Olivia Thirlby interview – Dredd

What was it like wearing your leather Dredd outfit?
I’m totally leather body-suited up! It’s like a proper comic-book action hero. One thing I love about Dredd is its really realistic approach, it’s a very dark and gritty approach, so my look is much less sexy femme fatale and a little bit more like a football player.

Is the new Dredd gritty to counteract Stallone’s cheesy ‘90s adap?
It doesn’t go that way only to separate itself from the former Dredd movie, it takes its air of seriousness and violence from the comics, so our idea was to really honour the world of Mega City One in the comics.

Had you seen the Stallone movie before?
You know I actually still haven’t seen it. I didn’t want to see it before shooting and I haven’t seen it since. It’s definitely on my list of movies to see, but I must admit it’s not at the very top!

What was it like working with Karl Urban?
He is definitely a dude. I loved working with him, he’s so good at what he does. We went through the script and really fleshed out the relationship between Judge Dredd and Anderson, who is a rookie. The movie really rests on the bizarre complexities of their working relationship. We wanted that to be the emotional foundation of the film. Explosions and guns and leather body-suits are great, but they get boring if there’s not a story being told.

Did you ever imagine yourself as an action heroine?
Definitely not! I’ve always hoped I could play some kind of role where I could be a really strong, ass-kicking female. It was a really empowering thing to learn how to fight and use weapons. While I was shooting Darkest Hour is when the role for Dredd came up, so I really had no choice but to dive into these 3D sci-fi action worlds.

You seem to get quite beaten up in The Darkest Hour…
That’s true, I did all my own stunts! It was crazy, I have photographs of the bruises that I had all over my body. I was picked up and dropped on the floor of this bus repeatedly. It was really brutal, but I’m pretty proud of it. Actually, I fractured my foot and that moment is in the movie, so I put my blood sweat and tears into that movie!