“Aimee didn’t want to know how to fight … so I had to try to act like I didn’t really know how to do martial arts. After three years in Marvel shows, it was really a challenge,” says Henwick. The Hollywood Reporter. “I had to look like I have two left feet. So when we were doing the choreography, we would say, ‘It just looks too good. How do we make it more inept? “
Although Henwick cannot share any plot or character details related to Matrix 4, is definitely making the most of the opportunity by presenting John Wick 4 ideas to John Wick himself, Keanu Reeves. Given his background in martial arts and katana use, Henwick would fit in perfectly with the John Wick set to. In fact, when she played martial arts expert Colleen Wing in Netflix̵
“So I always put Jess Wick on Keanu. I’m probably driving him crazy, “Henwick shares.” I was like, ‘Okay, Keanu, listen to me. Boom. John Wick 4, last 5 minutes, list of credits, sequence after credits. Boom! See my face, Jess Wick. ‘I just started acting and then he started acting too. We put on this little ten minute show about what Jess Wick and John Wick would be like. Chad Stahelski, the director of all John Wick movie, will be out in two weeks, I think. So I’ll go straight to him and say it. “
In a recent conversation with THR, Henwick also discusses the latest on his Amazon comedy series, Nancy Wu did it, which he co-created, his secret talent involving Christopher Nolan Interstellar and his unexpected starring role in an upcoming animated series based on a famous science fiction property. (Side note: Henwick’s “w” is silent.)
So I’ll start with my biggest question of the day. When can we expect you to release your album Interstellar piano cover?
(He laughs.) Damn, I wish I was good enough to release a piano album. It would be such a dream. Alas, I think it’s a skill that will only be shown on my Instagram. (He laughs.) It’s the best song [“Cornfield Chase”], it is not? I love it. I play it all the time.
That movie means a lot to me, so I was very impressed.
(He laughs.) Ok, I’ll try to put together an album.
You have proven to be quite proficient in acting, writing, fencing, whipping, piano and martial arts. Are you a fast studio practically everything?
Well, I grew up going to a dance school and I think it taught me to learn choreography very quickly, which is always what I tell stunt teams the first time I meet them. I say, “I’m not a good acrobatic person. I’m not a good martial artist. I’m just a good imitator.” So yeah, I’m curious what happens next. My mom always told me that I should choose jobs based on the skill set they would teach me. (He laughs.) So at the moment I have quite a wide variety of them, but I’d like to learn to ride and maybe do a western.
So we briefly discussed Love and monsters in your last interview, mainly the oysters you ate every day.
But Dylan (O’Brien) just added a new wrinkle to the mix in the form of oysters is arcade games. Does this mean that you are a player too?
Oh, I love to play. I grew up with two brothers and all those old Sega games. There was this with a dolphin[[[[Here is the dolphin]it was pretty exciting. I used to play that and more Sonic the hedgehog. And even now, both of my brothers continue to play. But yes, arcade games. We went to the local arcade on the Gold Coast and went there bombed with Dylan fans once they figured out where we were going. It was pretty upsetting, actually, because we couldn’t go back then. We had these point cards and had accumulated so many points to get the best rewards. The paper is still in my office, but it’s wasted. Points wasted! (He laughs.)
So let’s pretend the premise of Love and monsters it actually happened in real life, and we had to retreat to these underground colonies to avoid being eaten by monsters. Since everyone had a job or role to play underground, what would your responsibility be besides entertaining everyone with your Interstellar covers?
Oh my God, this is a good question. I haven’t even thought about it. I like to think that my role would be that of a hunter-gatherer. I’m probably more of a collector; Not sure about the hunt. But I could learn to forage well enough to feed the colony, I think.
Your character’s name is Aimee, written in an unusual way. How do you feel about the unique spelling of traditional names?
(He laughs.) Yes, I just question the motives. It makes me pretty suspicious of parents doing it. I wonder what they’re hiding, really. (He laughs.) No, actually … Jessica is such a common name, and there are times I wish I had a more unusual name. However, Jessica did me good.
Did you and Dylan film the radio scenes in the same room while one person was out of frame, or did you record your parts separately?
That was actually my first day on set, and I was in a tiny recording booth next to the stage. The funny thing is, I was improvising most of my lines. I also had to play the other character, Janice. And yes, some of my lines that I thought Janice should have said ended up in the movie. This has given me a lot of joy.
Many actors insist that the best way to shoot phone call-like scenes is to have their stage partner on set but out of frame. Is this also your preference?
I mean, it depends on how long the scene is. With something like this Love and monsters where you are establishing the romantic relationship, it seemed to me really important that I was there for it. If it was me in front of the camera for a little phone call, I probably wouldn’t mention anything. But if I had been in Dylan’s place, I would have done the same thing.
[[[[The following question contains spoilers about Love and Monsters.]
During the radio scenes, I felt like I knew what Aimee would later say to Joel in the third act. Did you intentionally play those early radio scenes with the third act in mind?
Yes, 100 percent. If I interpreted that she is flirting with him too much or asking him in any way to come, then it would be silly when he comes and she says, “Oh, I didn’t know you were going to do that.” It’s so bad! And I don’t think it was like that for her at all. Yes, there is some excitement there, in those radio calls, but it’s really just wanting a confidant. She has become so lonely and independent in this tribe of elders, and it’s nice to talk to someone who doesn’t have to drive. She can just drop the facade of strength and be honest and vulnerable. Showing that vulnerability is probably what Joel has interpreted as “Oh, she’s opening up to me. She wants me to go find her.”
[[[[End of the spoiler section for Love and Monsters.]
Aimee gives Joel her lucky charm, “Crocodile Carl”. Are you wearing something lucky like that?
I was carrying this stone that my mother found, which had a hole all the way. It was very smooth and had a nice weight in his hand, if you know what I mean. He was cute, but I’m not much of a good luck charm.
You’ve already made katanas and whips famous, but did you ever expect to add a stove door as your ultimate on-screen weapon?
(He laughs.) You know what? It was surprisingly challenging to shoot the action scenes for this film because I had to pretend to be someone who didn’t know how to fight. In the Marvel shows and game of Thrones, those characters had to know how to fight, but Aimee didn’t have to know how to fight. He wanted to know how to hunt to a very limited extent, so I had to try to act like I didn’t really know how to practice martial arts. After three years in the Marvel shows, it was truly a challenge. (He laughs.)
It’s funny that you say why Maisie Williams recently said something similar to me. Basically, you two have had to unlearn everything you’ve spent years perfecting.
Yes, I had to look like I have two left feet. So when we would do the choreography, we would say, “It just looks too good. How can we make it more inept?” (He laughs.) So I was just trying to swing the door out of control and use it more as a ram. I also tried to keep the moves very, very simple and abrupt. But yeah, I thought Glenn (Suter), our stunt coordinator, did a great job of pulling off the fight that way.
Did you enjoy shooting on a real Gold Coast beach or did you complain that you weren’t shooting on a green screen stage?
(He laughs.) Oh, it was such a dream. In my second since the last day of the film, we were out there on the beach at 5am and I saw a breach in the race. Races do it; they will jump out of the water to get rid of parasites or something. It’s something they do for the cure, but you very rarely see it. I also saw dolphins every other day and it was great. But seeing this huge breach in the races was just such a dream. The Gold Coast is a magical setting to film in, and I was incredibly grateful for every single moment on that set.
Done Underwater end up serving as a good warm-up for this movie as you already knew how to confidently react to large monsters that weren’t actually there?
It’s difficult because I shot it a long time ago. It was a weird time in my life where I don’t really remember what it was like to shoot. (He laughs.) I think Kristen (Stewart) would probably say it was so traumatizing that we just erased it. (He laughs.) But yeah, I suppose it was my first real chance to work with beloved castmate Green Tennis Ball On A Stick. But yeah, it never really gets that easy. I would always prefer to work with a prosthesis or a real actor there any day. On Underwater, the scene where I dissected the squid was wonderful because there was a real squid there. They had made some prosthetics and in post they added CG. But it was just nice to say, “Oh, there’s a huge, wet, slimy, smelly thing on the table that we can all interact with.”
Yes, I recently spoke to your friend Mamoudou Athie, and he too seemed a bit traumatized by the Underwater Experience.
(He laughs.) Well, it didn’t help that half of the chalk had a phobia of the great outdoors of water. I don’t think it helped at all.
So this is the part of the interview where you start dodging my questions as Neo dodges bullets.
Uh Oh! Neo? Who is that? (He laughs.)
If the oysters have defined the Love and monsters shoot, what is the reference kitchen Matrix 4 till now?
I have to say something vegan because our director (Lana Wachowski) is vegetarian / vegan. In fact, many of our cast members are and we have two food trucks every day: the vegan truck and the German pickup truck.
Under the circumstances, do you feel as safe as you can on that set?
Yes, I’m not really sure how we could make it more secure. Being a friend of Mamoudou, I talked to him[about[aboutthe[riguardoa[abouttheJurassic World: Dominion set to], so it’s interesting to know how different studies have taken different precautions. But yes, we are doing everything possible. We have regular temperature checks. We get Covid tests all the time. Aside from sleeping, eating and literally living on sets, I’m not sure how we could make it safer. (He laughs.)
Overall, I’m Lana and co. as advertised? Am I what you expected them to be?
I don’t think I know what to expect. I think it’s a dangerous thing to get into, especially with a movie like this, which has predecessors. I really didn’t want to say, “Oh, I expect you to look like what is in my mind the image of what the original was like”, because it’s been so long. So it was a pretty organic experience this way.
Did your alter ego “Jess Wick” have any showdowns with John Wick off set?
(He laughs.) So I always put Jess Wick on Keanu. I’m probably driving him crazy. Although we had a lot of fun the other day because I started acting. I thought, “Okay, Keanu, listen to me. Boom. John Wick 4, last 5 minutes, list of credits, sequence after credits. Boom! See my face, Jess Wick. “(He laughs.) I just started acting it and then he started acting it too. We put on this little ten minute show about what Jess Wick and John Wick would be like. Chad Stahelski, the director of all John Wick movie, will be out in two weeks, I think. So I’ll go straight to him and say it. And yes, look at this space. (He laughs.)
You lose 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.
(He laughs.) What do I have to lose? Anything. This is 2020.
Plus, you have the latest proof of concept in Iron fist‘S Colleen Wing. You even shot in the same locations in New York as John Wick, like Colleen’s big fight on Bethesda Terrace in Central Park.
(He laughs.) I know! We were literally shooting at the same time. Half of our stunt team Iron fist the first season worked on John Wick movie. So when I got back to New York, I went out with the John Wick crew and had a great evening. It is a small world.
Before his delay in March, I was preparing for a Mulan-related interview, and as I was scanning the first few photos, I suddenly took a double take. The name Jessica Henwick was subtitled, but in the photo was an unrecognizable Jessica Henwick. It’s your new Matrix Does it seem like the most extreme change you’ve ever made to your appearance?
(He laughs.) Yup! I mean, when I was sixteen, for my first real show, Spirit Warriors, I had waist-length hair and they cut them into a bob. So I’ve done lengths before, but I’ve never dyed my hair. And so, yes, this is definitely the most extreme look. Literally, no one recognizes me. In the last 10 months I have not been stopped even once on the street. It is quite interesting, actually.
Did your new haircut work well in quarantine in hindsight?
So, after quarantine, I was in England and obviously didn’t have access to anyone who could cut my hair. And I didn’t feel comfortable enough to do it myself with such an extreme hairstyle. So he just grew up in this tousled bob thing; I was actually a little involved. What I like about this are the speed lines on the side, which increase the aerodynamic look of my head. So, as soon as I got back The matrix set, I thought, “Please put the speed lines back” and they did.
You searched for any voice work during quarantine or you kept up with yours Matrix training?
I actually did a pretty big animated series, but I don’t think they’ve announced me yet. So I don’t know if I can say it, but I’m the protagonist in this and I’m excited for it to come out. It will be on Adult Swim in 2021, I believe.
And this is different from Blood of Zeus, right?
Yes, this is a Netflix series. I think it will be released on October 27th. What can I say about this other new one? It is based on a very big film in the world of science fiction and has recently been revisited. And now they are venturing into the animated world. This is what I will say. (He laughs.) So I’m doing that and a couple of other vocal gigs, but this is what I’m really excited about. [Writer’s Note: Could it be this?]
I loved Sofia Coppola’s With ice a lot. What struck you about Sofia and her way of working?
It’s very, very quiet. She is so sincere, calm and sweet. But it is also quietly strong. I have had so much fun working with her and have never worked with anyone like her. He never raised his voice once. During my introductory scene with Rashida (Jones) and Marlon Wayans, there is this shot of Rashida’s face as the wheels start spinning in her head; begin to understand what is going on there. It was just this close-up of Rashida, and Sofia was standing next to the camera and talking to her very kindly and quietly. It was like, “Now you’re thinking this and now you’re thinking this. And now you’re wondering what you’re going to do with your children.” And you can slowly see the changes on Rashida’s face. It was so beautiful and you could hear a pin drop. And then, he called the cut and everyone cheered. It was truly a truly touching scene.
It’s interesting how both of your new movies culminated on a beach after someone tried to figure out where you were for most of the movie.
(He laughs.) Yes, it’s true. I haven’t even thought about it. This is true.
In addition to your secret piano skills, it was recently revealed that you are also an established writer. What can you say about it Nancy Wu did it, your comedy series that Amazon has collected?
Damn, it’s difficult. I don’t know how much I can say, except my co-author, Kai (Yu Wu), and I came up with the idea a short while ago. I actually just found out that Marvel shows were all canned. At the time I was in China and for the first time in years I didn’t have a single contract lined up in front of me. It was incredibly liberating, but also a little daunting. I thought, “What if I’m done? What if that’s the case? What if I never act again?” So I think this sort of thing has poured into our main character, who is a writer and has the same fears as. was it all over? ” Hopefully we’ll have more news to share soon, but it’s a project that is so close to me and I love it so much. I love creating these crazy female characters that I don’t think we’ll ever see enough of, and yes, I’m excited to share it with the world.
Have you written a role for yourself?
Honestly, we didn’t even get to discuss it. We’re still tinkering with the series arc, but I’d love to, yes. We’ll see. It definitely wasn’t written for that purpose, but I love the show and would love to be a part of it.
Since we closed on this topic to great effect last time, what are your most active group texts involving present and previous casts?
(He laughs.) Well, the Matrix the cast is so big and it’s so mixed in terms of who has which chat app on their phone. So we don’t actually have one. Isn’t he crazy? Between my former cast, honestly, it’s probably a link between Iron fist season two, e Love and monsters. I also speak with Mamoudou almost every day. I am so grateful to have met him Underwater because I will keep that friendship forever.
I only spent 30 minutes with Mamoudou, but it really hit me. This reminds me of something we talked about, so maybe you can settle the debate. While watching his series Oh Jerome, no, I understand that Mamoudou sounds exactly like Adam Driver. I even dug in to see if anyone else aligned with that thought, and there’s a growing number of people who agree. Where do you weigh on this?
He told me about it. (He laughs.) I suppose when you say that, there is something similar in their voice, but I didn’t notice it until you pointed it out to me. Now it will be hard for me to stop thinking about it, so thank you very much.
I wish I could interpret his initial reaction to hearing that confrontation. It really is something.
(He laughs.) You’re funny.
Love and Monsters is available on PVOD and Digital on October 16th.