Olivia Wilde is a modern-day Renaissance woman. As an actress and an activist, she effortlessly transitions between sharing the screen with renowned actors in critically acclaimed films and television shows and working alongside devoted doctors and teachers in Haitian refugee camps.
In her most recent film, Deadfall, she and Eric Bana play siblings Liza and Addison on a run from a casino heist gone wrong. After a car accident leaves their wheel man and a state trooper dead, they decide to split up and make a run for the Canadian border in the worst of circumstances- a near whiteout blizzard.
Screenwriter Zach Dean planned for his first screenplay to be a traditional straight-forward thriller. But a nerve-wracking transcontinental flight from California to New York inspired him to add the different dimensions to the story ultimately resulting to the Deadfall’s current plot.
Shortly after takeoff, the pilot realized the plane’s landing gear wouldn’t retract. The plane circled the tarmac trying to burn off as much fuel as possible before attempting a landing in a nearby landing strip at LAX. During this time, Dean pondered on his mortality and feelings about life, family as well as his unrealized desire to have children.
Upon returning home after his grueling experience, Dean’s characters leapt from the page, woven from layers of narrative thread that all lead back to the theme of family relationships. “First was the Addison and Liza story,” says Dean, of the characters played by Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde. “A brother and sister with a very dark history but still very bonded, to an unhealthy level. Survivors, who in many ways love each other very much, but are dangerous.”
The filmmakers were aware on just how crucial the relationship of Addison and Liza was to the success of the film. Dean explains how Addison views his sister. “All these horrific things that Addison does, as long as they are for Liza, they are excusable. She remains in his view the little girl, the one he saved. He believes his redemption lies in the fact that he does it for her.”
Actress Olivia Wilde was taken with the script on her first read: “Every page I turned surprised me,” says Wilde. “I liked that. It’s so rare. I was never quite sure what genre it was. Once I had the role, I prepared by studying a lot about interfamily abuse and incestuous relationships. An undertone of the relationship between them is a strange, haunting sexuality. It’s tense and unspoken but it’s there.
“I also studied Stockholm Syndrome,” continues Wilde. ‘Because in a sense she is a prisoner, she relies completely on Addison and she loves him in a very passionate and complex way – he is her brother, but also her captor, her lover and her savior.”
Such dedication from Wilde is the why she is one of the most-sought after actresses at present.Wilde recently starred as Jeff Bridges’ trusted friend and protector Quorra in the 3-D futuristic blockbuster, TRON: Legacy, opposite Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in the Universal fantasy-action film Cowboys & Aliens and opposite Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman in the physical comedy The Change-Up.
‘Deadfall’ is released and distributed by Crystalsky Multimedia
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Credits: Photos and text are from the movie press release