Twenty-one-year-old actress Mia Wasikowska is entering the prime of her movie career, thanks to key roles in the $1 billion-grossing 'Alice in Wonderland' and the Oscar-nominated indie 'The Kids Are All Right.'
This Friday, she steps into even bigger shoes, taking on the title role in Cary Fukunaga's adaptation of the Charlotte Bronte novel 'Jane Eyre.'
Moviefone recently spoke to the actress about the movie, during which she revealed what it was like having Michael Fassbender and Jamie Bell pining for her affections and why corsets are just as painful as they look. She also gave us the scoop on working with Glenn Close in the upcoming movie 'Albert Nobbs.'
Check out the full interview after the jump.
Moviefone: The one thing that surprised me about 'Jane Eyre' was how dark and violent it was. I would assume that was intentional from the get-go.
Mia Wasikowska: Yeah, I think so. I think originally that was sort of what Cary [Fukunaga]'s idea for the film was. I hope that it achieved that. I think it did.
You did a lot of kissing scenes with Michael Fassbender, who is 12 years your senior. That first take must have been awkward.
[Laughs] You know what? Yeah. You just kind of get over it, and you go with it. But Michael's the best. He's just the coolest guy, and so it was fun.
He's pretty easy on the eyes, so I imagine it wasn't that bad.
[Laughs] Yeah. I pretend to complain.
Michael Fassbender Talks 'Jane Eyre' and 'X-Men: First Class'
You also have Jamie Bell after you in the movie. I think the correct word to describe you is "spoiled."
Uh-huh. I'm in a bit of an enviable position there. [Laughs]
We've seen a lot of 'Jane Eyre' movies over the years. What is it about this film that makes it stand out above the rest?
Well, I think that we kind of wanted to ground it in a way. It is a dramatic story, but we didn't want to make it too melodramatic. What I liked about Cary's vision for it, initially, was that he sort wanted to bring it down and make it a lot younger. Jane really is 18 years old in the story, and I think often what other versions have done is, she's always sort of presented a little older. Even I was, like, 20 when we did it, but I think people still thought I was quite a young Jane, and it sort of magnifies the difference in age between her and Rochester. And I think was kind of exciting, and something that I hope is different.
Did you read the book beforehand?
Yeah, I did. I was reading the book, and I was on the fifth chapter when I emailed my agent, and I was like, "This is great. Is there a script? Is anyone making this?" And there wasn't at the time. And it was, like, two months later that she e-mailed me. She sent me the script, and was like, "It's going ahead, and the director would like to meet you." It was great timing. I had just read the book.
One of the things I loved about 'Jane Eyre' were the costumes. Was there any point in which you wanted to steal them?
Hell no! I couldn't wait to get out of those things. [Laughs]
Was it torture?
Oh, yeah. I've never been happier to be born in the time that I am in than when we first hopped into those corsets. They are as bad as everybody says -- and worse. [Laughs] ... I was so excited, I would count down the days until I had a scene in my pajamas.
Speaking of corsets, you're also in 'Albert Nobbs' with Glenn Close. How is that going?
Great! We just wrapped, and I'm really excited about the film. Glenn Close wrote the script, and she's had the rights to the story for 10 years; she was in the off-Broadway play. It's her passion project. Rodrigo Garcia, who I worked with when I was 16 in 'In Treatment,' is directing it, and I think it was a good shoot, so I can't wait for people to see it.
You had a huge year in 2010, with 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'The Kids Are All Right.' Do you find yourself getting more offers now?
Yeah. I mean, it's been really great. They were very different productions, on different scales, as well, but 'Kids' has had such great luck in terms of being able to reach as many people. So it's been good having two very different things out there.
Do you have any plans to work with Tim Burton again?
I would love to. He's the coolest. I had a lot of fun working with him. That would be great. We'll see.
You're 21 now, and your movie career is really kicking into full gear. What kinds of roles are you looking to do in the future?
I want to keep doing roles that are challenging and different. I like doing lots of different roles. I think to remain interested in [acting], it's important to challenge yourself and do things that are scary or different from something I've done before, so yeah. I want to do that; things that challenge me and challenge the audience.
Is Australia still home to you? Or are you planning the big move to L.A.?
Yeah. So far, I've been able to pull it off living at home in Australia, and I kind of want to continue that. I like the perspective and I like the distance from L.A. and Hollywood, and it's always kind of great to go home, and very grounding. I love seeing my family. I don't really have a place of my own, but I like going home. It's a bit of a split world.
I loved you on 'In Treatment.' Even though your movie career is booming right now, would you ever consider returning to television?
'In Treatment' was one of the coolest experiences ever for me, and I loved that character. I'm not sure, though. It would depend. I feel so lucky to have had that role, and to be able to have explored that character in such depths.