Terrence Malick, the auteur behind Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line and The Tree of Life, has a reputation for creating powerful films about love, relationships and human nature. But he also has a reputation as a visionary who shoots so much footage that hours get left on the cutting-room floor.
Indeed, for his most recent effort, To the Wonder, Malick cut entire actors from the film. Jessica Chastain (who starred in Tree of Life), Rachel Weisz, Amanda Peet and Michael Sheen were all part of filming, but none appear in the final cut, which hits theaters April 12.
One actress who does get plenty of screen time is Olga Kurylenko, who plays one of two love interests of Ben Affleck‘s character, Neil. Kurylenko’s Marina is at the center of Malick’s story: She is an emotional woman who moves from France to Oklahoma to be with Neil, but the couple struggles in their new life together.
While Kurylenko appears in much of the film, there are hours of footage that didn’t make the cut.
In the film, Marina never meets Neil’s other woman, played by Rachel McAdams. But while visiting The Hollywood Reporter‘s video lounge, Kurylenko reveals that the two leading ladies actually shot a whole scene together.
“A lot of things didn’t make the final cut,” she says. “I watched, and I thought: ‘Where did that scene go? That was a great scene.’ “
She tells THR that she has heard that the first version of the film was about six or seven hours long but that Malick cut it down to a manageable time. The theatrical film is 113 minutes.
“It’s very difficult for him because I think as an artist it’s his baby,” she says of the director. “It’s very hard to cut scenes, but you have to do it.”
Kurylenko, who also stars in Oblivion opposite Tom Cruise, says that Malick did give her a lot of information about her character, even though there was not a script for this shoot.
“I didn’t know necessarily about other characters, I only knew what my character had to know,” she says. “Every person had secrets, which is what we have in life, it’s real. It doesn’t scare me, it rather fascinates me.”
Watch THR‘s interview with Kurylenko above.
Email: Rebecca.Ford@thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford