KATE BECKINSALE and GABRIEL MACHT
Contributed by Michael J. Lee, Executive Editor for Radio Free Entertainment
August 28, 2009
Based on the acclaimed comic book series written by Greg Rucka, Whiteout stars Kate Beckinsale as U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko, a capable enforcer burdened with emotional baggage from a past betrayal. Hoping to bury those wounds, she has accepted an isolated post in the remote and barren wilderness of Antarctica. But old ghosts are drudged up when she is pulled into a homicide investigation, and in the icy, unforgiving expanse at the bottom of the world, she must bounce back and solve the mystery behind a sudden string of murders.
Whiteout co-stars Tom Skerritt, Columbus Short, Alex O'Loughlin, and Gabriel Macht as a U.N. operative assisting Stetko in her investigation. But it is Kate who clearly carries the story, once more delivering the strength and resolve fans have come to expect from her based on action-heavy fare like the Underworld franchise. And even in sub-zero temperatures, she rocks a parka like no other.
In this second half of our two-part interview, stars Kate Beckinsale and Gabriel Macht talk about comic books, action figures, and the lighter side of working on this project and shooting in Manitoba.
MEDIA: Kate, did you feel that your opening shower scene in Whiteout was gratuitous?
KATE: Sometimes you do what you're told in life! [laughs]
GABRIEL: And we all take showers, don't we?
KATE: There was a very long, extended "Gabriel in the bathroom" scene, but we felt that didn't achieve the same thing. [laughs]
What did you both do in Winnipeg when you weren't shooting?
KATE: I got a root canal, which was excellent, by the way! And it's held up really well. The dentists were fantastic in Winnipeg. [laughs] What did we do? In cold weather, they have great things to do inside with kids. So I went to awesome museums and children's theatre places. My daughter was there for the whole thing, and through Montreal as well. [to Gabriel] I don't know what you did in the evenings...
GABRIEL: I felt like there were, if I remember correctly, long tunnels--you know, walking. Do you know what I'm saying?
KATE: Skating! Did you do that outside? That's in Winnipeg, right? Outside skating? That was fantastic.
GABRIEL: Everything was underground. It's just long hallways and walking. I felt like I was walking in underground malls all the time. I don't know....
KATE: I did not do that. Outside, they had a whole frozen park. That was one of the greatest things I've ever done, ever.
GABRIEL: Ice skating! I think I went ice skating out there. [laughs] Was that right? I don't know. My God, I can't even remember what I did in Winnipeg.
KATE: Are you okay? [laughs]
GABRIEL: No, I'm not okay. I'm sorry.
If you were stationed in Antarctica for months at a time, what are two essentials you would take along?
KATE: If we share a curling iron, can it count as one?
KATE: I would take my daughter, and I would take a bunch of books. Oh no, I would have a cell phone, right? [to Gabriel] Would you have a cell phone? What would you take?
GABRIEL: I would take my wife and my daughter, and then I would take my...
KATE: That's two. That's done.
GABRIEL: No, but my wife is my other half, so that's half of me. And my daughter's my other half, so that's one, right? So can I have a thing? I would probably bring my computer, my laptop. If I can get online, do some research...Yeah, why not?
KATE: [slyly] "Research..."
In creating Carrie's look, you have shorter hair than you do now...
KATE: I still had long hair on the movie. I had a very good wig in this movie.
Are you glad to be back to your current hairstyle?
KATE: Ummm...I don't really think about it that much. I mean, if I do anything really radically different, [my daughter] gets upset. I come in the door and she goes, "Ugh, you don't look like yourself! You look horrible and frightening and odd!" And my husband tends to do that, too. [laughs] No, I'm joking. I don't know. I've had it for a while. It feels like myself, really.
Would you consider yourselves comic book fans?
KATE: I wouldn't say I was necessarily. Now, having married a comic book fan, I know what a comic book fan is, so I couldn't say I was one. I mean, I used to get comics, but my husband still buys action figures. [laughs] It's a whole different world. My daughter's into comic books. She's into a slightly different kind than my husband--more [like the] Archie comics. But they all go to get comic books together, and I sort of look really confused. I just can't compete with their level of obsession. But I respect it, I marry it, and I live with it. [laughs]
GABRIEL: I've always been a comic book movie fan, and I started reading comics based on some of the opportunities I've gotten in film. And I have a huge respect for illustrators and writers in the comic world. And if they're amazing, it's great entertainment and thought-provoking. I have a strong appreciation for comics.
You both have action figures in your images, thanks to Underworld and The Spirit. What do you think about that?
KATE: I haven't been a toy for a while. Gabriel's been a toy more recently than me...
GABRIEL: It's an incredible moment in your life, if you grew up watching movies and looking at action heroes and going, "Oh, man, maybe I'll be one of those one day!" I think I played with some CHiPs action figures [as a kid]. Anyway, it was pretty amazing. I thought mine looked a bit like...William Sadler?
KATE: Mine looked a bit like William Sadler! [laughs]
GABRIEL: But I'm totally happy with it.
KATE: It's just weird, because my daughter's had an action figure of myself and her dad [Michael Sheen]. And it was weird when you catch her with one in each hand. "What's going to happen next? How's that going to go?" [laughs]
GABRIEL: It's funny, I've been showing my daughter, who's two, my action figure. I'm like, "Who's that?" And she looks at me and she goes, [says in a deadpan drone] "Daddy..."
KATE: I liked my one that was a bit more of a Barbie-style better. It has less of an angry face than the action figure. That one looked a bit scary. [laughs]
Kate, does your daughter still accompany you to shoots?
KATE: She comes with me. I mean, she was with us during this. I try to make it as normal a life [as possible]. I'm a regular working mom who puts her kid in the bath. Which is probably very annoying to Joel. I'm like, "I have to go home now, my daughter needs a bath!" [laughs] But I think she's lucky to be around lots of very nice, creative, sweet people, and come and have experiences around the world. I don't leave her behind.
Any plans to re-visit England? Any chance of doing a play in London?
KATE: I had just actually come back from being in London for five months. I was a little homesick, actually, and my daughter and I just went back for five months. My daughter went to school there for a little bit, I went to see some of my relatives. So I've got it out of my system for a little while. Five months was a good, long time. I've been working so much, I haven't really been able to take a minute to do that since moving [to Los Angeles] six, seven years ago. So because I was taking a little bit of a break, it was nice to be able to go home for a bit. As for doing a play, I'm not sure I'm quite ready to do a play yet. I think this next couple of years, my daughter's not going to be that fussy about whether I put her to bed or not. I'm more likely to do a play then. But yeah, I'd love to. That's really the reason I haven't done one. But no, I'm always open to working in England. It just hasn't really come up.
Go to Part 1 of this interview