Abbie Cornish reveals her RoboLove and the pneumatic video game heroine she’d love to play on-screen, Michael Keaton explains the origins of his Bat-Body Language, and Adan Canto fires up his performance as Sunspot with some old-school comic book research.
Abbie Cornish: RoboCop 4 Life!
Abbie Cornish admits that as a kid, she and her older brothers watched and rewatched the 1987 RoboCop until the VHS tape literally shredded to ribbons. “I grew up on 170 acres in the middle of nowhere. I was just into all the stuff they were into, but I did actually really love RoboCop. It was just a fun movie at that time… I love the scene – it sounds terrible because they're both really violent scenes – but the scene in the convenient store where that crazy guy who's like 'mother-effer' and just blows him up, and then the scene where he gets blown apart before he becomes RoboCop.”
So Cornish was thrilled when Brazilian director Jose Padilha (the Elite Squad films) invited her to join the all-star cast of his RoboCop remake, starring alongside The Killing’s Joel Kinnaman as the bionically enhanced law enforcer, plus Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman and Jackie Earle Haley. As Clara, the wife of newly cybernetic Alex Murphy, Cornish shared several scenes opposite the new RoboCop.
“I really loved the suit, first of all,” she says. “I was like, 'Yep – you got that one right!' At first, I was intimidated because he's so big, and it's strange: you've never seen anything like it, but it feeds nicely into that [reunion] moment when she opens the door and there's this little— [gasps] but then it's him. You'd be surprised how quickly that suit disappears in your mind because you're looking at his face and his eyes.”
Cornish has no qualms about rebooting fan-favorite films – in fact, she’s got her eye on claiming a beloved genre action hero of her own. “I was talking to my brother the other day and he was like, ‘You know, it’s about time they remade Tomb Raider with Abbie Cornish.' And I was like, 'Are you kidding me? Trying to step into the shoes of the beautiful woman that is Angelina Jolie and do as good of job as her?'" But the idea has sunk in. “I'd totally do that, yeah! I'd just be scared. Angelina Jolie is an incredible actress, and I really respect and admire her.”
Speaking of admiration, Cornish – who next stars in the Discovery Channel miniseries Klondike – admits it didn't sink in till much later that she’d shared scenes with a genre great like Michael Keaton. “We were in the press conference today and I was like, 'I’m sitting next to Batman!’ she chuckles. “Like, I sort of had that moment.”
Michael Keaton: Breaking Bat
We had a moment with Keaton as well, as the star of Tim Burton’s groundbreaking 1989 superhero film Batman recounted feeling his own sense of empathy for the latex-encased Kinnaman. “It’s really extraordinary what he did,” says Keaton. “He probably won’t get the credit for the degree of difficulty that was required.”
Keaton recalled his own experiences. “I didn’t know what I was going to do with the Batman thing,” says the admittedly claustrophobic Keaton, who had panic attacks when sealed in the in the head-to-toe Batsuit. “I went, ‘Oh, I’m in trouble, man – I’ve gotta face this thing.' You couldn’t get out of it. It didn’t totally work. The first time I had to react to something, I [turned my head] and the whole thing [ripped open] – there was a big f***ing hole! So I was like, ‘I have to get around that ‘cause we’ve gotta shoot this son of a bitch.’ I said ‘You know what, Tim? He moves like this.'" Keaton then acted out his Batman’s now-familiar purposefully stiff and scary body language.
“I was like, ‘This is perfect!’” says Keaton. “’It’s designed for this really unusual dude. Bruce Wayne has this other personality that’s really dark and really alone and really depressed. This is it. I’ll just take all that stuff that suit is giving me. I’ve got it! I know exactly how to do this now.’ It’s odd, how those things happen to actors. A thing where you think, I have no idea how to do this, and something will happen and you just get it.”
Keaton’s also looking forward to see if plans come together that would reunite him with Burton for a much-anticipated sequel to their first film collaboration Beetlejuice. “I think they’re starting to get somewhat serious about it now,” he says. “I don’t really know what’s going on [but] if Tim’s involved, I want to be involved.”
Adan Canto: Firing Up X-Men’s Sunspot
Empire magazine’s assortment of 25 X-Men: Days of Future Past covers gave fans their first good look at Adan Canto in character as the longtime New Mutant standby named Sunspot, aka Roberto DaCosta.
At a press event for his new ABC series Mixology he admitted to being a comic book newbie but had a strong handle on the film franchise. “It wasn't entirely a new world because I had followed the previous movies, but I did jump into the comic books world a bit to understand: Who is this guy? What's his life like?” Canto delved into Bobby’s comic book history, initially crafted by legendary X-Men and New Mutants scribe Chris Clarement and artists Bob McLeod and Bill Sienkiewicz. “I just find I work better that way when I understand what's in his mind, where he's coming from. I pretty much took most of the things I read and I brought them to the table. He's a fiery guy. There's a lot of passion with Sunspot – a lot of experiences that brought him to want to explode all the time, but he's a positive guy. There was just a lot of material – very helpful!”
Canto was thrilled to get a chance to get a window into the working world of director Bryan Singer as he made his return to the X-films. “It's inspiring to see somebody that knows exactly what he wants, and he sees it in his mind,” says Canto. “When you're working with him, you can see the whole game plan in his head, and just to make things work the way he makes them work is great. And to be a part of that as an actor and simply as a person in this industry, it was just a great learning experience to take things to the next level.”