Five Things to Know About Rosamund Pike
As U.S. audiences are discovering 'Gone Girl,' take a look at its star's past, future and how she got ready to play Amazing Amy
Gone Girl is far from star Rosamund Pike's first film, but as the titular wife who disappears, the British actress has a breakthrough part in David Fincher's buzz worthy drama. Although Pike has mostly avoided talking about specific scenes in the movie, apart from how she prepared for a sex scene with Neil Patrick Harris, to avoid spoiling the story's many twists and turns, she has explained how she landed and prepared for the part. With Pike stealing the show in Gone Girl, take a look at five things to know about her past and future roles and how she got ready to play Amazing Amy.
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Her parents were professional opera singers, which may have helped prepare her for the dark Gone Girl. When asked what it was like to grow up with opera-singer parents, on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Pike said, "It makes you sort of a weird kid, I think. You have sort of a distorted view of reality. You think life is full of high intrigue, passion, dark drama, infidelity, murder. And people behaving in extreme ways."
She's worked with James Bond (aka Pierce Brosnan), Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Bruce Willis, Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan. Although Pike has a potentially breakthrough role in Gone Girl, she's been acting on TV and in movies since 1998. She played Bond girl Miranda Frost in Brosnan's last outing as 007, Die Another Day. She also worked with Depp in The Libertine, Cruise in Jack Reacher, Gosling in Fracture, Willis in Surrogates and Mulligan in the critically acclaimed An Education. She also played Elizabeth Bennet's sister in Joe Wright's Pride & Prejudice and had roles in movies like The World's End and Wrath of the Titans. She also played Janet Leigh's body double, who plots to kill her husband, in the stage play Hitchcock Blonde.
She celebrated landing the part of Amy in Gone Girl by leaping into the air while wearing a bug mask. After she had several conversations with Fincher, including several long Skype calls from a gym and an in-person meeting in St. Louis, so that he could get a sense of whether she was right for the part, Pike found out that she landed the highly coveted role of Amy Dunne while she was filming a comedy in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands. There was no cell service but there was a hill that you could climb to get one bar of cell reception, Pike explained on The Tonight Show. "At some point I wandered up there and switched on my phone and got one text saying I think we're getting the offer," she said. Unfortunately, she accidentally erased the text, she told W, but she does have other evidence from when she got the part. Specifically, her friend took a photo of her celebrating by leaping into the air, while she was sporting a mesh mask on her face to keep her from being attacked by insects. “The only evidence I have that I got the call to play Amy is a selfie of me jumping in the rain in the Highlands. I look both happy and thoroughly daunted," she told W. The Hollywood Reporter exclusively revealed that Pike had been offered the role in July 2013. And although Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Emily Blunt, Abbie Cornish and Olivia Wilde had all been reported as being in the mix for the part, Fincher wanted a less-familiar actress. “I liked that people didn’t immediately know who Rosamund was,” Fincher told W. “I’d always liked Rosamund in movies, but I didn’t really know her. That made her very interesting.”
She meticulously prepared for her role, including remaking her body and creating Amy's handwriting. Pike worked to craft Amy's handwriting, shown while she's writing in her diary, so that it would match the character's personality. “I could have had somebody just create a diary, but I worked with a graphologist. What would this say about her personality type?” Pike told USA Today. “It would convey who Amy was. In my real life, I’m not meticulous and methodical like she is. I’m messy when she’s immaculate.” The British actress also worked to craft a very specific American accent for Amy. And Fincher, famous for his many takes, took a similar approach to Pike's voiceovers. "When we were doing the voiceover for Gone Girl, we'd go in and get the line just how we wanted it, and if we didn't like a single word, we'd go in and make a puncture hole and insert a different version of a single word, to get every nuance we wanted to explore," Pike told Esquire. "I love working in that kind of detail. It's really thrilling." To play Amy also involved shaping and reshaping her body, boxing to get in shape to play the younger version of the character and gaining weight for other parts of the film.
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She may soon disappear. Pike, who's expecting her second child with longtime partner Robie Uniacke, with whom she already has a son, wants to fade from the public eye a bit after she gives birth. “I want to switch off the phones and be just us for a bit," she told USA Today. "I have a new level of attention on me. I don’t have the apparatus in place to cope with it. I don’t have the whole protective shield in place." She does, however, have other films coming up.