Says Kate Bosworth while talking about her role as Barbara Barga in British show SS-GB.
Kate Bosworth, the American actress, who is best known for her roles in Superman Returns, Still Alice, and Straw Dogs, talks about her character in the British show SS-GB. The period drama provides an alternate timeline of 1941 United Kingdom, which has lost to the Nazi Germany in the Battle of Britain. Kate opens up about the genre, her character Barbara Barga, and more...
What drew you to this project?
SS-GB is unique. It is entertaining, but it’s also riveting. The sense of “what if this had happened? what would you have done?” is gripping. We know the history; we know that type of tragedy, but what if history had taken a slight turn?
Can you take us through your character, Barbara?
I play Barbara Barga, an American journalist who works for the New York Times. It is set in 1941 where the British have lost the Battle of Britain. The Nazis have taken over most of England, and Barbara has been sent over by the paper to cover the story. It’s a little bit ambiguous as to what side of the line she stands. This project is mysterious in that we are left wondering what every character’s motivation is exactly. That mystery means she’s a little bit of a femme fatale from the 1940s. She’s been a really interesting, enjoyable character to play.
How did you go about your research for Barbara?
She’s essentially like a leading lady from the 1940s. So I watched a lot of those films starring actresses like Lauren Bacall. I wanted to be inspired by that, but I didn’t want to do a caricature of the time. What is wonderful about having those leading ladies’ performances is that we can watch and learn from them. But I also wanted her to be rooted in a deep sense of humanity and modernism that was important to the piece as well.
Were you intrigued by the ‘alternate history’, too?
Yes. I’m drawn to pieces that are rooted in history and those “what if?” scenarios. Those are interesting to people because it does feel like something one can imagine happening. We have this tragic history of the Second World War. So the idea of “what if the Nazis had won and infiltrated London? what would that have been like?” is fascinating. Whenever you have scenarios like this that are rooted in reality, it’s intriguing to people and terrifying as well. I liken it to a bullet whizzing by. You think, “how would that have played out?
How did you find it acting opposite Sam Riley?
It’s been a delight. I’ve always been a fan of his work since I saw him in Control many years ago, and I have wanted to work with him for some time. Sam is such a sweet, hardworking, wonderful person and actor. I love being in scenes with him. It’s one of those relationships where it has been effortless in creating the characters’ dynamic.
What was it like working with the director, Philipp Kadelbach?
Pieces often come down to the director and his or her vision. The moment I met Philipp, I realised he is very straightforward and direct, which I appreciate. He knows exactly what he wants, and he communicates it quite frankly. He is just wonderful.
(SS-GB airs every Thursday at 10 PM on Zee Café)