You Only Live Twice

More se­crets from the minds be­hind Self/ less

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

Sir Ben Kings­ley doesn’t share Damian’s fear of death. “Life is fi­nite, not in­fi­nite,” says Kings­ley. “I think it’s an odd and rather dumb as­pi­ra­tion to want to live for­ever, be­cause you will re­move all the won­der­ful in­gre­di­ents that drive you to fall in love, have chil­dren, to build mon­u­ments. I think we healthily trans­late our mor­tal­ity into things that may have a life af­ter we’ve gone. But as soon as you know you’re go­ing to live for­ever, I bet you that all of your am­bi­tion goes.” Although writ­ers Àlex and David Pas­tor are SF vet­er­ans, many of their in­flu­ences weren’t genre- re­lated. “The more in­ter­est­ing ref­er­ences are the ones that don’t even be­long to the world of sci- fi, or even film,” says Àlex. “We’ve talked about Steve Jobs. The Power Bro­ker, a bi­og­ra­phy of Robert Moses, def­i­nitely inspired the char­ac­ter of Damian. The ti­tle means the op­po­site of self­ish, but if you break it down it seems to sug­gest a disem­bod­i­ment, a lack of a true iden­tity, or a sense of self.” Self/ less takes place en­tirely in the present, in a world where the se­cret of mind trans­fer tech­nol­ogy is hid­den un­der the sur­face. “We feel a spe­cial at­trac­tion to the ‘ 30 sec­onds into the fu­ture’ branch of sci- fi,” says David Pas­tor. “It al­lows you to con­nect di­rectly with the au­di­ence… We took a page from the In­cep­tion play­book, where Nolan presents a world where the tech­nol­ogy that al­lows you to in­fil­trate dreams ex­ists, but he never tells you how it ac­tu­ally works.”

sci- fact! Kings­ley has high praise for Self/ less di­rec­tor Tarsem Singh. “Tarsem is a man from the In­dian sub­con­ti­nent where they com­pletely ac­cept the idea of rein­car­na­tion, des­tiny, face, cause and ef­fect, karma, and fin­ish­ing un­fin­ished busi­ness,” says Kings­ley. “Be­cause he has this great big­ger pic­ture of the uni­verse, I feel ex­tremely se­cure in Tarsem’s mythol­ogy. He em­braces love, life, loss, sep­a­ra­tion and re­demp­tion. All this comes from his mas­sively rich her­itage.”

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