Tron: Legacy star Olivia Wilde talks tech and 3D

Training and gaming, Olivia Wilde talks Tron and tech

The Tron beauty opens up about the future of 3D, and its place in cinema. Is the Disney sequal likely to take Avatar's place as the king of the 3D movie events?

Sexy star of the Hollywood sequel to the timeless classic, Tron Legacy's Quorra, Olivia Wilde, took time out from donning her leather outfit and riding around in the LightRunner to talk to T3 about the future of 3D in film, her tech habits and the physicality of training to be a Tron Grid warrior. Read on to find out what the House actress had to say...

Olivia Wilde Tron: Legacy star unconvinced by 3D

Are you a gamer?
“I’m not a gamer but I’m learning more and more. Now that I’ve been to Commacon twice I feel that I am slowly joining the ranks, at least I have been welcomed into the community kindly. I have just tried to play the Tron: Evolution game here, now, and died as many times as one is allowed to die before being kicked off the game. The last game that I played really was Duck Hunt so it’s not like I’m good at these things.”

“The game takes place before the new film so it is an expanded filmgoers experience because you can see the film then play the game and feel that you get a little more back story also you can play the game before you see the film and understand a little bit more about the history of the characters and you’ll pickup some references, things that are mentioned in the film that connect directly to the game.”

“As is happening more and more now in film making, we were very conscious of the production of the game as we were making the film and tied into as we were creating the story. It wasn’t just an afterthought or a marketing technique, its actually part of the story.”

“What was fun for me was that all the back-story research I had done for my character before we made the film I was able to use when we did the game because that’s exactly the period in her life that the game is exploring.”

Do you think 3D movies are here to stay?
“Although I do think that certain stories warrant the 3D technique, the effect, I think certain stories don’t but maybe I’m wrong an maybe I’m just not grasping that 3D is like the advent of colour in film, just expanding the medium and I should embrace that fully.”

“When the Wizard of Oz used colour as Dorothy entered the world of Oz suddenly there was this incredible Technicolor which at the time was a new technology and it allowed the audience to feel they had wound up in this alternate universe and they were immersed in it as Dorothy was, it was really powerful for filmgoers at that time. With Tron I think it is a similar experience, once Sam Flynn enters the world of The Grid, the film expands into three dimensions and the audience then feels as involved with it as he is.”

Tron: Legacy is in 3D. Could it have worked in 2D?
“3D makes sense for this film. The 3D is the most advanced 3D camera every used, it is one generation beyond the AVATAR camera. We are also very proud to be a film that was actually shot in 3D, a lot of films are converted in post-production which I think never quite works as well and audiences becoming quite apt at telling the difference.”

“I did kind of enjoy looking into the camera some times and just marvelling at what you can see with all these mirrors inside the lens, I thought that was pretty cool. Being so used to knowing what the inside of a lens looks like from being in front of it for a lot of my life so far, looking into it and seeing this whole other complex world inside was kind of cool.”

Did you do much preparation for the role?
“I was trained by a bunch of amazing stunt guys who are from a group called 87/11 and they train actors for all the big adventure, action, stunty movies, everything from 300 to Watchmen, all those types of movies. They transformed me into a warrior, they trained me in parkour, kapuwara, jujitsu, sword fighting, boxing, anything they could pound into my brain to make me a little bit better at feeling like a warrior and being able to move like a warrior. It wasn’t just being able to do the stunts themselves, it affected the way I stood, looked, behaved, sat, it really changes the way you move and without that sort of physical transformation you wouldn’t understand what it was like to be a warrior, it changes the interior of the character.”

“I was looking forward to it. The day I got cast I called the director and was like ‘When do I start training? Send me in now’ I knew that I was going to crack this character through the physical transformation. I did enjoy it, it was the most challenging thing I have done for a role but I really enjoyed it.”

If you could use one thing from the film in your everyday life, what would it be?
“I really like my vehicle on the grid, the LightRunner, it’s the only four-wheeled vehicle on the grid, it shoots grenades, it can blast through walls, it can go off-roading. That would be quite a fun toy.”

What do you think of the original Tron?
“I hadn’t seen the original Tron in its entirety until I was aware of this sequel and so watched it in preparation for my first meeting with the filmmakers. Now I just marvel at its ambition and very forward thinking, lightheartedness. It was the first film to use CGI so I am amazed that they were so experimental in 1982 in bringing up all these concepts of man’s relationship to personal computers, the idea of the internet and gaming becoming this different world, I’m definitely in awe of them.”

What tech do you use?
“I am pretty attached to technology, I spend a lot of time thinking about it. I am probably as dependant on technology as the average person is now, it’s a part of my day-to-day life. My favourite gadget is probably my iPhone although I do have an iPad, maybe that’s my favourite. I love the iPad, its really good for what I do for a living because I can download like 50 scripts on it and just hammer through them as opposed to being the dork on the plane holding a bunch of scripts which is just like holding up a sign saying ‘I’m an actor’. This is a much more subtle way of doing my work. I also enjoy the Scrabble app because you know you can put the board on the iPad and the tiles on your iPhone and just throw them on, that alone is a reason to buy that thing.

“My favourite nerdy app that is very useful for my job is the iAnnotate but I think that for the iPhone my favourite is Shazam, Shazam is the coolest thing, its allowed me to discover so much new music.”

“My worst tech habit is waking up and checking my email straight away, that’s not healthy.”