Emma wanted to do research. She was really keen to get it right. It seemed like a really bizarre request, but I asked my assistant to find some documentaries where people talk about what it’s like to be tortured.
I didn’t shoot it like a scene where you [say] action [and] cut. I kind of let the camera roll for four or five minutes and I let Helena and Emma improvise to a certain extent those moments, so they could build an intensity together.
The first time we did it, I [did] yell cut. Emma said, “You cut too early! You cut too early!” She was getting to this intense point. And I said, “Well, it was getting scary, Ems!” And she said, “No no no no, let me try, let me try.”
There were one or two moments that were really powerful, where Emma was able to just let go a little bit and forget for a moment that she was acting.
And the screams were quite horrible to listen to. It was a very odd energy in the room. She was kind of exploring and exorcising demons really, and serving the scene doing that.
I felt in that moment, and in that day and in that room, she kind of crossed the line as an actress. She discovered something within herself that will make her a great actor. [x]