been drawn to characters primarily based on real-life figures, together with Ruth Williams, the spouse of Seretse Khama, the primary president of Botswana, in “A United Kingdom,” Marie Colvin in “A Personal Struggle” and Marie Curie in “Radioactive.”
“She may have simply stored taking part in a gorgeous blonde, the item of want,” stated Marjane Satrapi, the director of “Radioactive.” “That may have been simple for her, however as an alternative she has taken on roles which are every more difficult than the opposite. She is an actress who shouldn’t be fearful of getting previous, who thinks that is fascinating.”
Pike stated that studios hardly ever noticed her as a comic, however she confirmed she could be one within the latest BBC collection “State of the Union,” for which she received an Emmy. “Maybe individuals will discover now,” she stated.
“Issues are humorous as a result of they’re true, and somebody like Rosamund who performs so honestly could be very humorous,” stated David Tennant, who co-starred with Pike within the British dramedy “What We Did on our Vacation.” For comedy, he added, “you want a lightness of contact, a deftness, it’s essential to come to work with a little bit of pleasure — all qualities that Rosamund has.”
It was 2014’s “Gone Lady,” although, that proved to be Pike’s breakthrough function. “It gave me the prospect to be taught extra about display screen appearing than I ever had earlier than,” she stated. “I used to be allowed to indicate each a part of being a girl — to be excessive, harmful, candy, compliant, susceptible. It was the primary I may obtain a freedom onscreen that I had solely beforehand felt onstage.”
The character of Marla Grayson in “I Care a Lot” shares sure traits with Amy — notably the deployment of femininity as each a weapon and a efficiency — however Pike was barely indignant on the suggestion that the characters had been comparable.
“I noticed them as completely completely different,” she stated. “I’d by no means need to do a sub-‘Gone Lady.’ To me, Marla was extra a shoot from the hip, assume in your ft particular person.”
“It was necessary to us that this was enjoyable for audiences and that the darkly comedic facet was rooted in reality” she added. “What are the values in America? What earns you respect? Cash.”
She thought for a bit, then smiled: “With the ability to relish and watch in appalled horror and glee — individuals like that.”