With the possible exception of Zooey Deschanel, it's hard to imagine an actress playing "dream girl" with more charm than Teresa Palmer. With her appearances in "December Boys," "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "Take Me Home Tonight," Palmer is securing a role as one of Hollywood’s up-and-coming love interests, as much for her down-to-earth personality as her stunning good looks.
In her upcoming film “Warm Bodies,” Jonathan Levine puts her remarkable co-star chemistry to the ultimate test. Palmer plays a young woman who finds herself slowly getting involved romantically with... a zombie. Speaking to the actress in Park City, Utah at the Sundance Film Festival after the premiere of her new film "Wish You Were Here," she explained how she wrapped her head around portraying attraction to the undead.
In order to play the kidnappee Julie, Palmer told NextMovie, she focused on the similarities between herself and the character.
"It was good for me because my character is so grounded in reality,” she said in the exclusive interview. "I mean, she’s very similar to who I am, and she doesn’t just start falling in love with him. She starts the film just petrified, terrified - she definitely feels like her life is threatened."
Palmer explained that her character eventually adjusts to her circumstances — not unlike the process of finding a degree of truth in a role that’s far removed from her own experiences.
"Slowly but surely, she's got no other choice — because she’s in captivity — just to accept her situation," Palmer added. "And through that, she lets her guard down a bit and she starts to see who these people really are, and that they don't like the situation that they're in."
It was helpful to Palmer that her undead love interest, Nicholas Hoult's R (yes, his whole name), was sensitive and appealing, even if he does favor a diet of brains.
"This guy is so sweet and so pure and so different from anyone she's ever met before, and it really blossoms in a natural way," she said. "So for me as an actor, it was very easy for me to tap into that because it was very organic, that journey that they go on."
Palmer also told us she was really excited to work with Hoult and her other co-stars, and that made the experience that much more fun and special. "I'm a huge fan of [Nicholas Hoult] - he’s an amazing actor. And that was fun – [his character] is so frustrated that he’s living this life and he tries to communicate with me through music, so he plays me Frank Sinatra and these beautiful records. And we sort of spark up this friendship that turns into a relationship, much to my father's dismay, who is the head of the army trying to kill these zombies."
"It's actually such a beautiful, romantic story set in this incredible, epic setting, this kind of bleak world," she said. "But the light, the flowering in the grey areas is this romance that just blossoms; it's very unlikely, but I'm very proud of it."