Vicky Krieps on M. Night Shyamalan, Beach Work and Aging Gracefully in Old [Exclusive Interview]

Vicky Krieps in Old

Vicky Krieps in Old

For many people, aging is the ultimate horror story. Imagine the wrinkles, weight gain, bad skin, and other things that come with aging. Now imagine all of that coming within twenty-four hours of your life. That’s the basis of the horror-thriller film Old from M. Night Shyamalan that stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Vicky Krieps.

Based on a graphic novel titled Sandcastle, M. Night Shyamalan adapted the story on-screen about a few beachgoers’ rapid aging experience on the beach without an escape. In Shyamalan fashion, there’ll be his signature guessing game on the true mysteries of the plot.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Old is a chilling, mysterious new thriller about a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly by reducing their entire lives into a single day.

The film also stars Rufus Sewell, Ken Leung, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Abbey Lee, Aaron Pierre, Alex Wolff, Embeth Davidtz, Eliza Scanlen, Emun Elliott, Kathleen Chalfant, and Thomasin McKenzie.

Old is playing nationwide in theaters today.

ALSO CHECK OUT: Old Featurette with Gael Garcia Bernal Discussing Filming in the Dominican Republic [En Espanol]

LRM Online’s Gig Patta chatted with actress Vicky Krieps on her attraction and involvement in the movie.

Read the interview transcript below.

Gig Patta: Vicky, it’s a pleasure speaking to you about this film. It’s such a summer movie. You thought it was safe to go back to the beach until this movie actually comes out. Vicky, we could just start off with the easy question first. Why were you attracted to a project with Old?

Vicky Krieps: Two things. The director and the script. I was always intrigued by a different kind of cinema than what I do usually. It was more like a character-driven film than a genre movie. I knew all these other [Shyamalan] movies and I always liked them because they always intrigued me. I usually don’t watch these types of movies, but I always found something more interesting about them.

I remembered watching Split and thinking, “Wow, this is interesting.” I would like to work with this director. When I was sent a script for Old, so I read it. Of course, I was drawn to this movie when the world was entering the first lockdown. It was in the middle of this feeling that we all had during the pandemic. What is the world going to look like? Is it ever going to be better? When will I ever work again? What will happen to my children? You were starting to question yourself with all these big questions. I found these questions in the script as well.

Gig Patta: By chance, did you ever picked up the graphic novel that is that the script is based for yourself?

Vicky Krieps: We had it on set since some of the actors had brought it. I remembered M. Night saying you can read it or you don’t. I was the one of those who didn’t and other actors did. So I didn’t. [Giggles] I still have to buy it actually.

Gig Patta: Now you finally got to work under M. Night Shyamalan here. What is fascinating about his direction style that you found?

Vicky Krieps: I don’t know if he always works the same way. All I can say about this movie that was fascinating was the way that everything’s constructed about the visuals. It’s very visual from the beginning. He had his mood board already in the beginning. Everything comes from there.

He thinks in visuals, which is quite mysterious. Then I have to decode it, you know? He has these visuals and I have to find a way to make this into something. For my character, I had to focus on character-driven information.

Also in this movie, we were filming in a very special kind of way. You wouldn’t always see everyone. You’re being filmed and it’s about you, but it felt like it’s not about me. First of all, it’s an ensemble movie. It’s about everyone. Then the camera keeps moving past you. [Laughst] Sometimes it’s on you and sometimes it’s not. You will see when you watched the whole movie. It’s like a journey. It’s a roller coaster ride. Oh, this is happening. And now this is happening. This was something very fascinating working with him.

Gig Patta: Fans love M. Night Shyamalan because of his twists. Did you have to basically keep everything a secret? Not just to the fans, but to like your family and friends on what’s actually going on.

Vicky Krieps: I never really said the end ending, because there’s a kind of an end and then there’s the ending. I try to always not to reveal the actual ending.

Gig Patta: In this film, it’s all about getting old and aging. Could you talk about working with two sets of actors as your children and trying to treat them all as your children? That must have been so trip.

Vicky Krieps: That was some trip. Ultimately, in the end, me and Gael, we were so in love with all of them. We had the kids. Then we had the kids grown up. It was so moving to see these children two times at two different ages. Especially for me, my children are in the first age. Then seeing what will become of them when they grow up. It made me think about my children and how time is passing by.

Gig Patta: Just to remark, you are very youthful looking up to me. For the movie, when you sat in that makeup chair to watch them add wrinkles and aging process–what did you think about yourself as they age you on screen?

Vicky Krieps: I liked myself. Really. I don’t know what it’s all about this thing called aging. We’re all going to age anyway. I saw myself and said, “I like this person. I look like a cute little old lady.” I had my lip smile. I would be a friendly old lady one day.

Gig Patta: I believe you. I always liked the fact of this film that you got to work on a beach nearly the whole time in the Dominican Republic. Did you look at this as work or did you look at this as a big, nice long work vacation for you?

Vicky Krieps: No. When we were flying there, we thought it might be a nice kind of vacation. Then we discovered it to be the opposite. It was so much work and it was really not comfortable at all because the heat was getting us. The heat was killing us. Then we had to wear the mask and the confined ourselves in the hotel. There was nothing to do. There was only one street from the hotel and then we had to take the car to go to the beach. On the beach, we were only working all day long. We couldn’t go for a swim. And we were working in the heat. Then sometimes in a minute, there was like a thunderstorm. One day, it was pouring rain. It felt like being in a training camp.

It was so hot. I’m not joking. Then some of us had really bad digestion problems suddenly. I was one of the lucky ones not to get that. Our backs were hurting because we were always walking on the sand during these long 14 hour days. It was a lot of work.

In the end, we stayed in the resort ourselves for a few days. It was like a thank you gift for our hard work. We’re all completely exhausted.

Gig Patta: Absolutely. Well, Vicky, you’ve done a terrific job in Old. Go on a nice vacation. You deserve it.

Vicky Krieps: I hoped that exhaustion was for something. Appreciate it.

Old is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive, Universal Pictures

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Gig Patta

Gig Patta is a journalist and interviewer for LRM and Latino-Review since 2009. He was a writer for other entertainment sites in the past with Collider and IESB.net. He originally came from the world of print journalism with several years as a reporter with the San Diego Business Journal and California Review. He earned his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and BA in Economics from UC San Diego. Follow him on Instagram @gigpatta or Facebook @officialgigpatta.

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