Here’s 15 things Collider wants you to know about Beautiful Creatures:
That said, I’m willing to bet that there’s a large chunk of the Collider.com readership who still doesn’t have Beautiful Creatures on their radar, if only because of the genre it take place in. To be fair, it might turn out that LaGravenese will turn in something that’s right in line with the other films and TV shows that take place within the genre, and that we’ll all have our most tedious fears re-confirmed by the film…but I’m also willing to bet that if any of these dime-a-dozen supernatural-teen-romance projects that are headed our way over the next few years has a chance to be a hit, it’ll be Beautiful Creatures. Here’s 15 things I learned on-set that I think will change the minds of the disinterested…and confirm the interest of the true believers and already-faithful.
- First of all, the basic plot here sounds a lot more interesting than the average teen supernatural-romance project. In Beautiful Creatures, Ethan Wate (relative newcomer Alden Ehrenreich) meets—and almost instantly falls in love with—Lena Duchannes (also-newcomer Alice Englert), a “Caster” (read: witch) on the verge of making an important decision regarding her allegiances to an age-old society of similarly empowered beings who live outside the public eye. The film deals with Ethan and Lena’s attempts to uncover the troubling history of her extended, supernatural family while juggling their burgeoning romance.
- The makeup and costumes are going to be impressive. When we first arrived on-set (which was about a 45-minute drive outside of Baton Rouge), we were told we’d arrived on a “very exciting” day, and that something big was being filmed. This turned out to be the “Claiming Party” for Alice Englert’s character, Lena, and we were all stunned to see how elaborate the costumes were for this sequence: dozens of actors milled about in intricately-designed clothing (some of which seemed to almost defy gravity), each more impressive than the last. It was a total spectacle.
- The sets are going to be even more impressive. The “Claiming Party” was being shot on a portion of property that also included a massive, sprawling gothic mansion. The production had covered this house—which we were told belonged to Jeremy Irons’ character, Macon Ravenwood—in vines and distressed shutters, all of which we were surprised to learn hadn’t been there before their arrival: it all looked like the real-deal, and was endlessly detailed.
- Alden Ehrenreich tells us his wardrobe is largely standard American-teen fare, but one particular wardrobe change indicates the scope of LaGravenese’s film. Says Ehrenreich: “Do I get to wear any cool costumes? No, not like that. Cool, but in a different way–sort of American like western shirts and jeans and sneaker, iconic looking American outfits. I do wear a Civil War uniform at a reenactment. There’s a Civil War reenactment. I wear a Confederate Civil War uniform.’
- How does the town of Gatlin view the film’s contingent of “Casters”? The screenwriters have thought through how the town might consider living amongst a group of powerful witches. Says Alice Englert: “The town is under the impression that we’re satanists, rich, plantation-owning satanists, the sort of stuff you hear ghost stories about. It’s only Ethan who discovers that, he’s the only human that becomes aware of it.”
- Emmy Rossum plays the intriguing, man-manipulating Ridley…and she’s dug deep in deciding how to play the character. When asked how she approached the role, Rossum told us: “I modeled her after a Norse goddess I read about”.
- Speaking of Emmy Rossum, if you’re a red-blooded American male who isn’t opposed to the sight of good-looking women on film, you’ll have a chance to see Rossum in a variety of hair-colors and provocative clothing styles. On the day we visited the set, Rossum was wearing what could best be described as a “Sexy Jackie O” outfit, and told us that she would appear as a blonde, brunette, and redhead at various points throughout the film.
- Jeremy Irons was an engaged presence on-set, even if that presence was also somewhat intimidating. We didn’t get a chance to speak with Irons at length: he kinda greeted us upon arrival, but immediately after he stayed glued to a monitor, watching LaGravenese film the action on the makeshift ballroom floor of the “Claiming Party” whenever he wasn’t being called before the camera. Everyone we spoke with expressed—to a greater or lesser degree—being somewhat intimidated by his presence, something it’s clear the production hopes translates into his role as Macon Ravenwood.
- There’s a good chance Margo Martindale’s badass real-life persona will translate on-camera into her character, and that alone is a reason to show up on opening day. If you’re at all familiar with character actors/actresses, you know of the award-winning Margo Martindale, and she was a blast to interview on-set. At one point, we asked her what she looks for in a role, and her answer typifies her unique energy: “I look for insanity and drunken behavior, pill pushers, doped slings and cowboys. I like it all kind of twisted.”
- LaGravenese has done his homework in finding other films that might inspire this one. For instance, Emmy Rossum told us that Ridley’s penchant for sucking on lollipops had been expanded to include an interest in fruit, in a nod to the cherries in The Witches of Eastwick, and she also told us that LaGravenese screened horror movies for the film’s two leads prior to the beginning of filming.
- As previously noted, the scope of the film is much bigger than one might expect based on the genre. When asked to discuss some of the bigger set pieces that had been filmed during production, Alice Englert described a Civil War re-enactment that had been filmed at one point: “We’ve already shot some of that, at Honey Hill, where they’re having a reenactment for the Civil War. It gets overtaken by this flashback, where it merges into the actual battle, so you have the reenactment, and then you have the actual soldiers dying. It’s quite epic.”
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