Claire Foy is a major talent. She is a fantastic actress, she is strikingly beautiful and she has an amazing personality. And best of all, she is starring opposite Nicolas Cage as “the Witch” in Season of the Witch. While she may be appearing opposite Nic Cage and Ron Perlman, she steals the show with her wild and terrifying performance.
iamROGUE.com recently had the chance to talk with Claire and we briefly spoke about her work in Little Dorrit and Going Postal, but we talked a lot about playing a witch in her latest. She is funny and extremely charming. She opened up about working with Nic and Ron, researching the role, and about how it wasn’t the “boys club” that you might think.
So be sure to check out Season of the Witch when it opens on January 7 at a theatre near you.
Well I first have to say there is a big difference between Amy Dorrit [in Little Dorrit] and Season of the Witch isn’t there?
[Laughing] Yeah, there is.
What brought you to this role?
My evil side [Laughing]… I mean, I don’t know. I did the audition, they liked my take… and then I got the job. That was it really. It was a shocker to me as much as everyone else. I’m very grateful because it turned out to be a really great job and I loved it.
How did you approach this role as opposed to something like Little Dorrit or your work in Going Postal?
Well it’s all pretty much the same really, for me, weirdly I suppose; Little Dorrit was more of a stretch than Season of the Witch, in a weird way. Because Amy was so internal and with Season I felt I was able to do more and with Amy it was about doing less all the time. But just in exactly the same way you take every character on its own merits in the same way. I did just the same amount of work for them as I did for Season of the Witch, lots of research and it has to all come together…
What kind of research did you do for this?
[It was] just reading things about witchcraft and watching videos and that sort of thing. Or finding out about the time and what the circumstances would be like. Familiarizing yourself with the time and the circumstances of the character. Which all helps when you get kind of set in the world there.
You know, on YouTube you can find videos that feature a “girl possessed by demon”?
I know you can, trust me. I thought about, very early on when I first started working with that script and doing research for it, I went down that route and then, very quickly went, no, I’m not gonna do that stuff. [Laughing] I decided not to go down that avenue.
I think you chose a good path.
I maintained my sanity. I just know that I would think, on no, there is something living in my loft or something. [Laughing] So I stayed clear, very, very clear.
What was the best part of playing this kind of character for you; the witch type, powerful, bad girl must have been fun?
Yeah, all the things you said really, playing such a powerful character. Playing a character that was making things happen, and mainly in control of an entire group of men. And for once, be the character that is completely in the know about everything. There is nothing that she doesn’t know. Nothing is a surprise. And she is able to deal with every single situation that arises the way that she sees fit. And I think that was quite refreshing to be able to play a character that wasn’t entirely beholden to everyone else. And to play a masculine role, because it really is a masculine role.
And you get to work with Nicolas Cage.
And of course, I’ve got to know what that was like for you.
It was brilliant. Really, really brilliant. Really great. From day one he was so lovely and so supportive and so kind. He is such a lovely man. And it made it kind of a joy to work with him. I’ve met very few movie stars in my time and Nic was really like, such a movie star, such a star, such an amazing person. He was so special and I loved working with him.
Give it a year or two, you are going to be a huge movie star as well.
[Laughing] Alright then. [Laughing]
In Season, you are also working with Ron Perlman, the great Ron Perlman…
I love Ron.
He’s fantastic isn’t he?
He really, really is.
What was it like working with all these guys? You said earlier that your character was the one in charge, but as an actress you were kind of working in a boys club here.
Quite a few people had asked, you know, did you have to be one of the boys and all that sort of thing. I genuinely think that we all took each other for what we were; it was a random bunch of misfits really. We just had brilliant times, really, really brilliant times. So much socializing, and we were all in Budapest together and we spent so much time together on set, and off set. We just really, really got on. And I think the boys in the end, got quite grateful that there was a girl there. But I was quite willing to leave them to it as well, if they wanted just the boys together, and I’m quite willing to spend the nights at home thanks very much.
Did having you there make them react more gentlemanly, or did they fight for your affections at all?
No. [Laughing] They would – I think in all honesty, Nic is the most gentlemanly of the bunch. In fact, it was Nic and Ron. The rest of them couldn’t care less. [Laughing] Nic would always give me a chair or something and make sure I was warm and that sort of thing. The rest of them would be standing there complaining about how cold it was and I’d be like, yeah, it’s alright for you when you have chainmail and a big furry coat, and I’m in some bloody slip or something. But no, they weren’t at all, I think they just saw me as Claire, the woman on set as opposed to the other girls on set as well, in every other department. It’s never like, if there is one female cast member, that there is only one woman. It was just nice. I really loved it; I really, really loved being part of that group and being accepted. It was just wonderful.
Can you talk about the stunts and how much you had to do yourself?
You know, a lot. I didn’t get into it and now I go extreme surfing or that kind of thing. But I got the job done. And I will never be entirely proficient at it, I’ll always be a bit rubbish but that is fine. The next job if I ever have to do a stunt, I’ll know a little more that I’m not the best at it. But I did get to do some really bad ass flying and none of the boys got to do that. And I got to spend a lot of quality time in my cage and all that. But I didn’t get a sword. I would’ve loved a sword; I would’ve loved to have sliced someone’s head off.
Do you find going for the evil in this character did you find a sort of braveness that you didn’t have before?
Possibly… I think, to a certain extent, it does take awhile to have the balls to be able to intimidate Nic Cage. I don’t know. I think I was always very wary of playing evil or being suspicious, or playing the “knowing” character. You know what I mean, like “playing” that as opposed to “being” that. I thought that it was best to not do anything really. If you are going to be scary, just be scary. But there are people like Al Pacino or someone; they don’t have to do anything, you feel like any instant they could go punch someone in the face. They are the scariest type of people. I don’t know whether my witch is like that but that is kind of what I was thinking of. But the most menacing people are the people who don’t do anything. And you just use manipulation and mind-control to make people do what you want them to do.
It works from what I’m seeing.
I’m doing it now. [Laughing]