One of the most anticipated independent sci-fi films this year is Focus Features’ ‘The Signal.”
On a reportedly two million dollar budget, director William Eubanks science fiction movie has plenty of twists and turns that will keep the audience guessing. And of course, there are certainly impressive visual effects in the movie.
The film follows three MIT college students to an isolated area desert as they chase a teasing computer hacker. Once they reach their destination, everything goes dark and they wake up into a nightmare scenario of what actually happened.
The movie stars Brenton Thwaites (“Oculus”), Olivia Cooke (“The Quiet Ones”) and Laurence Fishburne (“Event Horizon”) in this thrilling sci-fi movie.
Latino-Review had this exclusive phone interview with the lovely Olivia Cooke on her role in the film. We talked about her supporting role in the film and her budding acting career.
“The Signal” is in theaters today.
Latino-Review: Last time I spoke with you was over the horror film “The Quiet Ones.” “The Signal” is kind of scary in its own way.
Olivia Cooke: Yeah, it is. It’s not that scary since I’ve filmed “The Signal” and “Ouija.” There’s the sci-fi component that I’ve more interested in from the script. It’s so mind-bending. It’s so trippy that I wanted to be a part of it.
Latino-Review: So what exactly that attracted you to the script?
Olivia Cooke: Besides the fact that it’s mind-bending and trippy, it’s a William Eubanks movie which has the looks and visuals to be beautiful. It’s very awe-inspiring on how “The Signal” was going to look. Since this is his second film, he has more resources and a bigger team [for the movie]. And the script is just downright good and I’m glad to be a part of it.
Latino-Review: Tell me about your character that makes her so interesting.
Olivia Cooke: There’s really nothing special about her since we’ve never really delved into her character and psyche. The whole character and my acting were to complement Brenton [Thwaites’] character and story. It’s like being in a band where I’m not the singer, but the bass player.
Latino-Review: There were so many twists and turns in the film. And yes, it was mind-bending. Honestly, in reading the script, what ending did you think the movie was going to have before you got to that part?
Olivia Cooke: I thought it was a government-run [conspiracy]. I’ve have no idea that it was going to take..…[laughter]…..I don’t want to spoil it. Will this [interview] come out after the movie is out?
Latino-Review: Yes, it will. It’s okay to talk about minor spoilers.
Olivia Cooke: Yeah, I didn’t realize that the end of the movie as it was. There. No spoilers. But, I had no idea.
Latino-Review: All the characters had some kind of alterations somehow. What do you supposed happen to your character then?
Olivia Cooke: I want to think it was more internal, mostly to do with the mind. I think it’s over making things happen rather than a physical attribute.
Latino-Review: So you think your character had some kind of mind-enhancing powers then?
Olivia Cooke: Yeah, definitely. Some kind of powers behind the eyes or something similar to that.
Latino-Review: If someone had to abduct you and enhance a body part—what body part would you like to have enhanced?
Olivia Cooke: Oh, okay. That’s a good question. I have to think. Does it have to be a body part? I would like to have that perfect skin or like to be Wolverine and could heal myself. [Laughter]
Latino-Review: You still have a young career for yourself. Just out of curiosity, how did you got started in this business?
Olivia Cooke: I did theater for nine years in this workshop called “Oldman Theater Workshop” from when I was eight till I was seventeen. And then I had an agent when I was in Manchester, I had a lot of stuff being sent to me. I started off as supporting character in some BBC mini-series and eventually got to lead in them. Afterwards, I moved to an agency in London and then I got the lead in “The Quiet Ones.” It all became a snowball effect from there.
Latino-Review: Did you have a chance to meet Lawrence Fishburne while working on this project?
Olivia Cooke: Yeah, I did! It was cool. When you grew up watching these people, you have this expectation on how they’re going to be and how they’re going to act. He is so down to Earth. He’s so approachable. He is so relaxed and calm for his demeanor. He was definitely a presence on the set.
Latino-Review: I know you’ve been working with veteran actors in the past few projects. Did Fishburne teach you anything new?
Olivia Cooke: No, I didn’t have him teach me, but I love to watch him on how he worked. He definitely had his own style and his approach to the camera. In this industry, I have to be a people watcher. I don’t know if I could act like Lawrence Fishburne or have any calling for that.
Latino-Review: By now, you have a couple of movies under your belt and a great TV series, do you think you’ve developed your own style?
Olivia Cooke: I hope not. I don’t want to say I’ve developed my own style. Things may change. I’m still trying to mature and still have a long career ahead of me.
Latino-Review: You do have a lot of fans out there. Have you tried to Google yourself and discovered you on your own fan sites?
Olivia Cooke: Yeah, that’s really weird. [Laughter] I’ve seen pics that I’ve never seen before. There are some photos I’ve taken and I don’t know where they’ve got them. At the same time, you would realize that people watched you and liked you for that much. [Laughter]
Latino-Review: Do you personally believe in aliens yourself?
Olivia Cooke: Yeah, I do. We can’t be the only life form in this big universe. This is a huge and ever-expanding universe. Yeah, I do believe in aliens and other possible alien worlds.
Latino-Review: For my last question, I know you want to move away from horror and scary movies. I understand you are doing a new project called “Me & Earl & the Dying Girl.” Could you tell me more about this film?
Olivia Cooke: It’s a coming of age drama about this guy who has gone through life and school without making any solid friendships. He found out that one of his classmates was diagnosed with leukemia. His mom makes him to befriend her. He commits to a really deep relationship with her that develops feelings to be very emotional and heartbreaking. It’s the best script I’ve ever read.
Latino-Review: Great. It’s a pleasure to speak with you again and good luck with this film.
Olivia Cooke: Oh, thank you so much and talking to me.
“The Signal” is in theaters today.