Isabel Lucas has had a diverse career with roles in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, The Water Diviner, The Loft and Immortals to name but a few. Her latest role is in the sci-fi epic The Osiris Child which is out now.
Isabel chatted with us about the movie and her character.
Your latest movie The Osiris Child is out now; what appealed about the character of Gyp and the script?
I just fell in love with Gyp; there were so many things that appealed about her. She’s kind of a reckless free spirit who has basically gone rogue with her brother; they are on this other planet in the future. They are this unlikely pair who help these other two guys who are trying to stop this impending disaster. They’re just “real” characters; I feel like part of what drew me to it was that I was given so much permission to go wherever I wanted in order to inhabit this character authentically because the director isn’t just about illustrating a point but rather inhabiting a point, like going to the full truth of something to express it. He’s a really special human and a very generous, interesting storyteller. It’s been such a gift to work with him and be mates with him.
Would you say director Shane Abbess is an actor’s director?
100%! 159%! (laughs). He’s so intuitive and he’s hilarious. He’s got this amazing humour; he gives you all this space and this trust where it’s like a real gift. He has a real amazing instinct about knowing how to navigate actors on set. Everyone is treated equally, in every sense of that statement. He’s a really special human and I think he’s going to create really amazing things. He has so much integrity as an artist and he’s incredible to work with. He’s so fun and everyone who was on board the project just felt like such a tight-knit team. Everyone was so passionate about it and it just dripped from the whole filming process. Even the Gaffers and the grips were in on it and we’d be yelling at each other in character; I’d never worked on a set where you have to be called your character’s name but it’s all from this place of play and respect and fun. It’s a gift and a privilege to be here on a set; everyone was just really grateful to be there and we just had so much fun each day.
How involved were you with Gyp’s look?
Yeah, down to a tee! It was all down to me. I was like “can I shave my head? Can I have a gold tooth?” (Laughs) I kept going with different things each time. Shane said from the get go “whatever you want to look like, this is yours, so take it. Own it! I don’t even wanna know. I trust you.” So then I got into thinking, what would a girl who is a rebellious little rogue that lives on another planet in the future look like? How does she move and everything like that. So yeah, I was allowed to make those choices.
Did the tattoos have any specific meaning to the story?
Yep, totally but they’re kind of my secret (laughs). They add to the story, yes, but also to her story in particular or her brother. The bulldog on my arm was one that he did; Luke and I would write letters to each other in character. There was a lot of play and it was so much fun; there was a lot of trust in exploring from the character’s standpoint. I was very encouraged by Shane.
I would love to see a spin-off maybe focusing on Gyp and Bill before the events of this movie; would that appeal?
Oh my God, that would be so fun (laughs). I say to Shane a lot that I want to do another one but I think he’s already been talking about how we can bring Gyp back from the dead, or did she like shoot herself up with something right after she got shot? You can kind of do anything with sci-fi; it would be really fun to revisit that character and just that world. Whatever Shane does from now is going to be amazing and again he’s got a lot of integrity; he gets offered massive budget projects but if they don’t speak to him or offer any substance then he won’t do it. I just think that’s awesome and I love that. I wish there were more people like that in our industry…
Do you like working with visual effects?
Yeah I do; I wasn’t very involved in it unless you’re just in front of a green screen and looking at a tennis ball or all that kind of jazz but my scenes were mostly on locations and sets. The monster creatures (or the “Snapper Turtles” as Luke calls them), they were real so we got to see them. They were essentially driven by fear and rage then this meaning to prove themselves. My first day when the guy came on set in the Snapper Turtle costume freaked me out; I called my mum and was like “I don’t know, I think this is a step too far” (laughs) because he was improvising and in full-on method mode and he stayed in character throughout. It was actually amazing and a very exciting experience… after day one (laughs).
What attracts you to a character when you get a script?
Substance, even if it’s a shallow character with no substance if the story has substance or if it makes me ask “can I offer something to this character? Can I grow and learn something about myself through playing this character or working with this team; it’s a whole different slew of different questions that I’ll ask. I also think that you can’t escape a role that you’re meant to play sort of like when the student is ready the teacher will come. I believe in magic, that things happen for a reason. I try to say yes as often as I can unless I feel instinctively that this is not for me or if it’s just a horror that’s gratuitous. It’s usually quite a clear decision.