Even though Australian actress Emilie de Ravin had a thriving career, including a recurring role as Tess Harding on the WB’s Roswell, it was in 2004 when she appeared as Claire Littleton, a pregnant survivor from Oceanic flight 815 on TV’s Lost, that brought her a new level of recognition and success. Now in its final season, Claire has reappeared on the island, almost unrecognizable as a tough survivalist who will kill anyone in her way.
Her movie career has also expanded. She starred in a remake of Wes Craven’s cult classic The Hills Have Eyes, and is currently starring in the romantic drama Remember Me with one of Hollywood’s hottest stars, Robert Pattinson, from the Twilight franchise.
Set in New York in the summer preceding September 11, 2001, she portrays Ally Craig, whom NYU student Tyler Hawkins (Pattinson) meets through a crass bet he makes with his friend – an encounter that leads to a deep and abiding love. Emilie spoke about the movie, working with Robert Pattinson, and Lost at the press day for the film in New York last week.
How did you like working with the heartthrob?
Is that his new name? It was great, we get along really well, had a really fun time, also we shared the same amount of passion for this film and everything felt very natural and unforced.
On set, we spent a lot of time beforehand and during just talking about the characters and things we hadn’t noticed and talking and developing a relationship, and also just getting to know each other as people, which I think helped a lot.
It didn’t feel ever like we were actually reading a scene, it just felt like we were talking and I was listening to him, and observing and reacting however she would, so that was pretty cool and doesn’t really happen.
Did you get to talk to a lot of NYU students while you were down there filming, because it’s so rare that we see NYU shot as NYU?
It is, isn’t it? You’re right. Unfortunately, not really because it was so difficult, everything had to be barricaded off for the paparazzi and fans, so we weren’t really able to interact really, but I was really happy we got to shoot there, that was great.
When they could, we shot exactly where we were meant to be, a room or Central Park, NYU, all these places. I think it just makes everything so much more real and organic for everyone involved, especially the actors, because you’re there, so you’re reacting to every little thing that would be there.
How does it feel to be suddenly thrust into the spotlight and having as your leading man probably the most popular young male star of today?
I don’t know, in general I’m just excited about this film and passionate about it, so I guess whatever comes with that is good. It’s nice to be promoting something that I genuinely love.
Even with all the screaming and girls’ fainting.
Really, fainting? So they have to have medics at the theatres now?
It’s like when the Beatles came to this country
That’s hilarious. As I was saying before, everything with us in every way was just very natural and calm.
Chris Cooper plays your father in this. He has said that as an actor he might be a little bit difficult to work with because he’s so demanding. Did you find it at all daunting to act opposite him?
What’s he talking about? I didn’t find him demanding, it’s probably all in his head. He’s a sweetheart, we had a really great time working together, we spent time before too just talking and developing Ally and Neil’s last 21 years together, how we interacted, what do we talk about, what do we not talk about, what do we do on our days off, what’s happened in my past with boys, what does he think about that? Just going through and developing our back story, which I think really helped a lot.
What is the lasting impression of this role for you?
The film in general I suppose, but also Ally’s attitude of just not being fearful of life and no matter what’s happened, you can’t change the past. Not to forget the past, but not to live in the past. And I think she learns this even more through Tyler in that respect, I think she already had the attitude of living every day to its fullest and really appreciating and loving the people around you.
Was this film easy to do with your schedule for Lost?
Yeah, I was actually on a holding deal for season five at the time.
What is it like playing Claire as a jungle woman?
It’s great. All I want to do is just be constantly inspired by people I work with and challenged by a different role, so this is great because it’s basically a whole other Claire, so it’s been fun figuring her out in her journey.
I know you can’t give away anything, but have there been any scripts that you’ve gotten where you went ‘holy crap!’
I think in such a great, thought-provoking way that it’s as confusing as it always has been, but not in a way that you’re torn away from it. It brings you in more. You really need to watch every episode.
What do you want to do when Lost is over?
We’ve still got six to seven weeks of shooting. I’m taking meetings and feeling that out right now, but it’s not like, ‘Oh I need to do this specific genre or time period or role,’ it’s just more about that feeling you get when you read something that you just connect with.
It’s hard to really put into words, but when I read this script there was just something I felt that I needed to play this role.