SOFIA’S ATOMIC BLAST
The actress’s career trajectory is soaring with a string of dynamic roles including her latest in an action-packed spy thriller set in ’80s Berlin
Shaking up the spy genre via bonecrunching action, Atomic Blonde is a noholds-barred shot of cinematic adrenaline with a propulsive soundtrack and a raw central performance by Charlize Theron as kick-ass operative Lorraine Broughton.
Sofia Boutella, who started her career as a dancer, broke out as the lethal Gazelle in Kingsman: The Secret Service and then as Jaylah in Star Trek: Beyond.
Most recently, the actress starred as the titular character opposite Tom Cruise in The Mummy.
In Atomic Blonde, she plays Delphine, a French spy who is excited to be working in the city, but might just be in too deep. Here, Boutella talks about working with Theron, spending days alone in Budapest and learning new fight moves in a single morning. I was filming Star Trek: Beyond in Vancouver when I got the audition. I was thrilled by what I read and I really wanted to be a part of it. First, we did a Skype audition, so I went to a casting studio in the city and David (Leitch) was on the other end of the computer screen. After that, I flew to Los Angeles one weekend to sit down and read with Charlize and David, which was really exciting and a great experience. I wanted to find a background for her that was light and spontaneous since Delphine is merging into this world that is new for her. I did ask some people what they thought her backstory was just to compare how close theirs were to my version of Delphine’s backstory. Yes, it was part of my research. But I also watched a documentary, Lust and Sound, about music in 1980s Berlin and around the time the wall fell down. It’s so good. It’s fascinating and it helped me so much. Just to capture the vibe of the ’80s. It was my childhood, and when you’re a child you don’t notice much of the era you’re in. You can imagine Delphine doing her job in the day and out clubbing at night. I loved working with him. He’s very intelligent, and I think the way he’s put the movie together is phenomenal. I was thrilled to work with Charlize, because I remember watching Monster and thinking how this gorgeous, intelligent person never let her beauty be the reason why she’s in this industry. She’s proven many times that she’s an incredible actress and I look up to strong women that are so good at what they do. Her ability to dive into a role the way she did, I admire that. So when I got to work with her, I was nervous. I was hoping my own acting skills were going to be able to work alongside her, even though my experience as an actress is fairly new compared to hers. It pushed me to study more, to be more prepared. She encouraged me and made me feel comfortable. It was a great experience. As soon as I landed in Budapest, I felt as though I had gone into a time machine and came out in the 1980s. So, it was perfect context and surrounding to really feel like we were in the movie we were shooting. When I had a few days off, I was a little isolated because I didn’t know that many people and Charlize was always on set, but that was good because it helped put me in that frame of mind, which I think my character would have been feeling as well. It was good for me. Yes, because James (McAvoy) and I did everything in the fight scene ourselves. We came the day before and looked at the space, and then learned everything the next morning before shooting it that day. David and his stunt team were wildly prepared. They’re so good at what they do, and making sure everything is safe. And I wasn’t wearing many clothes, so there wasn’t much room for padding, except on the furniture! James is so good at doing the fight scenes, and such a good actor. I’d love to work with him again. Atomic Blonde is out in all major cinemas today
Hollywood stars Charlize Theron and Sofia Boutella strike sparks off each other in the new action film Atomic Blonde.