Abbie Cornish and Jim Sturgess: Eye of the Geostorm

October 18, 2017
The Australian actress and the British actor play support to Gerard Butler and one hell of an environmental disaster in Dean Devlin’s latest epic, Geostorm.  

In a time of global change, what do you guys do for the climate?

Jim Sturgess: Not enough probably, there’s always more that you can do. The basics, you know recycling, using energy saving light bulbs, and I just discovered that beef is a huge thing for climate change too, so I’m trying to cut out all beef from my diet. It’s amazing to see what you can do, and what is available, and if more money is put into renewable energies and developing that technology, then hopefully that can become part of everybody’s everyday life. I love the idea of working from the sun. It’s there, and it’s the perfect way of getting your energy.

Abbie Cornish: I’m really into sustainable living, and also into buying local organic seasonal produce. I have a fairly green house in that respect. I was a vegetarian for 19 years, and during that time I did a lot of research about it. The reason I became vegetarian wasn’t only because I grew up in the country, but it was also because of factory farming and the way we were treating mother earth, and the relationship a lot of us had with mother earth. I wanted to be part of a movement. I’m not a vegetarian anymore, but I am more aware now. What I read was that over a year, a vegan uses a quarter of a square meter of land a year; a vegetarian about half a square meter, and a carnivore will use a square meter. So that’s a really substantial difference, and a lot of that has to do with farming, industries and commercialism, so if there is an awareness that comes into it, it’s not about getting rid of meat from your diet, it’s about eating the right meat.

Do you have electric cars?

AC: No I don’t, I have in the past though. My friend has the new SUV Tesla, the one that self drives. Right now, I drive a Range Rover, I like going off road.

JS: No, I wish. I don’t even have a car. I live in London, so I catch the bus everywhere. I spend half my life on top of a double decker bus.

Do you have a brother, Jim?

JS: Yes, I do, I have an older brother.

So, was the relationship between you and Jake (Gerard Butler) something you could relate to?

JS: Yeah definitely, just the complications of the rivalry between two brothers. In my situation, my brother is probably the calmer, more considerate one; I’m probably a bit more of the spontaneous one of the family. The intricacy of being brothers, knowing each other inside and out, growing up with each other, and fighting each other as kids, all that stuff that comes with being brothers…

Did you and Gerard have to work on that?

JS: We didn’t really have to; it was a very natural fit. [Gerard] is this wild, energetic, full of life, full of spontaneity sort of guy. We jumped into that dynamic really quickly. He feels like an older brother, definitely. He has a bigger beard than I do… I hadn’t seen him in quite a while, so it was really good to catch up.

It’s funny because in many ways he seems like the younger brother, because he seems like a little kid.

JS: Yeah he is, which is like real life too, Gerry is just one big kid. That’s what’s interesting about my character because he is forced into this big responsibility that he didn’t wish upon himself. He felt as if he had to take the role of the responsible one as they grew up, because they basically raised each other. The younger brother is resentful because he had to look after the older brother, when no one was looking after him. It touches on the idea that their parents died when they were younger, and then my character didn’t have a chance to let go of all that anger, because he had to look after someone, which is a dynamic I can understand. What I love about our relationship is that it’s comical, in the fact that the world is in their hands; yet they can’t even sort their own shit out. They have this personal journey that comes to a meaningful end, almost as if it’s a metaphorical journey of the film.

Abbie, did you look into the Secret Service at all in researching your part?

AC: I actually really enjoyed that part of the research. I was lucky enough to have an ex secret service member who was so gracious with his time. I had a direct contact with him, so not that we would meet in person, but if I had a question I could just email him or text him. That was a really good insight. That set it all up for me. I also did some gun training to embody that role, it’s a pretty high-profile profession. I was really amazed to discover that the women in the secret service always dress in these classy suits and always have their makeup and hair done, they look beautiful.

Did you reach any of the women from the secret service?

AC: No I didn’t actually, but at the time it didn’t really seem to matter. There doesn’t really seem too much of a gender divide in that profession. I think when you reach that level, the gender divide goes out the window.

Can we talk about the weather? What is the worst weather that you have ever been in?

JS: I have been lucky enough not to be in that situation. Growing up in England you don’t get too bombarded with extreme weather conditions, like you see in other parts of the world. England is just very grey, that’s about all you have to deal with. I remember my girlfriend was in Bradford when they had huge floods, and watching it on TV was about as close as I have come to that sort of thing. There was a hurricane back in 1986 where we all got a day off school because a tree fell down in front of the school gate.

AC: I remember there was a huge earthquake in Newcastle in Australia. That’s about a 40-minute drive from where I was living, but it really shook the whole house. I’m one of five children so we all ran out into the middle of a paddock where you think it would be safest. It was really devastating because there were so many deaths and the city took a long time to recover. There were also floods and fires where I grew up. NSW has had some terrible fires, especially when it gets dry.

Is it conceivable that something like the geostorm in the film could exist in the real world?

JS: Yeah, obviously it’s a very outlandish idea used for science fiction, big brush strokes for a blockbuster film. Geo technology does exist, and the research when you start looking into it is quite interesting. I mean, these technologies are being developed and people are starting to discover how to control the weather. In this day and age, anything really is possible. I’m one for believing that if it can be conceived in a film, then perhaps it could come true. Whether it manifests in real life how it does in the film, that is quite unlikely, but along those lines it is being developed as time goes on. It’s a scary idea that we will start interfering with nature in such an extreme way.

Do you have any plans to film in Australia?

AC: I don’t have any plans at the moment, but I would love to film another one over there. As you know, a lot less films are made there than other parts of the world, so it’s a bit of a waiting game to find the right role, the right character. Even when I first started making films in Australia, it was very few and far apart. At the moment I’m actively looking and waiting to find that role.

What about you Jim, you seem to enjoy playing a variety of roles…

JS: Yeah, I like to maneuver around and just be in different genres of storytelling. After Geostorm I went on to film a six-part British show for the BBC called Hard Sun, which is also about the end of the world, but in a very different way. Genre requires something different from you as an actor. When I first started out I played a young autistic person, someone struggling with Asperger’s syndrome, and then I played another character with a mental health problem, and then I think for four parts in a row I was cast as someone with a mental health problem. I learnt very quickly that I had to move on, or else people were just going to assign me those roles.

Geostorm is in cinemas October 19, 2017


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