Kate Beckinsale has done quite a lot on screen. She’s battled fellow vampires in the Underworld films, worked triage while bombs fell in Pearl Harbor and put up with Adam Sandler in Click.
But one thing she hasn’t done in quite some time is use her real accent. “I’d like to play a character that is English. Maybe something a bit more classical,” she says.
Well, she’ll have to wait a little bit longer. In her latest film, Whiteout, Beckinsale fakes an American accent again, this time to play U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko, stationed in Antarctica and charged with investigating the continent’s first murder just days before her post shuts down for the daylight-free winter.
Though she’s had her share of intense sets, Beckinsale was taken aback by this film’s extreme working environment. (Manitoba sat in for Antarctica for exterior shots.)
“It was a lot more intense, really, because we were all worried we were going to die of hypothermia any second,” she says. Not that they weren’t prepared.
“When we arrived, they put a small telephone directory under our doors the night before we started shooting saying, ‘These are all the different ways it’s possible to die here.’ Being too cold, or being too hot if you keep your clothes on for too long when you go inside. Or if you’ve ever had an alcoholic drink, or if you breathe in a westerly direction, you’re going to die.”
Beckinsale admits she underestimated the conditions. “I thought, being from England, I know how to handle the cold. But it wasn’t anything like that,” she says, though the Canadian shooting only lasted a couple of weeks before the production headed indoors.
“I try and make it out like we shot in the cold for a lot longer than we did because it makes me sound a bit more tough,” she says.
Aside from wanting to speak in her native accent, Beckinsale has other work aspirations after a few years of action, drama and suspense. “I’d like to do some comedy,” she says. “That’s what I’d really like to do.”