A ‘Cellular’ Connection On Screen
What would you do if a random person called you on your cell phone one day as you were walking to class saying they had been kidnapped? Would you believe them? Would you try to help them?
This is the dilemma that Ryan (Chris Evans) faces when Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger) calls him after being kidnapped and tied up in a dusty attic. With nothing but a shattered cell phone, the only signal Jessica has is to a cell phone that belongs to Ryan, an average college student whose only prior concern was to win back the trust of his ex-girlfriend (Jessica Biel).
Directed by David R. Ellis, ‘Cellular’ immediately takes you along with Basinger and Evans on a whirlwind of events of high action and suspense as Evans goes to extreme lengths to help a woman and her family, whom he has never even met before, from being killed.
Basinger’s performance in this movie demonstrates that her acting skills have not dulled since she won her Oscar for best supporting actress in the 1997 film, ‘L.A. Confidential.’
Not only is her role an emotionally taxing one because her character has been kidnapped, but it is extremely physical as well. Part of what makes it easy for Basinger to adapt to any role is the fact that she is healthy and physically fit.
‘I stay in shape because I like it for me, for my life,’ Basinger said. ‘But knowing that you’re going to do this kind of film, there is no way that you’re not going to get injured if you’re not in shape. You can’t be slammed down on a table or thrown across the room unless you’re somewhat capable of handling that balancing act.’
Basinger’s character engages in several physical struggles with her kidnapper (Jason Statham) that seem all too realistic. Indeed, the fight scenes between Statham and Basinger were real and not choreographed.
‘I was trying to make it as real as possible,’ Basinger said. ‘I’m just an actress in a movie, but I wanted to get as close to the truth as I could in asking David to ask Jason if he would just surprise me because I knew I could bring you guys [the audience] upstairs with me. I was thrown in the attic and I wanted you to be thrown in the attic as an audience.’
Not only were the fights real, but it takes a talented actress like Basinger to go to work everyday and play a character who is crying, scared and frantic for just about the entire movie. She admits that it takes hard work to fine-tune one’s acting skills.
‘It takes years to learn how to act if you’re not fooling yourself,’ Basinger said. ‘I think it was Anthony Hopkins who, once when someone asked him about an emotional scene he had to do, said ‘It’s my job.’ Well, I can now look at someone and know the tools that I have developed over the years and the buttons and where to go to press that button.’
Another challenge that Basinger had to face was acting and reacting merely to a voice on the phone.
‘It’s just one of those things that led me to want to do the film because I wouldn’t see Chris [Evans]. And I’ve never been isolated to have to do that and I love these challenges to have to be on the phone and to have to do most of your performance on the phone,’ said Basinger.
In ‘Cellular,’ Chris Evans, a newcomer to the Hollywood scene, delivers a performance that has captured the attention of Hollywood
One of the remarkable aspects of Evans’ performance is that he had never met Basinger until the end of filming