Interview: Bella Heathcote on Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
I saw Professor Marston and the Wonder Women at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. Out of the total of 40 films that I saw there, Professor Martson and the Wonder Women was my favorite film of the festival. After seeing the film, I was offered the opportunity to sit down with Angela Robinson, Luke Evans, and Bella Heathcote to talk about this amazing film. This is my interview with Bella Heathcote who plays Olive Byrne in the film.
Scott Menzel: Congratulations on this film. You were incredible in it. What was it about this material that spoke to you and made you want to do it?
Bella Heathcote: I mean all of it. For me, I guess, the role of Olive it was the first time I’d ever read a script where I saw such a full arc. I mean, she starts as a kind of naïve girl who’s somewhat unsure of herself and grows into a woman who knows exactly what she wants and will do what she has to to get it. Who’s empowered and comfortable within herself and I just can’t remember being sent a script where that happened before. And aside from the fact that I’ve never heard anything about the origin story of Wonder Woman to these details.
Scott Menzel: I didn’t know anything about this movie going into it and I was kind of like, holy shit, this is the backstory of this? Can you talk a little bit about your dynamic on-screen with your co-stars?
Bella Heathcote: I’m not sure. I feel like luck. I mean, a lot of it’s in the script the way these relationships formed, but also I think as actors, we just, I mean, I want to say we really liked each other, but that’s presumptuous. I really liked them and I just felt an immediate ease and comfort around them and I felt safe with both Rebecca and Luke and Angela to explore whatever needed to be explored. It was that aspect, it felt easy.
Scott Menzel: I found the movie to be very sexual, but not explicit.
Bella Heathcote: Yep.
Scott Menzel: And I think that really helped the movie. Was there any scene, in particular, that was a little bit too much for you to handle in terms of the sexuality?
Bella Heathcote: In this film?
Scott Menzel: Yeah.
Bella Heathcote: No. That’s what I loved about it because I read it and I just thought, here are three three-dimensional humans who have their own individual personalities and their sexuality and it’s all completely normalized, which I feel like it should be because I think if you’re in a loving respectful relationship, then as far as I’m concerned, anything goes and that’s what I loved about the film. You can see their love and respect for each other and I just wanted everything to work out for them. I wanted them to be happy, you know.
Scott Menzel: Perfect. Well, thank you so much. Congratulations again and best of luck at the premiere.
Bella Heathcote: Thanks so much.
Scott Menzel: I really loved this film and it was such as pleasure talking to you.
Bella Heathcote: Thank you. It was great talking to you as well.
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women opens in theaters on October 13, 2017.