This International Women's day we were graced with the formidable force of Rosamund Pike at the premiere of Radioactive, a biopic on Marie Curie. The films paints Madame Curie in a new, more vulnerable light, allowing us to see that within her genius she is also a woman suffering in a time of harsh inequality. Herds of people shout slurs outside her house as her children try to sleep, she is hated by a society that she tried to help and we begin to understand that despite her genius, she is human too, and thus has to deal with everyday struggles–she is a mother, a thinker, a wife and an extraordinary woman.
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, A Private War) stars as Marie Curie with Sam Riley (Maleficent, On The Road) by her side as Pierre Curie, along with Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma, The Witch) playing her daughter Irene. The film was adapted from Lauren Redniss' graphic novel for screen by Jack Throne with Marjane Satrapi as the director.
Strand caught up with the cast and crew of Radioactive at their UK Premiere to chat about the experience of having women at the forefront of the film, the inspiration behind the films experimental timeline and some advice for young actors!
Image Credit: Courtesy of StudioCanal Press
“You’ve taken on a lot of wonderfully strong female roles, is there anything in particular that you learnt playing Marie Curie that you perhaps hadn’t with other characters?”
Rosamund Pike [Marie Curie]: “Yes, I think Marie Curie lived her truth, she lived equality, she owned it, she owned her rights as a woman, she knew she was as fierce as a scientist as any man, she knew she probably had a better break than so many girls. Even if that’s their inkling, or they think they might be as clever as a man, their instinct is not to say so because it’s unladylike or it’s not deemed okay to say that because a woman has to be sweet above all other things, and Marie Curie didn’t give a damn about any of that. She just owned her truth, lived it and she was incredibly inspiring, and not always likeable, but then who the hell cares about being likeable, really, when you’re going to change the world. I find her intensely likeable because I find her eccentricity and her directness incredibly charming, so for me she’s the ultimate heroine”
“The film cuts between Marie Curie's day and the aftermath of her discovery of Radium, what inspired this timeline?"
Jack Thorne [Writer]: “Lauren Redniss, the amazing book Radioactive by Lauren Redniss, which is just the most sensational graphic novel, and how she found a way of coexisting the story of Marie Curie with the effects of what Marie discovered I thought was really special, I was trying to emulate that”
“What drew you to make this film at this current time?”
Jack: “I mean, I wrote this script eight years ago, it's been a long process, but I think there’s something very interesting about writing in this time, in the age of COVID-19 and the way that science is adjusting to a global world, and the dangers of that global world. We need geniuses in this world, we desperately do, and the more Marie Curie’s we can find, the better.”
“Marjane Satrapi creates such colourful works, Radioactive was was told beautifully, was there anything special about your connection with her?"
“Oh yeah Marjane is amazing, she is an incredible woman, a true force of nature, the way that she does things is unlike anyone else and I love making films with her”
With a film that so greatly celebrates women, both on and of screen, was there any difference on set?
Sam Riley [Pierre Curie]: “I don’t know really, it felt right, I enjoyed it, I liked it and I don’t feel threatened when I’m told what to do by a woman, I’m married.”
“Do you have any advice for younger actors trying to get into the industry”
Sam: “Well, I got refused from all drama schools and I did national youth theatre, I think if you’re young then I would recommend trying to do that, even if it’s just because you experience what an audition is like, and don’t give up, there’s a lot of rejection, still for me and people don’t know what they’re talking about”
Radioactive hits UK Cinemas on 20th March
Edited by Ruby Clare