Exclusive Interview: Kim Bubbs Talks THE THING Prequel Details, Playing Juliette and Being ON THE ROAD With Kristen Stewart
I have a confession to make: John Carpenter ruined my life.
Ok, “ruined” is a strong word and “life” might be a bit of an exaggeration. Let’s just say that after watching The Thing as a kid, I never looked at my dog or anyone else the same way as it introduced the idea that appearances can be deceiving. So I blame John Carpenter for that.
Will this childhood trauma prevent me from enjoying the prequel of The Thing that is coming out to theaters this Friday October 14? Not according to actress Kim Bubbs who plays Juliette, a french member of the Norwegian scientific team that has discovered a creature buried in the Antarctica.
Daemon’s Movies had the immense pleasure to talk to this wonderfully charming up and coming actress about her rôle, the details behind the production of The Thing including whether there will be a test in this movie and finally about her upcoming rôle in the movie adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s book, ‘On The Road‘.
Check out what she had to say below and don’t forget to head to a theater near to watch The Thing when it comes out this Friday October 14. You never know, you might even see me there.
Had you seen the movie ‘The Thing’ before auditioning for this?
Kim Bubbs: I had not seen the original before auditioning for it, but then when I got the call back I watched the original. I actually got the DVD and was looking at all the extras. What I found really interesting was how ahead of it’s time it was in terms of special FX, still to this day. That’s what I found really impressive about it, and also you watch the DVD extras and you see that everything was done by hand. It’s not like today. But what they were able to accomplish by hand and how creative they were and how it turned out, I mean it was really ahead of it’s time in terms of that.
This movie is a prequel. You play Juliette. What can you say about your character?
Kim Bubbs: She is a member of the Norwegian team. Everyone is Norwegian except for Juliette. She’s French. She’s a geologist working with the Norwegian team. I think she’s a very much into her job, more of a reserved person and she’s overwhelmed by everything that takes place because this is not anything that she’s ever encountered or anything that she’s even prepared for. None of them are prepared for it, but I think she’s fearful and overwhelmed, but at the same time really wanting to be helpful and wanting to find some sort of solution.
When you first heard about the role what aspects of this character attracted you?
Kim Bubbs: I liked the fact that she was a very cerebral character. She’s very cerebral, but at the same time sweet and genuine and a more reserved person. That I found interesting, and it’s also so much fun to be able to do an accent and play someone from somewhere else.
The original film was pretty graphic. Does the prequel live up to those standards?
Kim Bubbs: I can tell you, I can guarantee you that the fans will not be disappointed. Not at all, no. What’s great as well is that a lot of care was taken to respect [John] Carpenter’s vision and to make the prequel fit kind of seamlessly with the original.
What was the most challenging aspect of the movie? Were you actually in the cold?
Kim Bubbs: No. We were shooting in Toronto, but we were shooting in the spring and summer. For the exteriors it’s like eighty degrees out and you’re wearing full snow boots and everything. So, that part was a little challenging because we had cold packs for the back our necks so that we wouldn’t faint because it was pretty warm. You had to watch for sweaty faces because it’s not really credible to have a sweaty face. So, makeup was busy keeping the sweat off our faces.
Conversely, what was the most exciting part of the production? Did you do any stunts?
Kim Bubbs: The most exciting part was to see all of the special FX stuff because they did incorporate puppetry. They incorporated all different elements to kind of respect the original and also to bring it into the twenty first century. There will be some CGI and all of that, but I think to actually, physically see the puppet element and all the work that’s gone into the special FX was really exciting. It was so impressive to see all this great work that was done.
Without giving too much away, would you say that someone near you will transform?
Kim Bubbs: All I can say is that if you’ve seen the original you’ll get a sense of what’s going to happen in the sequel.
Does this film keep with the psychological thriller aspect of the original?
Kim Bubbs: Absolutely, and that’s actually what I find really compelling about the original. It’s not strictly a gory, slasher type film at all. There’s that psychological element that I find to be the most interesting part of it because no one knows who’s infected. If you watch the original everyone is doubtful of everyone else. It’s very much a psychological thriller in that sense.
In the original a test was developed. Is there a similar device introduced here?
Kim Bubbs: The characters explore many different outlets in terms of trying to figure out how to combat this.[laughs].. You like that? I should be a politician.
Are you a fan of the horror genre?
Kim Bubbs: When I was a kid I used to watch a lot of horror movies, but it’s funny because I wanted to watch them. Then I would see them and they would destroy me forever in terms of sleeping. I just have a really active imagination. For example, I saw ‘Jaws’ at a really young age and I shouldn’t have seen it so young, probably. So, my greatest fear was great white sharks, and to overcome that fear I went to South Africa and did the great white shark cage diving.
Did you overcome your fear?
Kim Bubbs: I did overcome it and I’ve become a great advocate for shark conservation. I’ve developed a healthy respect versus a fear.
Do you have any other upcoming projects? I think I read that you were in ‘On The Road’?
Kim Bubbs: Yes. ‘On The Road’ which is very exciting. That’s with Walter Salles. He directed ‘Motorcycle Diaries’ and it’s a huge, amazing cast with Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen and Amy Adams. It’s based on Jack Kerouac’s book, ‘On The Road’, his famous book. It’s a total departure from ‘The Thing’ and so that was interesting.
Did you shoot ‘On The Road’ before or after ‘The Thing’?
Kim Bubbs: After. It was a change. I got to play a New Yorker and it’s in the ’50’s. So it was a lot of fun. I love variety, and so it was great to go from the snow pants and the French accent to 1950’s New York. It was fun.
Speaking of the French accent, how did you work on that for the film?
Kim Bubbs: I actually speak French fluently. My mother is French speaking. I went to school my whole life in French. So, I grew up with English and French in my life. My dad speaks English. So, I work in French as well.
If you could work with any director or actor that you wanted who would it be?
Kim Bubbs: In terms of actors, I love Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep. I really like Lilly Taylor. I think she’s fabulous. Directors: I like Sofia Coppola’s work. I worked with Walter Salles which was a dream of mine. So I can check that off of my list, but there are so many. I feel like I can’t narrow it down, but that’s off the top of my head right now. It’s a lengthy list.
Thanks for talking to us, and I will try my best to power through the film without screaming like a girl.
Kim Bubbs: [laughs]I think because it’s not a slasher film that you’ll be fine. I think you’ll get hooked.
(Photo credit: Marc Cartwright)