Allure is a film that proudly doesn’t pull any punches.
In it, Evan Rachel Wood stars as Laura Drake, a sexual abuse survivor that continues the cycle of abuse by kidnapping Eva (Julia Sarah Stone), a teenager that had briefly fallen out with her parents.
But while it would be easy to showcase Laura as a villain, “Allure” approaches the character from a non judgmental and sympathetic stance, while still showcasing her despicable antics in an honest and unsettling manner.
That’s exactly why Even Rachel Wood found herself so attracted to the film, especially because she has been the victim of sexual abuse herself.
I recently had the chance to speak to the 30-year-old actress about “Allure,” and she candidly opened up about how she used her past to inform her performance and why the film is being released at the exact right time.
How did you get involved in “Allure”?
I didn’t want to do another project. After “Westworld” season 1 I needed a break. But this was a subject that I could relate to and understand. I appreciated how honest it was. Because this kind of abuse is hard to understand if you haven’t experienced it, or haven’t had no power, no control, or felt paralyzed or trapped. This deals with abuse disguised as love.
Laura feels like a character that is trapped herself.
She really thinks that she is helping Eva. She sees herself in this girl. There are moments where we see her hate herself for what she is doing. I appreciated the way it showed the lasting effects of abuse, and how it can develop into really serious mental issues.
I felt strong enough in my own journey that I was able to recognize these qualities, and I felt like I had studied them and learned from them to use them and be able to bring myself back.
Because of my own past I did huge research on trauma and disassociation and PTSD and mental illness, so I understood that, and used it. But I really wanted to make sure that the film wasn’t just black and white, and showed that it is so hard to leave these abusive situations.
It must have been difficult to revisit your own past for the film.
A lot of the scenes were so hard to shoot. I didn’t find it easy to play the villain at all, I hated doing the scenes. I knew that it was controlled, but I still had to go to these places of anger and violence that were so unnatural to me. I have spent so much time trying not to be angry. So when I take on these projects it can be really difficult to go there.
I kept seeing myself in Julie’s character, and I repeatedly cried on set. I then had to get it together, and stop myself from going there and return to the scene. I was hyper aware of protecting Julie, and so I would talk her through the scenes, and we would watch the playback and sometimes we even changed the staging.
Do you feel the film is being released at the right time?
This is the perfect time for it. It is a testament to what we have done that people know it isn’t just about a lesbian romance, which would usually get all of the attention and focus. But I think we have done our job right, because people want to talk about the psychology behind the abuse.
“Allure” is in cinemas on March 16.