People don’t always have the chance and opportunity to turn their hobby into a full-time job, but British model India Wadsworth, who was discovered by a scout at age 14 while shopping in London with her mother, is doing just that with her break-out performance as The Warlord’s Daughter (which is speculated to be a cover for Talia Al Ghul) in this summers’ The Dark Knight Rises.
In the final installment of screenwriter-director-producer Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Batman trilogy, Batman (Christian Bale), has turned from hero to fugitive after taking the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent. In the eight years since the D.A.’s crimes, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) both hoped was the greater good.
But evil and crime has returned to Gotham City with the arrival of Catwoman, a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda (Anne Hathaway). And then there’s Bane (Tom Hardy), who is far more dangerous, as the masked terrorist that has ruthless plans for Gotham, in order to drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile.
Wadsworth recently took the time to discuss with us her experience while filming the anticipated superhero action film, speaking about what it was like working with Nolan, how much she enjoyed Heath Ledger’s performance in The Dark Knight and why she thinks audiences enjoy the superhero genre so much.
Check it out below.
WGTC: You’re set to appear as The Warlord’s Daughter in The Dark Knight Rises. What was it about the character and the film’s story that convinced you to take on the role?
India Wadsworth: Well, the character, The Warlord’s Daughter, is very secretive. But it’s exciting for me, because I didn’t really know what was going on, either. Everything is so confidential, and we have to wait for the movie to come out. But it was an amazing role to play. I got to do some stunts, and meet some amazing people.
WGTC: What was it like working with Christopher Nolan, who wrote, directed and produced the film?
IW: It was incredible. I don’t think I ever saw him sit down. He’s very on-the-ball. You can kind of describe him as a magician; he’s so on it all the time. It’s such an inspiration to watch him work. His attention to detail was incredible. It was a pleasure to meet him.
WGTC: How familiar were you with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight before you signed on for the movie?
IW: Oh, I love Batman and I love those films, especially The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger made it such an incredible movie and an exciting way to portray the comic books. I love them, I’m such a big fan. I was very fortunate to be involved. The Dark Knight is one of my favorite films; I thought Heath Ledger was incredible in it, as was Christian Bale and everyone in it. Everything about it, I loved it.
WGTC: Like you mentioned, Heath Ledger appeared in The Dark Knight, as The Joker. In The Dark Knight Rises, the new villain is Bane, played by Tom Hardy. Did you notice any similarities between the two characters?
IW: Well, the snippet that I saw and got to experience, the awesome part was the similarities that I did see. But there weren’t that many effects, many were done in post (production). They spent three months building sets, and then three weeks shooting on them. The previous movie was like that as well. It was really cool to see it. I never realized it was all there.
WGTC: Speaking of Christian Bale, what was it like working with him on The Dark Knight Rises? Did you have any scenes with him?
IW: It was amazing to meet him briefly. He’s a really lovely guy and good dad. He’s really cool.
WGTC: Another actor returning to the final installment in Christopher’s Batman trilogy is Liam Neeson, who reprised his role of Ra’s Al Ghul from Batman Begins. What was it like working with him?
IW: Well, I didn’t get to meet Liam. It’s cool that he’s back in the third movie. I’m really excited to see the role he plays out, and what’s going to happen. Sadly, I didn’t get to meet him, but I’m looking forward to seeing his role.
WGTC: The super-hero genre has been popular in recent years, with this year’s he Avengers and Christopher’s Batman trilogy. Why do you think audiences have enjoyed the genre so much recently?
IW: I think it’s because everyone loves comic books when they’re kids, and they love to see the characters played out in a movie. Adults always connect to their childhood memories. I personally loved The Avengers, and thought it was the coolest movie.
Just to see all the action and the characters come together, it’s definitely the excitement you feel when you’re a kid as you see it on the big screen. I think it’s really exciting to see it on the screen. I think that’s why it did so well. It’s that excitement of not knowing what you’re going to see next. All the characters coming together, I think it’s great.
WGTC: Would you be interested in seeing another superhero movie in the future?
IW: Oh, definitely. I’d love to be the hero, or dress up in a cat suit. It would be so cool.
WGTC: Speaking of cat suits, Anne Hathaway played Catwoman and her alter-ego, Selina Kyle, in The Dark Knight Rises. Did you get to see her film her scenes at all?
IW: No, sadly, I didn’t get to meet Anne, either. But I’d love to one day. I think she’s an incredible actress, and is inspiring. Her career is such a broad spectrum of roles. I’m looking forward to seeing her new stuff, as well.
WGTC: You’re well-known in the U.K. for appearing on several shows on the BBC and in London’s Fashion Week. What was the transition like into such an anticipated, high-profile film?
IW: Well, it’s a completely different world, stepping onto a blockbuster set. It was awesome meeting the huge cast and crew and everyone involved. It was a whole different experience for me. I was thrown into the deep end, and everyone was so lovely and helpful.
I would say it wasn’t much of a transition. It was organized and professional, and an experience I’ll never forget. I shot in Britain, so I felt like I was at home. Everyone was British, and it was only an hour outside of London. It wasn’t like I was traveling far away. The set was amazing.
WGTC: After you graduated from high school, you studied social anthropology at the London School of Economics. How did you make the transition into the entertainment industry, particularly modeling and acting?
IW: Well, I got scouted as a model when I was 14, so I’ve been modeling for quite a while. My parents were very adamant that I should stay in school. I wanted to get a degree in something that really fascinated me.
So I applied to LSE, because I really wanted to learn about people, and how the world works. It was a really incredible degree. It really opened my eyes to a lot of cultures, and see how cultures work.
I think it really interconnected to acting and modeling. I got to understand how to be another person. I wouldn’t really say I’m a model; I’m more of a tomboy. I grew up in the country. But in the same place in that world, I would say it’s interconnected to acting. I was acting while I was modeling. Through my modeling career, I got to do commercials and music videos, which I really enjoyed.
While I was at the university, I got my first film. I was doing my exams while I was filming, which was difficult, but fun. It seemed like the natural thing for me to do after university. I wanted to carry on modeling and acting. I never thought it would be a full-time job. I thought it was going to be a hobby. I’m really fortunate and happy to love what I’m doing. It’s the best job in the world.
WGTC: Like you’ve said, you’ve appeared in commercials, as well as television movies and features. Do you have a preference of films over television, or vice versa, or do you enjoy acting in general?
IW: I’d say acting overall. It’s very different from modeling. I think modeling’s a whole different world, and you get treated slightly differently. In acting, you get treated more like a human being. In modeling, it’s more about the team, whereas acting is more about everyone coming in together.
So I really don’t have a preference. Either way, I try to have fun on set. I love meeting new people. I’ve done jobs where I’ve done the same thing every day, and I like to think I prefer to do something different, and get thrown into an unknown world.
WGTC: Do you have any upcoming modeling or acting projects that you can discuss?
IW: Yes, I’m back in London at the moment, I’ve come back from L.A. I was there for the past year, and I’ve come back to shoot a BBC comedy. While I’ve been back, I’ve also done some modeling. I’ve modeled for Bed Head. It’s nice to come home and see my old clients. Modeling for me is an on-going thing, and it’s such a fun industry. I’m always open to doing it. For acting, I’ve just been auditioning away.