Badass Interview: Nadia Hilker On Drafthouse Films’ SPRING

The actress talks about taking on one of the most original monster roles in years.

Today, Drafthouse Films and FilmBuff release Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead's Spring (read my interview with those guys here), and I was lucky to have a chance to chat with the central figure of that film, Nadia Hilker as the charismatic and mysterious Louise. Lou Taylor Pucci's Evan meets Louise on a spontaneous one-way trip to Italy, and the two immediately connect - before it becomes clear that Nadia is much, much, much more than she seems. 

Louise is such a brilliant, powerful, mysterious character. What aspect of her did you find most compelling?

I find it fascinating that a person like her, with all her experience, is not jaded and is still very curious about the things around her. She is still very human, just like you and me, and still wants to learn things and maybe even fall in love with someone who isn’t right for her. (Like a rock star with a drinking problem). She is just another human like everybody else.

How much did you know about Louise's transformation when you took on the role?

When I read the script for the first time I was in love with it right away. Louise is so much. She is deep, funny, easygoing, strong but fragile at the same time. 

Can you talk about filming in Italy? The perks are pretty obvious, but what were some challenges?

We shot the movie in November/December and because the movie takes place in the summer I was dressed accordingly throughout the entire shot. The Italian coast even gets cold in the southern parts.

What was the makeup process like? 

The process of getting makeup put on me was a lot of fun - we laughed a lot and had time for some awesome conversations and good music. The biggest transformation took about 8 hours of makeup but time went by quickly due to the fact that I was very excited and could see my slow step-by-step transformation of becoming the creature. 

Much is made of Louise's worldly accent. How much did you have to modify your own accent to sound as if you're from everywhere, like the character?

Louise's accent is my own; my mother tongue is French. I also traveled a lot and lived close to a year in England. Growing up I watched a lot of Family Guy in English. I guess my unique accent is the result of all of that.

Are you a fan of monster movies yourself? How'd you feel getting to play a monstrous role in the midst of this beautiful romance?

Louise was never a monster for me; she was a human that found another human that spoke the same language - with the occasional transformation to somebody that eats rabbits. She regrets doing so but has to make difficult decisions to survive.

I don’t like horror movies all that much but if they are done right I enjoy watching them.

There's never been a movie quite like Spring, and it's best to go into the film blind. How do you personally talk about the film without spoiling any of its mystery?

I am the worst at pitching a movie. Halfway through I stop because I realize how everything I said sucks so far and people just got "I have a tail and I am in love and I eat rabbits."

What's next for you?

Right now I am shooting a pilot for TNT in Vancouver, playing an Estonian assassin. I am so grateful and love the work. Fingers crossed it gets picked up.