Tom Hiddleston Watched Human Bodies Being Cut Open For 'High-Rise' Role Preparation: "It Was Intense"
Every actor has a way of preparing for a role. Whether it's training with a voice coach to perfect an accent, reading source material, or putting on weight to look more convincingly like your character, a bit of a transformation is inevitable. For Tom Hiddleston in High-Rise , the British actor did something a bit unconventional to prep: He watched dead bodies be cut open. "I spent a truly fascinating day with a forensic pathologist and he took me into his workplace," Hiddleston explains. "He showed me [his job]. He goes into the hospital everyday and he cuts people open. It was pretty intense. It was unlike anything I've ever done, seeing a human body cut open."
For those unfamiliar, forensic pathology is a sub-speciality of pathology that determines the cause of death by looking at a dead body. In High-Rise, Hiddleston plays Dr Robert Laing, who lives on the 27th floor of building erected for the rich and powerful. "What I always like to do before starting a film is to sync up with the director. I said, 'Send me movies, send me books, send me films that you love, give me an idea of the context.' I do my own research, which I love. It's one of the most joyful parts of being an actor."
High-Rise' narrative is set in the unknown future, where those with more money live on higher floors of the building. The lives of those living in the elite tower are isolated from outside troubles and appear seemingly idyllic. But all this begins to shift as residents of the lower floors of the building attempt to climb to the top.
Hiddleston was intrigued by the moral questions of the film, and found the doctor that he shadowed opinions on death and human expiration informative to his character. "His take on it, as one of the national leading pathologists in the UK, is that we sometimes give disease an almost human motivation, which he believes it doesn't have," the Avengers actor explains. "We talk about malignant cancer. It's not malignant it's just another force... the way he talked about the randomness of health and ill health... His perspective on life and death and psychological death was fascinating. He thinks we all come with a sell by date."
High-Rise is directed by Ben Wheatley and co-starring Elisabeth Moss, Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, and Luke Evans, and does not yet have a release date.