Canada’s Ali­son Pill on play­ing a piv­otal (yet low-on­screen-time) role in the new thriller

ELLE (Canada) - - Radar -

when we catch up with Ali­son Pill on the phone, the 31-year-old Toronto na­tive is a few weeks away from giv­ing birth to her first child. “Right now, the prag­matic side of me is kick­ing in,” says Pill of the im­mi­nent ar­rival. “I’m like, ‘What does one put in a hos­pi­tal bag?’ If I get too far ahead of my­self, I sort of go ‘Oh, my God! Holy heav­ens, there’s go­ing to be a new per­son liv­ing here.’” Less anx­i­ety in­duc­ing is casting her mind back to the film­ing of Miss Sloane, a story of Wash­ing­ton-in­sider in­trigue star­ring Jes­sica Chas­tain as a lob­by­ist, Pill as her pro­tege and Toronto as the Dis­trict of Columbia. De­spite hav­ing grown up in the city, Pill says it wasn’t that dif­fi­cult to sus­pend her dis­be­lief. “I’ve been shoot­ing in Toronto for 20 years, but Scott Pil­grim vs. the World was the only time I shot in Toronto as Toronto,” she says. “It doesn’t re­ally make a dif­fer­ence that way.”

Mak­ing a movie in your home­town, how­ever, can re­sult in some eerie co­in­ci­dences. “It’s funny... my dad used to work in the of­fice where we filmed con­fer­ence­room scenes,” she says. “One of the of­fice man­agers [when we were film­ing there] was like, ‘Your dad’s Juri Pill, right?’” I got to go visit my dad’s of­fice and say, like, ‘Dad, you’ll never guess where I am right now!’”

We can’t tell you why Pill’s char­ac­ter (who ap­pears briefly at the movie’s be­gin­ning and then briefly at the end) is so im­por­tant with­out giv­ing away the film’s jaw­drop­ping twist, but we can share why Pill de­cided to take a mi­nor-on-pa­per part. “I think the fe­male re­la­tion­ships in the movie are re­ally in­ter­est­ing: Jes­sica’s char­ac­ter’s re­la­tion­ship with her mentee—me—and with Gugu Mbatharaw’s char­ac­ter,” says Pill. “It’s fas­ci­nat­ing to watch a high-pow­ered, am­bi­tious woman nav­i­gate fe­male re­la­tion­ships and kind of dis­rupt ex­pec­ta­tions through­out about what she is ac­tu­ally ca­pa­ble of.” n

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