Gabriel Macht (“The Spirit”) and Alex O’Loughlin (TVs “Moonlight”) join Kate Beckinsale in the new thriller “Whiteout”. Moviehole caught up with them both recently.
Can you describe your characters? Who is Robert and who is Russell?
ALEX O’LOUGHLIN Russell is an Australian pilot who’s based in the same base we meet all the characters, where they all live. He does fly-outs. He moves gears, scientific equipment, people, food and supplies. They have a string of pilots working down there. They sort of run their own schedule. As long as they get the work done, it doesn’t really matter. He’s an Aussie lad, he’s a bit of a womanizer, he’s got all these sort of fronts, thatâ€™s his way of portraying himself that is, that keeps everyone at arm’s length, because essentially he has, like all the characters in the show, another agenda. He has an MO. In this very close-knit community, he does his best to keep everybody as far away from his business as he can.
GABRIEL MACHT My character’s name is Robert Pryce. I am an ex-Marine special forces soldier, now working for the UN. I come in about a third of the way through the film. You see the character poking around at a murder site, and the U.S. Marshal doesn’t quite know who he is and what his motivation is, but you soon learn to know that he’s just there to try and solve the murder along with her. And then further along we go, we see that he’s got some other intentions going on. So, as an audience member, I think we… He’s another character that’s placed in this puzzle of trying to solve what, what’s going on in this film.
The action takes place in Antarctica and obviously you couldn’t shoot there, but you did shoot in a very cold place, what was that experience like?
AO We shot in northern Manitoba on the frozen lakes, which is about three hours north of Winnipeg. And it was cold. It was minus forty, minus fifty. We spent the first couple of weeks there, and then we went to MontrÃ©al and we spent a few months in the sound stages and did all the internal stuff we needed to do. The great thing about doing all the exteriors where we did them in the conditions that we did them in, is that, essentially, that’s very close to the conditions where this film is situated and where these people live and have to survive. And it changes how you feel. Your blood pressure drops, you get dizzy, euphoric, and the simplest tasks become difficult. You can’t see the horizon for the edge of the ice, and so you can get disorientated very quickly. So it was very helpful as an actor.
GM Yeah. You know, on Lake Manitoba, it was freezing. It was fifty below. But we shot a large portion of the film in MontrÃ©al on the sound stages, and so still having to wear that extreme weather gear was very hot. It was actually one of the hottest films I’ve ever worked on. I did a western, years back. You had to wear a lot of wool and long sleeves and vests and overcoats, but this, you’re wearing extreme weather gear and… we were sweating, and having to act cold, so I think we did a pretty good job by hopefully getting across that we were in a freezing environment. Whereas, we only shot about two-and-a-half, three weeks up in Manitoba, where it was actually that cold.
I hear Kate Beckinsale has a great sense of humor. What was it like working with her?
GM She’s terrific. This film is very heavy and serious in its approach to the storytelling. And, in between takes, she’s just making the whole crew and all of us laugh. She really keeps a light, you know… Levity, you know. She’s just very playful and extremely quick-witted and a real leader, so she’s cool.
AO Yeah. The lead actor of a film sets the tone for the film and sets the tone for everybody, and she set a great tone.