Ris­ing stars Vikan­der, Har­ing­ton star in new pe­riod drama


Look closely when watch­ing the new WWI drama “Tes­ta­ment of Youth,” star­ring Ali­cia Vikan­der and Kit Har­ing­ton, and you might see an iPhone.

“There’s an iPhone dropped in the mud. Watch out for that,” Har­ing­ton said in a re­cent in­ter­view.

“It was (direc­tor) James Kent’s (phone)!” Vikan­der added.

The film, now play­ing in limited re­lease, is based on the 1933 mem­oir by Vera Brit­tain. It fol­lows Vikan­der as Vera, when the young men in her life, in­clud­ing her lover (played by Har­ing­ton), go off to war. Vera puts aside her dreams of higher ed­u­ca­tion to nurse wounded sol­diers.

Har­ing­ton, who also stars in HBO’s “Game of Thrones” (air­ing Sun­days at 9 p.m. EDT), and Vikan­der say they were pro­foundly af­fected by the story.

Vikan­der re­calls film­ing the nurs­ing scenes where the ex­tras were 25 am­putees who had re­turned from serv­ing in Afghani- stan. “It was some­thing I think I’m go­ing to carry with me for­ever,” she said.

Har­ing­ton re­mem­bers ly­ing in a trench un­der a rain tower for a battle scene where peo­ple were “run­ning up and giv­ing me tow­els and hot bev­er­ages and I was moan­ing and be­ing a wimpy ac­tor. And then I thought, ‘Th­ese poor men did this un­der gun­fire for years and years,’ and that struck home. How clos­eted our gen­er­a­tion is.”

Vikan­der and Har­ing­ton talked about their work in re­cent in­ter­views.

As­so­ci­ated Press: Had you met prior to mak­ing this film?

Har­ing­ton: We met on a movie called ‘Sev­enth Son,’ which we filmed like three or four years ago, but didn’t share a sin­gle scene in that. I popped my clogs be­fore she even shows up, so we went out to din­ner and be­came friends.

Vikan­der: When you know some­body at least a lit­tle it’s such a big step for­ward be­cause you al­ready have kind of, well, trust be­tween each other which is re­ally what’s needed for both (of you) to feel fine to make mis­takes or try new things out and you know you kind of have a cer­tain lan­guage of try­ing to com­mu­ni­cate while work­ing.

AP: Are you com­fort­able watch- ing your­self on the screen?

Vikan­der: I have a harder time lis­ten­ing to my­self than look­ing at my­self. I think it’s be­cause you’re kind of used to see­ing so many images of your­self to­day with pho­tos and things. The first time ( watch­ing), you’re al­ways hard on your­self. I think most ac­tors are. But also you have so many mem­o­ries. I think of ev­ery­thing else, about the take or what hap­pened that day. It’s some­times hard to en­gage and see the film as you hope an au­di­ence will see it.

Har­ing­ton: I think you get bet­ter the more you (see), but I think if you care about your work then you’ll be pick­ing it apart.

AP: Kit, the ninth episode of this sea­son of “Game of Thrones” airs Sun­day. That episode is typ­i­cally a big one, where peo­ple are talk­ing about it the next day. Will that hap­pen this time?

Har­ing­ton: (Laughs.) I can’t tell you any­thing about it. Last week’s (fight scene) was pretty in­tense, but next week and the week af­ter it just goes nuts.

AP: What’s it like hav­ing this global au­di­ence with “Game of Thrones”?

Har­ing­ton: It’s amaz­ing. I don’t think I’ll ever be a part of some­thing that has quite this reach. I think it’s seen in most coun­tries, so there’s no es­cape. (Laughs.)


“Tes­ta­ment of Youth” ac­tors and Ali­cia Vikan­der, left, and Kit Har­ing­ton pose for a por­trait on Wed­nes­day, June 3.

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