There’s a new interview with Gabriella on the set of ‘Endless Love’.
Buried among the film credits on Gabriella Wilde’s IMDB Web page is an item that seems appropriate more for Burke’s Peerage than for a film-trade site: “Paternal granddaughter of the 2nd Baronet Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe and a descendant of Charles II, King of England, Ireland and Scotland, in turn twice great-great-great grandson of Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII, and of Joan the Mad, sister of Catherine of Aragon,” it reads, just below the 24-year-old actress and model’s birth name, Gabriella Zanna Vanessa Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe. Wilde is the daughter of the British businessman John Austen Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, and her luminous blonde-ingénue looks have helped her land a string of high-profile roles that are reprises of parts played by some of the most accomplished stars of the past. Her breakout was as Constance in the 2011 remake of The Three Musketeers, the role played by June Allyson in the 1948, Gene Kelly version. In last year’s remake of Carrie, she re-created the part of Sue Snell, Carrie’s tormentor—Amy Irving in the 1976, Brian De Palma version. This month, in a new rendering of Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 Endless Love, she walks in the footsteps of Brooke Shields as Jade Butterfield, playing opposite Alex Pettyfer. Wilde, who was discovered at 14 by Naomi Campbell, says that the explicit sex sequences in Endless Love don’t push the envelope quite the way they did in Zeffirelli’s version. “This film is tamer,” she says. “Still, it is an intimidating thing. The fact that the director is a woman”—Shana Feste, who previously directed Country Strong—“helped calm me down for the big moments.” Wilde, who is expecting a baby with her fiancé, Alan Pownall, of the band Pale, says she wants to get away from playing American teenage roles. “My only experience with American things is through movies,” she says. “I had to pick up the nuances from the other actors, so after two studio films I’d like to graduate from high-school parts, and maybe even try an independent film.”
Last year, Gabriella did a photoshoot for 1883 magazine (you can check the pics here). In this interview she talks about Carrie and briefly mentions Squatters and Endless Love:
Gabriella Wilde isn’t the chattiest interviewee. In her defence, she has a stonking cold and is currently besieged by a make-up artist and hair stylist- who are both demanding her attention. I’m battling both in order to get her talking but Wilde, whilst not necessarily the most verbose, is behaving like a pro.
This professional calm is her most obvious trait. It’s clear that she takes her job very seriously. That job is now, she is keen to stress, acting. Her modelling days are long behind her and, typical of any actress eager to shake off the ‘model-turned-actress’ moniker, she bristles when the subject is brought up. “I haven’t done modelling since I was 17. I am focussing on acting. Working as a model as such is not something I do anymore. It’s really just the acting.”
This currently means her role in Kimberly Peirce’s remake of Carrie. She auditioned for it in her kitchen in a grainy iphone video filmed by her sister. It obviously did the trick, as she won the role of high-school-mean-girl-with-a guilty-conscience Sue Snell; a pivotal character second only to the top billing of Julianne Moore’s evangelical mother and Chloe Grace Mortez’s titular troubled teen. The remake is one that many might say needn’t have been made, so iconic was Brian DePalma’s 1970s original, yet Wilde, who only watched the De Palma film during shooting, feels theirs is a fresh take. “I think the best way to look at it is to say that they are two different films made from the book. It’s not a remake of the movie. There is a lot that is in the book that is not in the original film but that is in this film. Especially in regard to my character Sue Snell, if you read the book there is a lot of her diary entries and references to her and how she is thinking that isn’t so much in the De Palma movie.”
Having never read Stephen King’s book or watched the original before she started filming gave Wilde a different connection to Sue: “I sort of didn’t really feel like it was someone else’s character. I think it can feel that way so I sort of read the script first and had her in my head as myself.” Wilde, with her impeccable good looks, seems ideally suited to play Sue. Yet, much like Wilde herself, Sue is more than she seems; “She almost starts off as a character that you wouldn’t think would have a big journey but it all slightly unravels.” Stephen King referred to Sue as Carrie’s ‘fairy godmother’- something Wilde agrees with. “She definitely tries to save Carrie. At the beginning she does something terrible to her but she sets out the rest of the movie trying to save her. In a way it’s quite sad but it’s also quite charming that she gets it wrong because she’s just a kid. She doesn’t fully understand what she’s done or how to fix it. A big thing for me, in the movie, was watching Sue take responsibility for what she’d done.”
Sue Snell is a world away from Wilde’s role as corset-clad Constance Bonacieux, in 2010’s big budget remake of The Three Musketeers. She has fond memories of the film but when I mention the costumes a look of agony crosses her face. “Any film I do with normal clothing now I will never complain,” she says, as if imploring casting agents to take note, “It’s a whole different ball game when you’re wearing a corset: you can’t sit down. You can’t eat anything. So you’ll take it off at the end of the day and suddenly feel starving.” Luckily her most recent film, Martin Weisz’s indie filmSquatters, is mercifully corset free. She plays homeless, troubled Kelley; a character that, by all accounts, provided her meatier fare than previous roles. Much like Carrie, it gave her a chance to showcase her American accent, something she wasn’t exactly nervous about: “I audition so much in American that I think it feels quite safe to me. It almost feels quite scary for me to do something in my own accent now. It slightly removes you from yourself and, without doing too much work straight away it helps you find the character.” The film also stars Hollywood great Richard Dreyfuss, adding to the roster of talent including Julianne Moore, Colin Firth and Christoph Waltz, that she has had the privilege to work with. Wilde relays Dreyfuss’s playful antics on set; “He’d change his lines a lot and ad lib so you had to be on your toes around him. It can be quite off putting when you’re in a scene with him because you have to remind yourself that you’re in a scene too-otherwise you just end up watching him! He’s so brilliant.”
She is flying off to Atlanta the day after our interview to begin shooting Endless Love, directed by Shana Feste and produced by Josh Schwartz of Gossip Girl and The OCfame. It boasts an impressive cast, featuring Alex Pettyfer and Joely Richardson, and Wilde has bagged herself the female lead. Her career has been something of a slow burn thus far, but it all seems to be picking up. Is she excited? “For me, to be given the opportunity to be in anything because this industry is so tough is amazing. I just don’t want to play the same roles. I want to play roles that are different.” From the 18th Century French court, to squatting with Richard Dreyfuss by way of Stephen King’s classic high school horror, I’d say she’s doing just fine.
ON VALENTINE’S DAY, GET READY TO BE DAZZLED BY ENGLAND’S FINEST EXPORTS. BEAUTIFUL ACTORS (AND FORMER BURBERRY CAMPAIGN STARS) ALEX PETTYFER AND GABRIELLA WILDE HAVE COME TOGETHER TO SET CINEMAS ABLAZE WITH ENDLESS LOVE
Who better than a pair of gorgeous Brits to tackle an American cult classic? This Valentine’s Day, watch Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde lust after one another in the retelling of Scott Spencer’s forlorn love story Endless Love. The film serves up a heavy dose of sexual awakening via plenty of steamy scenes between two of the finest young actors in cinema today—it’s a casting miracle that will get anyone hot and bothered (first daters, take note).
While Franco Zeffirelli’s original 1981 adaptation starred Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt (the film birthed the song “Endless Love,” by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross), this updated version has considerable twists, according to Wilde, who credits the director and independent filmmaker Shana Feste (Country Strong) with heightening the intrigue. You know the tale: a beautiful rich girl falls for a working-class bad boy against her father’s wishes. Their union is unbreakable, their hearts beat as one, and then BOOM, drama ensues… “But there is a lot more going on in this movie than two kids falling in love,” says Wilde over the phone from her London flat. “It’s a bit edgier.”
For Pettyfer, it’s the simplicity of the film that he likes most: “Our movie is a lot more lighthearted than the original, but still a beautiful love story,” he says while walking his brown and black pup, Salem, on the streets of Beverly Hills. “The problems in the movie are simplistic, but so truthful—it’s about pure love.”
The Windsor–bred Pettyfer, who has appeared in Burberry campaigns lensed by Mario Testino and graced the cover of VMAN, first tested his acting chops in a primary school production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The curly blond played Willy Wonka, and to this day credits his mum for jump-starting his love of acting. Not long after, he scored his second lead role, in 2005, with the laddy TV movie Tom Brown’s Schooldays. With his obvious talent and Grecian God good looks—he played every sport in school, swimming, soccer, etc., he says—Pettyfer was catapulted into Hollywood in 2011 with consecutive roles as a futuristic voyager, in the dystopian thriller In Time, as the Beast to Vanessa Hudgens’s Beauty, in the fairy tale update Beastly, and as a teen alien on the run, in the sci-fi adventure I Am Number Four.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2012, though, with his turn as an eager but naive stripper in Magic Mike, that audiences truly understood the gravitas behind his many layers. A bevy of young It Girls took notice—Pettyfer has since been linked (and inked) to the likes of Emma Roberts, Dianna Agron, and Riley Keough. Now Gabriella Wilde is on his roster, if only for our viewing pleasure.
The film marks the second remake in a row for fellow Burberry alum Wilde, who played empathetic high schooler Sue Snell in this past fall’s Carrie, alongside Julianne Moore and Chloë Moretz. But Wilde might have more in common with her Endless Love character, Jade Butterfield. Born into an aristocratic family, Wilde, whose given name is Gabriella Zanna Vanessa Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, is about to give birth to her first child, with fiancé Alan Pownall, frontman of the electronic band Pale. (Fittingly, her nickname among close friends and family is Bumpy, “morphed from Bumbly Bee,” she says.) The sirenlike beauty is no stranger to inhabiting privileged environments, having officially arrived, also in 2011, as the Queen of France’s lady-in-waiting in The Three Musketeers, alongside rising actor Logan Lerman. “The point of it for me is to discover new things and be challenged,” says Wilde. “No actor wants to be typecast. Feeling really safe as an actor is not a great thing because you’re not learning or growing. In Squatters, I play a homeless girl who has grown up in a trailer park.”
Pettyfer also prefers the macabre over the mundane. “I think I am most vulnerable when I have to be somewhat like myself and be more charming and lovable,” says the Los Angeles transplant, who moonlights as an amateur race car driver. “It’s easier for me to play darker roles. To open yourself up and open your heart, it’s a scary thing. It’s a scary thing in life, let alone in a movie.”
Gabriella Wilde is not what she appears. Despite her convincing turn as the all-American Sue Snell in high-school horror remake Carrie, she’s 24 and so English you could cut glass with her. Wilde isn’t even her real name. It’s Astruther-Gough-Calthorpe, changed in honour of another great pretender: Oscar. “It was such a mouthful,” she explains. “Something that puts me into a box I’m not interested in being in.”
Discussing Stephen King’s twisted-Cinderella tale about a bullied student (Chloë Grace Moretz) wreaking telekinetic vengeance at the prom, she looks a million miles from the girl who gets hurled around the room by Carrie in the film’s SFX-heavy face-off. “I never thought of myself as an ‘action girl’,” she says. “But I definitely enjoy the physical side. When else am I going to fly around on a wire?”
Wilde’s used to being pulled in different directions. After Naomi Campbell “discovered” her at a dinner party when she was 15 (“She took Polaroid photos of me in the loo – I was terrified”), Wilde modelled for Burberry and Lacoste and moved school “every two or three years. Either I didn’t want to be there or they didn’t want me there any more.” Soon she was acting as well as acting up – none of which can have made life easier. “When you’re young, whatever you do that makes you stand out is a frightening thing,” she says. “You learn later that that’s what you want to do, stand out.” Whether English rose or American beauty, the lady or the vamp, we’ll wager that standing out is not going to be a problem.