Many girls admire the character of Jane Eyre from the famous novel by Charlotte Bronte—she’s strong-willed, driven, and faces her fears. Jane Eyre says in the novel: “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.”
The spirit of Jane Eyre carries into the most recent adaption of the movie, which has been done thirty or so times before, according to director Cary Fukunaga.
Jane Eyre is a story about an orphan who becomes the governess to the child of the conflicted Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender- Inglorious Basterds, 300) and discovers a secret that could keep them apart.
Foghorn sat down with Australian-born actress Mia Wasikowska (The Kids are Alright; Alice in Wonderland) who plays Jane Eyre in the film and director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre). Wasikowska wore a little red dress with her blond bob and customary light makeup. Fukunaga dressed smartly in a suit and green cap.
To Wasikowska, the film is “timeless.” Fukunaga did not feel the pressure to live up to the older films. He said, “I feel like it’s a tradition. It should be made every five years. This was my turn.”
Apparently, he avoided watching any other versions of the film, and still some similarities arose. The house that they filmed at in Northern England has already been used for four other Jane Eyre films as well as The Princess Bride. For Fukunaga, the hardest thing he faced was finding the “right balance” between the mix of the romantic and gothic in the movie. It had to be one that “favored the relationship between Jane and Rochester.”
Issues other than similarities occurred during filming that Fukunaga had not anticipated. Wasikowska had about ten costumes and each costume change took an hour and half, according to the director. This way, “You lose a lot of shooting time,” he said. Also, according to Wasikowska, the corset she wears in the movie was “incredibly painful,” but added that “It helps understanding the restrictions that women faced.”
Mia Wasikowska, whose last movie (The Kids Are Alright) was nominated for Best Film at the Oscars, read the book before planning to do the film and she said, “I instantly connected to the book without really trying to.”
Wasikowska never had to read for the role, she simply had a conversation with Fukunaga, and it was hers. She didn’t know then that she had to learn a little French for her role, but accomplished it anyway.
Looking at the character, Wasikowska says she has a lot in common with Jane and feels like the character is relevant to anyone today. She says, “You have a main character who has original thoughts. She doesn’t want to disrespect herself. I think that’s a lesson for everyone.”
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