Going from starring in Game of Thrones as Margaery Tyrell to headlining a horror film was a bit of a jump for Natalie Dormer. Though the actor is clearly no stranger to the world of supernatural fantasy, she admitted in an interview with Bustle that she was "a bit of a wimp when it comes to horror movies." So diving head-first into The Forest, a horror film shot in Japan's Aokigahara Forest, known around the world as the Suicide Forest, must have been daunting. But, as Dormer told Bustle, there were other reasons to take on the film. "I surprised myself reading this script," she said. "To me there were so many psychological elements that I just thought were so interesting, that I really wanted to do it."
In the film, Dormer plays Sara, an American woman who travels to Japan to track down her missing twin sister, Jess. And, while Dormer might not have seen herself as the perfect fit for the character at first, filmmakers, like producer David S. Goyer, have gone on record saying that Dormer was everyone's first choice to play Sara for The Forest . And in an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip of The Forest , Goyer, Dormer and her co-star Taylor Kinney (Chicago Fire) talk about the casting process, with Goyer admitting that Dormer was the first name on his wish list.
"Natalie, in truth, was all our first choice," Goyer says in the clip below. For director, Jason Zada, who made his feature debut on this film, the most important thing about the actors and their characters was to make them immediately gripping to an audience. "The movie is much scarier when you actually care about the characters and you care about the journey that they're on," Zada says.
The clip, which teases the release of The Forest on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on April 12, also indirectly touches on the criticism leveled at the film for featuring two white leads in a story about Japan. "I thought it would be interesting to take a Westerner and then transplant them into this other worldly place in Japan. And, instantly, that's very isolating and scary," Goyer says. According to Goyer, the fish-out-of-water plot also helps explain why Sara is so quick to trust Aiden (Kinney), seeing him as a fellow traveler in an unknown place.
But, let's be honest, with a face like Kinney's, who wouldn't trust him?
Images: James Dittiger/Gramercy Pictures