Charlotte Lytton talks Shakespeare and the joy of Joss Whedon with the Dollhouse actor
It was great. It was my life for a good two years. The friends I made there are friends for life and obviously my relationship with Joss is something I cherish. Apart from being brilliant and an original, he's also a great leader. He's inspiring and makes you want to be your best.
Can you tell me a bit about The Cabin in the Woods and your role in the film?
What I can say is that I play a lover of herbs, Marty. He appears to be your typical stoner/slacker/wise-cracking type that occasionally philosophises, but he's very loyal and possesses more courage than you might think. Marty and his friends take a weekend trip to a cabin in the woods. It turns out to be a very bad weekend for us and a lot of other people. There is a lot of blood. And I think more people die in this movie than in any other movie ever made. Seriously.
You're also in the upcoming adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. Tell us about that.
This project was so much fun. It came about in such a casual way that I never considered it would receive so much attention and interest. Joss often does play readings at his house, but he told us this time he wanted to film one. We started having rehearsals at his house, it was like a real movie. But I still thought just that, 'it's like a movie but we're still screwing around, right?' This is not the kind of Shakespeare on film you are used to. It is not all grand production value and epic backdrops. It is not period. It is not in colour. I'm not going to say I have perfect scansion. There may be a lot of ruffled nit pickers calling out bad meter. I hope not. We did all try. Now I walk around saying, Yeah I did a movie of Much Ado About Nothing last year. We're thinking Cannes or Venice. Something fancy. The final product though, I believe, will be a very fresh take on Shakespeare and a lot of fun. It's a great play.
You've worked with Joss Whedon on several projects – do you hope this collaboration will continue in the future?
100 per cent. I can't imagine ever saying no to him. He's original. That's the best, right?
What did you study at Yale and what was your experience of being a student there like?
I was a Humanities major. It's essentially the oldest major at Yale. I knew I wanted to be an actor but I didn't want to major in it. So this was the perfect major for me. I love art history and literature. There's plenty of food for acting there too.
What is your favourite film of all time?
Star Wars. Need I say more?
You've acted on stage, television and film – which is your favourite and why?
I like them all. Ultimately it depends on the story you're telling. I've been lucky with my two professional plays. Film and television are wonderful too though. Film is the culmination of all the arts. It's infinite. The worlds we've seen in cinema and more and more in television one so meaningful to everyone so how could you not enjoy making them? Plays are ephemeral but film, we hope, is forever. The movie Cabin in the Woods is so great I believe that I could die tomorrow and be proud of my film career.