When I read Gone Girl, I realized what a fascinating, weird and brilliant part “Amy” would be for an actress. I hoped that Hollywood wouldn’t choose someone obvious like Gwyneth Paltrow or Reese Witherspoon or (God help us) Nicole Kidman. Thankfully, David Fincher signed on as director and he cast Rosamund Pike, an English actress known for her soft, sweet English beauty. The casting of Pike – more than Ben Affleck – convinced me that the Gone Girl adaptation is going to be good. Pike was and is an inspired choice, and I believe she’ll do an amazing job with Amy.
But for now, David Fincher is exerting his particular brand of Hitchcockian anal-retentiveness by trying to “Rooney Mara” Pike. Fincher already photographed Pike and Affleck for Entertainment Weekly, and now he’s photographed her for W Magazine. Unlike the Mara stuff a few years ago, Fincher didn’t do a Gone Girl-themed shoot. I can’t even tell if this shoot has a theme. But Pike is beautiful and compelling. You can read the full article here, and here are some highlights:
Fincher on Pike: “I liked that people didn’t immediately know who Rosamund was… I’d always liked Rosamund in movies, but I didn’t really know her. That made her very interesting.”
Being cast as a Bond Girl on her first audition: “Before I was cast as a Bond girl, I had never actually seen a James Bond movie. The Bond audition was strange—I’d just come back from China, doing the kind of hippie-backpacking thing that people do when they leave school. All the girls in this beautiful old town house waiting to see the casting director were sleek and dressed in what seemed to me like leather. I was wearing something very thick and woolly. I was convinced I was all wrong.”
Early fame: “The Bond film was like an ejector seat from normality into a crazy circus world. It was trial by fire. I was 21, and I was made to look far more sophisticated than I felt. Instantly, I had to come to terms with myself as a woman and also as an object. I was looking at myself from the outside for the first time. That awareness, for any girl, is both horrible and fascinating.”
Appearing on stage in London in the play Hitchcock Blonde: “In Hitchcock Blonde, I had to do a 10-minute nude scene. Apart from some high heels, I was completely bare onstage. The play was about the male gaze, male expectations, and, finally, female power and the lack thereof. This girl had dark secrets, but she also wanted to be adored. Until Amy, I don’t know that I’d ever seen that combination in a character.”
Getting the part of Amy: She had not been given the script but had started reading the book, and she assumed that Fincher was talking to many actresses about the role. After several weeks of conversation, Fincher asked if Pike wanted to fly to St. Louis, where he was scouting locations. “I said, ‘I’ll swim to St. Louis.’ We met there for two days.”… Weeks after returning to Scotland, Pike received a text message from Fincher, saying, “You have the part,” which she accidentally erased. “The only evidence I have that I got the call to play Amy is a selfie of me jumping in the rain in the Highlands. I look both happy and thoroughly daunted—the whole ‘You got the best gig in years’ scenario gives me the creeps. But then again, I’m a very hard worker, and maybe people who have underestimated me or just thought I looked good will say they were wrong.”
Being ordered to LA very quickly: “[The producer] only gave us four days to get to L.A. And it was good that it was that fast because there was no time for me to panic. I do remember saying to David, ‘I know you know I have this character in me; you zeroed in on me for good reason.’ With David Fincher, it’s like being X-rayed—he sees things that you may not want anyone to see. Now I have to prove him right—I have to show the world that I’m as dark as he thinks I am.”
Rosamund is 35 years old now, but I could easily see how she is one of those actresses (like Cate Blanchett) who can go dramatically younger or older. So, I’m not worried about the progression of the Amy character. Now, the Nick character? How in the world is Ben Affleck going to play Nick in his 20s?!?! Or does that not matter? Jesus. Also: I’m starting to get creeped out by how much control David Fincher exerts over “his actresses.”
Photos courtesy of David Fincher/W Magazine.