In ‘The Immaculate Room’, one couple (played by Kate Bosworth and Emile Hirsch) are offered a challenge: Stay in a sequestered and sterile-looking environment for 50 days and get $5 million, or, press a button at any time to get to your freedom…with nothing. Oh, and if one person leaves, the remaining individual will then get their prize cut down to $1 million.
It sounds simple enough, but with the basis of a psychological thriller, we know that ideology won’t last. With both Kate (Bosworth) and Mikey (Hirsch) tested in ways that are quite complicated (and with the addition of a very unexpected third party, played by Ashley Greene), the ‘Immaculate Room’ begins to look less like a space, and more so like a mirror held up to two different personalities beginning to break down.
From writer/director Mukunda Michael Dewil, the new film is strongly driven by its characters, and as Bosworth puts it, it was an enjoyable creative challenge that paralleled the past few years. To chat more about the experience, Bosworth sat down with Metro.
What made you interested in signing on with ‘The Immaculate Room?’
It was just such an interesting and unique character drama, and I first and foremost am attracted to character above all else. I love psychological thriller elements to movies, and when they’re done well, they’re just so hard to beat in terms of a good watch.
I just felt like this movie kind of paralleled what a lot of people were going through [during quarantine,] for example, being shut in one place—it might not be one room, although some people were—but one space for a long period of time with one other person, and the kind of psychological challenges that arise from that. I know it was incredibly challenging for me and many people, so I thought it was an interesting way to parallel what everyone was experiencing, but also with very compelling psychological and sci-fi cinematic elements.
And the elements felt really enticing and interesting and challenging in the right way—and thankfully it ended up being so. It was an incredible experience… Some of my favorite types of experiences are what I experienced on this movie.
How was it working with such a small crew and just two other actors face to face?
Very intimate. We really were in the height of the pandemic where crews couldn’t just easily mill around. So, in that sense, the space was really about myself, and Emile and Mukunda and the DP. [We had] the emotional space to do what we wanted to do, but also the physical space to do what we wanted to do—and with a lot of freedom and fluidity.
That can get very enjoyable especially when it’s character-driven, nothing felt forced, everything just felt very authentic. If something didn’t feel right, we adjusted. Mukunda is as equally as determined to mine out the truth and the honesty in moments and in scenes as Emile and myself, so it was a really, really enjoyable, wonderful pairing.
Did it help that you have such a close relationship with Emile?
Emile, he’s such a brilliant actor. I adore him as a person, we’re like brother and sister and we work really well together. We just have a really good frequency and vibe together. He’s incapable of being dishonest as an actor, so there’s a lot of pleasure in that experience alone.
Obviously, these are two people that are not strangers [in the ‘Immaculate Room’.] They’re walking in to this space as a couple who have been in a relationship for a few years and who are trying to figure out what their next moves are. I think a lot of the benefits came from knowing each other and having the trust in one another. The only challenge was—and I find this with people that I know and love and act with—we can get into trouble with laughing.
How would you describe your character, Kate?
Kate is quite A-Type. She thrives on structure, and anticipation, and planning, and a schedule. She enters this room with every day, I’m going to wake up at 7 a.m. and I’m going to have this schedule because that’s how I’m going to keep my sanity, and I’m going to fly through these 50 days because I’m not going to let things get chaotic. I’m going to have everything under control and that’s how I’m going to be.
And that’s obviously not what happens as the film goes on.
With Kate, I think she really created this illusion of real control. I think what the room did was prove to her that we don’t have much control over anything. So, for someone who relies on that stability, or the idea of that stability, it’s like her world crumbles. I think it’s very scary and the real breakdown of a mind.
Very similarly to the pandemic, I think that the room exposes real differences or a real disconnects innately, but also, the room is a real psychological bending of these people’s minds…And purposely so in very unexpected, twisted ways. I think you already have two people who function on two different ends of the spectrum, but add the insane deliberate elements that the room imposes on them, and you’re going to watch two people just completely unravel.
‘The Immaculate Room‘ is in theaters and On Demand Aug. 19.