Interview: Abbie Cornish swears the ‘RoboCop’ remake is different enough

Abbie Cornish stars in the remake of one of her very favorite films: "RoboCop." Credit: Getty Images
Abbie Cornish stars in the remake of one of her very favorite films: “RoboCop.”
Credit: Getty Images

Abbie Cornish has fond memories of the original “RoboCop,” having grown up in Australia watching, re-watching and eventually wearing out a VHS copy of the 1987 film at far too young an age thanks to her older brothers. So she hopes other fans of Paul Verhoeven’s ultra-violent action flick will take her involvement in Jose Padilha’s PG-13 remake as a major vote of confidence.

It was a different time, when you had to worry about VHS tapes wearing out.

And it was so devastating when they did — or if they tore! And sometimes you couldn’t replace them either. It seems so silly, you’d be 10 years later trying to find another VHS or “RoboCop” and you can’t. It’s like all of a sudden it becomes a collector’s item. It’s different now.

What were some of your favorite parts of the original?

I mean, that scene is crazy when he goes in on his own and he gets blown apart. I know it sounds really violent — because I was, like, 5 or 6 when I watched that — but that scene is just insane. It’s really classic. I love that movie. I really enjoyed watching it again. I watched it a couple of times before we made the movie, and people were like, “Don’t do that!” I was like, “But I love it!”

Plus, this version is pretty different from the original.

Yeah, it’s different. It’s a whole different entity. Look, I really hope that the people who are skeptical about the film and are saying that they’re not going to watch it because “we love the original ‘RoboCop’ and they shouldn’t have remade it.” I really hope that they go to the cinemas and watch it because I think that they’ll be pleasantly surprised.

The default position of any remake is skepticism, though.

I guess so. Maybe I’ve just never been privy to it. [Laughs] We retell stories all the time. Sometimes they’re very well done and sometimes not so well done, so I can understand people’s skepticism about that as well.

What are some of your favorite tricks of the trade for tapping into a character?

I listen to a lot of music while I work. I usually make a playlist for each film that sums up what that character’s journey is throughout the film, so I can always go back to it and go back to it. Basically it’s like home. Or sometimes if I feel a bit lost on the way to work in regards to what we’re doing, I’ll pull up a Turner painting and just stare at it for half an hour, and that will just give me something for the day. Because sometimes, to be honest, I don’t know what I’m doing — as an actor — and I like that feeling.


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