Since the original Mummy debuted over 80 years ago, the story remains near and dear to fans' hearts. While audiences may or may not welcome the 2017 reimagining of The Mummy (out June 9) with open arms, critics haven't been very generous. Just a day before the film's big premiere I speak with star Annabelle Wallis, who hasn't taken this film's place in pop culture lightly. "We all felt a responsibility, we all grew up watching The Mummy films," she tells me. "There was this pressure to make it our own."
After Karl Freund's original 1932 film, and the 1999 remake starring Brendan Fraser, Wallis stars alongside Tom Cruise in the latest remake with the first female mummy (Sofia Boutella). And while a quick Google search could be tempting, Wallis doesn't concern herself with what the critics are saying. She's too busy celebrating a movie she's really damn proud of.
"I don’t even read it. I don’t know why anyone would," the 32-year-old tells me. For the actor, critics and reviews are just occupational hazards she chooses to avoid. "I understand that if you put yourself out there, you open up a conversation that can be positive or negative about yourself," she says. "You have to be realistic about the fact that if you’re fortunate enough to do what you do and do it on a large scale, you might get some bashing." But harping on reviews just isn't how she does things.
If anything, Wallis is all for the critics voicing their opinion. "It’s not about you, it’s about them. You’ve gotta see it for what it is," she says. "If people want an opinion, allow it to them and root for them for having one." Moreover, the actor uses a slightly different gauge for movie feedback: the general public.
"We’re in an age with wider conversation, you’re reaching more people. It’s the people who have the voice," she says. "If people want to see the film, it’s very clear. If there’s something and it’s just terrible, you’ll know, the people speak." She's confident that The Mummy team has created something audiences will be talking about.
"[We] made it something audiences will go into thinking one thing and completely turning that perception on its head," she says. Of course, fans of The Mummy will have preconceived notions about what to expect in this version. Wallis hopes the movie's "brave choices" are ones viewers will recognize and appreciate.
"I just love the new life we breath into it. It’s a female mummy and we play within all these different genres," she says. "There’s a real homage to the great adventure films, like Raiders and classic horror. The references we have are clear to anyone who really loves cinema."
Needless to say, she stands by her work with pride. "Now we can pass it on to the next generation of film, proud that we’ve done the story justice," she says.
Her sense of pride for the film is worth applauding, even if some critics argue the film is not.