Sarah Gadon snagged her first plum role last year as the wife of Michael Fassbenderâ€™s Carl Jung in David Cronenbergâ€™s slow-burning psychodrama, A Dangerous Method, and this year, sheâ€™s honing her craft with not one, but two members of the Cronenberg clan. In her turn as poet-heiress Elise Shifrin in David Cronenbergâ€™s new thriller, Cosmopolis, she stars as the wife of Robert Pattinsonâ€™s Eric Packer, a billionaire playboy who hosts a string of oddball characters in his souped-up limo over the course of a 24-hour trek through Manhattan. â€œI love the notion that there is something quite secretive about Elise,â€ says Gadon. The Toronto native researched early 20th-century New York City socialites to tap into her characterâ€™s eccentric side. â€œThey had these really bizarre stories and hilarious names like Bunny and Daphne. I was drawn to the fact that they were extremely wealthy but became very reclusive later in life, so I gave Elise a Connecticut boarding-school drawl and thought she might have been reading a lot of Sylvia Plath.â€ Next up, Gadon will appear in the sci-fi flick Antiviral, the directorial debut of Cronenbergâ€™s son, Brandon, playing a Hollywood starlet who dies of a mysterious disease.
When did you first realize you wanted to act?
When I stepped onstage for the first time professionally in The Nutcracker. I was ten. I was at the National Ballet School of Canada, and as soon as I did that show I realized acting was the most thrilling and satisfying profession for me.
What drew you to your role in David Cronenbergâ€™s new film, Cosmopolis?
David, for sure. I had finished working on A Dangerous Method (2011) last January in Toronto, and I was in what I call â€œCronenberg withdrawal.â€ I could feel this terror that I might never have that wonderful artistic working experience again. So I phoned my agent and asked what else David was working on, and they sent me Cosmopolis. It sounded a little weird, but I read it and thought it was very interesting. A few months later, David called me and offered me the part of Elise Shifrin. I was so thrilled because I didnâ€™t really expect him to do that. Then it was just game on.
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