The main difference between television and film for an actor like Emilie de Ravin is certainty. Over six seasons of Lost, de Ravin could never be sure what would happen next to her character Claire Littleton: She recently ran out of the jungle, a wild mess of crazy eyes, dirt and ratty hair (it's a wig), to tend to her creepy skull baby. ("I was expecting it to be much more horrific, but it was actually kind of cute. It's quite furry. I quite like its button eyes.")
So when the 28-year-old Australian actor decided to take the role of Ally Craig in Allen Coulter's feature film, Remember Me, it was a welcome change of pace. "One of the things I love about film is that you've got your script right there from beginning to end, and you can develop backstory, instead of getting your script every week, working through it that way," de Ravin says from a snowy press junket day in Toronto---a far cry from Hawaii and Oceanic flight 815. "It's a really lovely experience."
The romantic drama received early attention as Robert Pattinson's first "adult" role after Twilight, with much speculation over whether the actor has enough box office sparkle to shed his vampire fangs for good. De Ravin says she didn't know who the teenage icon was when she took the role and, even now, she's playing a cautious wait-and-see about how fans will react to Ally's love scenes with Pattinson's character, the dramatically brooding, troubled Tyler Hawkins.
According to de Ravin, it was Ally that drew her in: "When there's a character that I'm so desperate to play, it's almost you can't put it into words---that connection. I just really wanted the chance to bring her to life. She's very strong, very charismatic, very witty, very ballsy too---she doesn't take any crap. She was a lot of fun to play."
Tragedy hits early in Remember Me. In the first scene, a young Ally witnesses her mother's murder (a sadly small part for Martha Plimpton) on a New York subway platform, setting up a complicated relationship with her protective cop father (Chris Cooper). De Ravin gives her character's grief a quiet intensity and humour: "She's obviously had a difficult time growing up and she's a very strong relationship with her father, and that's wonderful, but it's also kept her a little bit closed off from the rest of the world."
Besides Academy Award-winning Cooper, de Ravin also shares screen time with lovely Lena Olin and Pierce Brosnan, whose cold, businesslike demeanor as Charles Hawkins, Tyler's father, is a far cry from Mamma Mia's charming karaoke croaking. "I think this is my favourite role of his," says de Ravin. "He's one of these characters who you dislike and like, and understand and don't understand."
Shot all on location in various New York neighbourhoods, Remember Me feels like a cinematic Valentine to the city and its various parks, museums, brownstones and amusement park relics. "It was amazing shooting in New York. I love being there," says de Ravin. "New York is basically another character in the film. It couldn't be a better backdrop."
Looming over New York and the film is Remember Me's surprise ending, which will, no doubt, evoke some mixed emotions from audiences. Not one for predictions, de Ravin expects that "reactions will be very person to person. It's a very moving film in general. There's a lot of moments of laughter and sadness throughout. But yeah, it will be interesting to see the reaction to how it all ties up."
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