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Interview with The Dark Knight Rises’ India Wadsworth

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India Wadsworth has a breakout role in the latest Batman film The Dark Knight Rises (no spoilers here), director Christopher Nolan’s final installment of the Dark Knight trilogy.

This 5′ 11″, Afro-Asian model has a quick, but key appearance, which leads to key plot progression and special character reveals. This high exposure role could change her life even more. Already discovered by a model scout at age 14, Wadsworth now lives in California and was born in Dorset, England.

Wadsworth recently agreed to answer my questions about her role, the filmmaking process, and her modeling career.

Your role in The Dark Knight Rises has been the center of intense speculation, character connections, and secrecy. How does it feel to have this attention in a role that was not initially listed on Internet Movie Database (IMDb) yet?

It’s surreal and crazy. I can’t wait to see the film so we can all figure it out.

The secrecy in this filmmaking process seems like it would have an isolating effect because you were limited in rehearsals and contact with other actors. How did you feel you could express yourself in this role using your life skills and talents?

I believe that Nolan’s world of storytelling is very much in the present so using the present moment and experiencing the role as it was in that moment was part of the skill.

With a physical presence already anchored in your modeling career, do you plan to expand your acting career after the success of The Dark Knight Rises? If so, what type of roles would you pursue?

Of course, I would love to do many different roles. That’s what I love about acting, you can be anything and everything. I would like to steer away from being cast as the ‘model’ but every role has its perks!

How did you prepare for such a secretive role…and the filmmaking process?

I am inspired by the craft of acting, so I always make sure that I am learning something new, whether it be in an acting class or my surroundings during the day!

What lessons have you learned in modeling?

Modeling has definitely taught be to be grounded, and you have to develop a thick skin so that rejection doesn’t affect you.

Did you collaborate with the costume designer on your clothes for the role?

I had a few fittings and saw Lindy Hemming work her magic.

What differences in approach, creativity, and style did you see between this feature film and your previous modeling experiences?

The huge scale of the whole production was so different than anything I’ve ever done before. Also, as you a model you become aware that the main focus of creativity stems from selling a product, where as in film the creativity comes from selling a story. The two are very different entities!

How does growing up away from the United States give you certain advantages in this popular superhero feature film presentation?

Well, I got cast in outside of the United States so I guess it was handy I was in London. I don’t believe that growing up anywhere gives you any real sense of an advantage, it’s about who you are now!

What did you know about Batman and the related characters before you were cast in this role?

I was a big fan of the previous movies, and the ones before it. I thought Tim Burton’s version was amazing! I also grew up with a brother who loved comics, so I knew a bit about the characters because of him!

During your performances, did you feel more pressure to satisfy fans and audiences or the filmmakers, cast and crew?

Probably the filmmakers. I tend not to think of the consequences of filming while I’m actually filming so the idea of fans and audiences seems miles away!

Did you complete any character research or did you depend more on filmmakers for information on this role?

Due to the secrecy of the whole thing, I couldn’t really figure out what my research would have been about!

Which actors did you work with besides Tom Hardy?

I met a few other members of the cast, but I just worked with Tom.

Describe how your physical skills, endurance, and experiences on extended photography sessions as a model prepared you for acting in this feature film.

Modeling requires you to be fit and stay in good shape, so I try to mix up my exercise routine by doing something different every day. I love yoga, Pilates, and cycling.

Describe your anticipation and excitement of the premiere. Will you finally see the entire film at the premiere or at another time?

I hope so! Every time I see a poster driving around town I have a little giggle and a squirm with excitement!! I can’t wait!!

Directed by Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises stars Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard and Morgan Freeman.

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