Natalie Dormer is sick of talking about "The Hunger Games" and "Game of Thrones."
"You and I are going to get on like a house on fire," blurts the English actress when she finds out this jounalist has never seen a single episode of the HBO series.
Luckily, we're talking about “The Forest,” a new horror film in which she plays a young American trying to find her missing twin sister (also played by Dormer), who’s gone missing inside Japan’s dense Aokigahara forest — a beautiful but feared place where some people go to commit suicide.
Not that Dormer, 33, would do just any old horror film.
“The Forest” is an unusual horror film. It's heavy on ideas, about grief, sibling love, even a bit of feminism.
It’s a smart horror movie. It’s a thinking person’s horror movie. So I can talk about it in a junket and sound halfway intelligent. [Laughs] That’s why I took the role. I’ve never contemplated, in real seriousness, of doing a horror movie before. I’m a film snob. I like genre made at a high spec. I wasn’t a horror fanatic. I don’t really get a joy out of scaring myself, so I don’t seek it out in horror movies. But I know a good movie when I see one, like “The Others,” “The Orphanage,” even “It Follows” from last year. Good storytelling is good storytelling.
What particularly made you think this stood apart from the rest?
I could imagine hearing my sister or someone I really cared about being on the other side of the world and was in pain or in danger. You would get on a plane. There’s this idea that we all carry baggage, we all have demons, we have all something, big or small, we regret later in life. We all carry guilt. That’s the most terrifying thing, when things in horror movies are plausible.
Still, you have to do a lot of technical stuff, like acting scared and running.
[Laughs] I got really, really, really good at bolting through a forest as quickly as possible, avoiding roots that are going to break my ankle or branches that are going to take out my eye, then stopping dead in the exact right position I needed to. I’m really good at sprinting and stopping now.