BERLIN (AFP): Mia Goth and Alexander Skarsgard on Wednesday said they had a blast making Canadian director Brandon Cronenberg’s “provocative” and “visceral” thriller “Infinity Pool”, on show at the Berlinale film festival.
The surreal horror, which will have its European premiere in Berlin on Wednesday, follows married couple James (Skarsgard) and Em (Cleopatra Coleman) on a lavish vacation in an all-inclusive resort on the fictional island of La Tolqa.
Fellow holidaymaker Gabi (Goth) invites the couple to accompany her on a day trip outside the resort.
While out on their excursion they are involved in a tragic accident.
This exposes them to the esoteric justice system of La Tolqa: anyone who has committed a serious crime must submit to being murdered by one of the victim’s sons.
Or — an option only available to wealthy tourists — they can choose to be cloned and watch their clone being murdered.
‘Wild and unhinged’
British actress Goth, 29, said she enjoyed the “provocative” aspect of her character.
“I don’t shy away from this kind of material,” she told journalists.
“I find within these sorts of stories… really challenging characters that allow me to explore facets of myself that I don’t really feel very comfortable to reveal outside of a set.”
Gabi is a “really varied, dynamic character”, Goth said.
The blonde temptress “starts off as one thing — this rather sweet, unassuming woman — and by the end of the movie she’s just completely wild and unhinged, just primal”, she said.
Skarsgard’s character is a struggling writer who has married into money.
“I kind of see him in the beginning of the movie as a puppet,” said the Swedish actor, 46.
“It feels in that first meeting with (Gabi) that it doesn’t take much for him to follow her like a hungry dog,” he said.
“That was quite fun to play with, how gullible he was and how easy it was for them to manipulate him.”
Skarsgard, who at one point gets into a fight with a naked clone of himself being led around on all fours by a dog leash, said it was important to him not to over-rehearse for the role.
“I wanted to get out of my head and… kind of throw myself in there and see what happened. It’s so visceral and there’s so much happening,” he said.
“Infinity Pool” had its world premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival in the US.
The Hollywood Reporter called Skarsgard’s performance “ferociously committed”, while Screen Daily described the film as “a singularly unnerving experience”.