How hard was it to understand the science of what was going on in The Lazarus Effect?
Mark Duplass: It was surprisingly pretty simple. There was a basic DNA of what the story is and what the Lazarus serum is and what it’s supposed to be doing, and that made a lot of sense. The jargon of it was very elusive, so what we tried to do was make it as conversational as possible. I would bank that stuff, those long scientific speeches, and try to avoid that phenomenon of like… A lot of times you watch an actor giving those speeches and you look in their eyes and you see them trying to remember the words. I was like, this should feel like I’m just talking about cereal, and so that requires a lot of homework to do that. And then after you do a couple of takes of it, what I would say to David (Gelb) is, “Let me do one where I’m fumbling through it a little bit where I’m using different words and I’m making it feel a little less like an exact and a perfect speech.”
That was the stuff that ended up making it into the movie where, again, we’re pushing for that naturalism, that fallibility, and that sense of “oh yeah, when you and I are talking right now we are searching for the words. We’re trying to speak well and messing up sometimes.” That was the stuff that ended up being interesting to all of us.
The most frightening thing about Olivia’s character is that she ends up developing the ability to read everyone’s minds. It makes you wonder how you would deal with that in real life.
Mark Duplass: That’s a great hole to be in in a horror movie, to be asking yourself a question like that. How can you possibly overcome this person when they can do this? That’s exactly where you want to be at the middle point of your movie and figuring how to get out of it. That was one of the cool elements of the script.
That concludes our interview, but we’d like to thank Mark very much for his time. Be sure to check out The Lazarus Effect when it hits theatres tomorrow.