“The Darkest Hour” 3D traps five young people who find themselves stranded in Moscow, fighting to survive in the wake of a devastating alien attack. The 3D thriller highlights the classic beauty of Moscow alongside mind-blowing special effects from the minds of visionary filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted,” “Night Watch”) who produces the film and director Chris Gorak (“Right At Your Door”).
“The 3D helps to create these epic stages for an intimate story. The core is the relationship between people, that’s a dramatic spine of the movie, what makes the movie emotional,” says Bekmambetov. This is very unique because the 3D makes the experience about being there. I hope this movie will give audience a chance to literally feel what’s happening when a huge disaster happens. It’s the first movie when you see the world destroyed in 3D.”
Shooting in 3D makes the job of the actors even more crucial. “It’s very important to be connected with these characters because in a 3D movie you cannot cut and force the viewer’s attention, you can’t shake him, and you have to let him be there with the characters,” Bekmambetov adds. Apart from the male lead stars Emile Hirsch, Max Minghella and Joel Kinnaman, the movie also features equally capable lead actresses – Olivia Thirlby, Rachael Taylor and young Russian actress Veronica Vernadskaya.”
Thirlby reveals, “Truthfully my main reason for wanting to do this job is because I really like and respect the director Chris Gorak. This genre isn’t usually the thing I find myself drawn to, but it suddenly seemed like a very cool and exciting adventure, something that I could really get behind. The location has so much to do with it, Moscow really is a big part of this movie and scenically it’s so different from everything else.”
“I also appreciated the fact that my character Natalie wasn’t a very sci-fi movie girl in that she’s not scantily clad or unbelievably sexed up. She’s not just the eye candy,” comments Thirlby. “She’s an educated, born and raised outside Washington D.C., and now lives in New York City. She’s an awkward girl, traditional American overachiever, straight ahead, loves her Mom.”
“She and her best friend Anne, who she met in college, wind up in Moscow because of a last minute change of plans,” explains Thirlby. “Their loose back story gives you a glimpse that she’s had a messy breakup with a boyfriend so she just needs to get away. Anne convinces her to come on this photography trip to Nepal, so Natalie uncharacteristically makes an unplanned decision and decides to go along.”
Actress Rachael Taylor plays Anne. “One of the greatest rewards of shooting a movie like this is the relationships that you form off camera. Max, Emile, Joel, Olivia and I have become such good friends. I love these people more than any other group of actors that I’ve ever worked with,” reveals Taylor. “Each person brings something so original and so specific to the movie. It’s been wonderful being in a foreign location with them, shooting a genre picture and a movie of this magnitude with action sequences, stunts, and special effects is certainly a taxing process.”
Taylor also enjoyed her character’s atypical journey. “The thing I like about Anne so much is at the beginning of the film, she’s this very upbeat, open, fun loving young girl. But what is exciting for me as an actor and I hope for an audience, is watching her disintegration throughout the film,” explains Taylor. “When we meet her, she is this incredibly capable young woman and what happens to Anne is not only horrific, but she just doesn’t cope with it. Her inner vulnerabilities really play out.”
The film also features Russian teen actress Veronica Vernadskaya as Vika who survived in the alien attack and eventually became part of the all-American group trying to escape Moscow. “This is one of those moments where you really find something. Veronica is terrific and just lights up the screen. She’s a really beautiful young woman but she also has this uniquely Russian spirit. But she’s also international in the sense that every fifteen year old is the same, no matter whether you’re Russian or Greek or American or Italian,” shares producer Jacobson.
“Vika’s important to our movie because she represents hope. We never find out what has happened to her family, but we suspect, because she’s tough already. She’s a survivor. She instantly bonds with these Americans,” adds Jacobson. “All of the cast and crew light up when Veronica’s on the set. We’re all incredibly protective of her and that spirit she represents that we hope is present in the movie.”
“The Darkest Hour” 3D opens in theaters nationwide on January 25 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.