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I’ve never watched AMC’s hit Mad Men. I’m sure it’s a lovely, well-constructed show that is every bit as good as everyone says it is, but I have zero interest in watching a dramatic period piece about advertising executives. That said, though I’ve never watched it, I like many of the actors in the cast, like John Hamm, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Alison Brie, and Jarred Harris, but I’m admittedly glad they do other things for me to enjoy them in. One of the stars breaking out of the series and doing fantastic work has been Elisabeth Moss, who stars in one of our most anticipated movies coming up, Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s High Rise, a project she spent a brief time discussing recently.
Moss already had a ton of credits to her name before Mad Men, but that has served as something of a launching pad for her career. Since then she’s gone on to garner a great deal of acclaim in projects like Jane Campion’s series Top of the Lake and another film that’s about to drop, Listen Up, Philip.
Philip premiered at Sundance last January, and is getting set for a general release next week. When she sat down with The Playlist to talk about that film, the subject of High Rise came up. She has nothing but fantastic things to say about the film, her costars—including Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Irons—and Wheatley, who she hails as a genius. She said:
I’m really excited about that one. I love it because people who really know about film are excited about that one, because people familiar with Ben Wheatley’s work know what an unusual filmmaker he is. I signed on purely upon the fact that I was a fan of Ben’s, and in particular Sightseers, and the script is obviously based on the book [by J.G. Ballard] and it is very strange, and I have no idea what it’s going to look like, but I just love his style of filmmaking. I just think he’s so interesting and unique and I don’t know anyone who makes movies like he does. Maybe there’s a couple but I don’t know, I think he’s so unusual and I just wanted to get a chance to work with him and be part of that world and, it was so fun to make and he got all these great actors because good actors recognize, “There’s a great filmmaker, I should work with him.” So he’s got Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston and all these great people to do this movie. I think it’s going to be really cool; it’s going to be highly unusual.
Wheatley, a director known for his pitch-black, genre-bending films like Kill List and A Field in England, is a perfect match for Ballard’s novel. The story takes place entirely inside of an newly constructed luxury apartment complex in 1975, on the eve of Margaret Thatcher’s rise to power. Within these confines, for all intents and purposes cut off from the rest of society, class conflicts arise, order breaks down, and the building degrades into a state of open warfare between violent tribes of residents based on what floor they live on. It’s biting social and political satire that is simultaneously wickedly funny and dark and troubling as all hell.
High Rise in in post-production and should see release sometime in 2015.