‘She Will’ director Charlotte Colbert, stars Malcolm McDowell, Alice Krige talk creating dream sequences, selecting projects and exploring humanity through acting

Noah Levine

“She Will,” an official selection of 2021’s Fantastic Fest, follows a woman and her caretaker as they travel to a remote locale in the woods of Scotland, only to realize there might be an ominous presence rooted deep in the history of the grounds. The Daily Texan spoke with the film’s director, Charlotte Colbert, and leading stars about creating dream sequences, exploring humanity through character performances and what motivates them to accept a new project.  

The Daily Texan: What is the one thing you look for in a project?

Alice Krige: Well, I have to say I have signed onto things because I really needed the money. … But then what happens is that because they are human, that very fact makes them interesting and worth exploring. … I have to be able to feel that there is something there that will give me somewhere to go, about being human. 

Charlotte Colbert: Different types of projects, projects of the heart and different types of things that one does. For me, generally something that I don’t understand or I need to explore and the process allows you to get through that … It’s a very strange form of therapy.

Malcolm McDowell: Same for me. I used to be very precise when I was a very young actor about what I would do and what I wouldn’t do. But then I realized if I was gonna wait around for the next masterpiece to come through to my agent, I’d be waiting an awful long time. … Some you do to pay the rent, some you do because you go, “This is really cool, I gotta do this.” And for me, this is one of those. When I read the script I went, “Good God, I’ve never read anything like this. … What the hell’s going on here? And why would they want me to play this thing, is there something I don’t know about myself? What the hell. I gotta meet (Charlotte).” 

 DT: How did you approach directing the dream sequences in the films versus the ones set in reality? 

CC: Dreams and reality, (I) don’t experience them that different, maybe that means I’m completely mad. They feel like they lead into one another. Dream sequences were filmed with the same amount of realism or the same way as anything else.

MM: We play them in the same way. Real. 

DT: Alice, what drew you to this role?

AK: The trajectory of the journey, I’m sure Maclolm would agree, (is) all I’m really interested in. I don’t care about genre, (it’s) the journey that the character goes on. Because if there is some kind of journey, it gives you an opportunity to use it as a scalpel on yourself. If you discover something, the audience discovers something with you. … I must say through the process of that, one is helped by people like hair and makeup.

CC: How many times have you died on screen, Malcolm? 

MM: I don’t know how many times I’ve died. I’ve killed an enormous amount of people, the most famous one being of course James T. Kirk, and I was so thrilled to get rid of him. God bless him, he’s 90 and he’s still working. You have to have respect for that. 

DT: What was it like filming your character’s big confrontation scene? 

MM: It was just such an amazing location. Nobody can believe it when I (bring) the pictures back. People are going like, “What is it?” and I’m like “That is a staircase.”  Those scenes were really very important and a lot of fun to shoot. There is a sort of madness too, really, this is a narcissist, not a very pleasant person. If you had to live with him, well, it would be … well, I don’t even wanna go there, it’s not worth thinking about. 

CC: Malcolm did all his own stunts.

MM: All of them. I always insist that. In my contract.