“I had no tools to prepare for something like this,” Goth said of a particularly disturbing scene in Ti West’s slasher.
Mia Goth may not have a film school degree, but she knows her cinematic influences well.
The ‘X’ actress made her film debut in Lars von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac’ in 2013 and now lands her first screenwriting credit with the ‘X’ prequel film ‘Pearl,’ in theaters September 16. . To portray the titular teenager dreaming of stardom, while hiding slasher tendencies, Goth turned to Björk in “Dancer in the Dark” and Bette Davis in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” as sources of inspiration.
Pearl and West also drew inspiration from Michael Fassbender’s lengthy monologue from “Hunger,” directed by Steve McQueen, for one particularly harrowing scene. But the scariest part of playing Pearl turned out to be how nobly Goth and co-writer/director Ti West set out to capture her breaking point, rather than her bloody outbursts.
“I was really terrified of shooting [the monologue], because I never went to film school,” Goth told W Magazine. “I had no tools to prepare for something like this.”
Director West timed the scene towards the end of production, which Goth called “a big decision, because the emotional turmoil Pearl had been through up to that point, and the intensity of what this shoot required. of everyone, helped and informed the monologue that it came that day.
Working alongside West and co-writing “Pearl” “truly became one of the most creative experiences of my life,” Goth added.
IndieWire’s Kate Erbland praised Goth’s “dedication” to playing Pearl in the previous film, writing that Goth is “without a doubt an extraordinary performer”.
The “X” trilogy concludes with the next episode “MaXXXine,” picking up the last Goth girl from the first feature. Director West previously told IndieWire’s Eric Kohn that the third film would be about “how home video affected people” in the 1980s.
“I’m very proud of these,” West said. “They’re super different and come out of nowhere. You won’t have to see one to see the other, but they complement each other.
He added, “I try to build a world out of it all, like people do these days. You can’t make a slasher movie without a bunch of sequels.
West continued that the driving force behind the “X” trilogy is to involve viewers in the filmmaking process and the history of cinema as a whole, much like the guerrilla-style film school experience of Goth.
“I wanted to do something where all of the film crafts were very apparent charms of the film. So part of the reason they’re making movies in this movie is to get audiences on a crash course in the awkwardness of what it’s like to make a movie,” West explained. “And then hopefully they’ll think about what I’m doing in the movie-movie, and they kind of appreciate what it’s like to do the movie for the people and for me.”
West noted that Goth was the first person he met for the dual roles of Pearl and Maxine.
“She just had a real understanding of what the movie was about. She had supreme confidence,” West said. “I could feel her ambition and her drive. I liked that confidence. It meant to me that she was going to totally own the characters and it would be fun to play them against each other.