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The Lovely Bones Sisters

Published December 8, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of DreamWorks
Young actresses shine in Peter Jackson’s latest movie, The Lovely Bones. New Zealander Rose McIver makes a strong debut in Hollywood playing Lindsey Salmon. Years after Lindsey’s sister is murdered, she boldly pursues the killer she suspects to seek justice.

The Lovely Bones' Salmon Sisters


“I’m a New Zealander so we’re pretty proud of Pete and the opportunity to work with him was obviously very exciting and a real honor,” McIver said. “I read the book when I was 13 and I was a huge fan of the novel myself. I was Lindsay and Susie’s age really going into high school. I guess it just was really resonant with me and I never thought I’d have the opportunity to play Lindsey but when I read her in the script and I felt like she was very much that character that she was in the book, I don't think I’m hugely similar to her necessarily but I really respect and admire her so that makes her a character that I would love to play. And she got to age from 11 to 19 which was always going to be kind of interesting and a wonderful challenge to do.”

The tragic Susie Salmon is played by Soairse Ronan, the pivotal star of the acclaimed Atonement. The two actresses became real sisters. “Well, we met in Pennsylvania and I had just come off another movie so I was straight over to meet everyone,” Ronan said. “I think we met the first day. We just sort of bonded for those two weeks and I think because Rose and I are pretty close in age. Well, there’s six years of a difference but we feel like we’re very close, we bonded from the off really. We get on very, very well. She’s one of our best friends but yeah, it’s great though because even though we didn’t really have that many scenes together in the movie, we got to hang out when I was in New Zealand and we still keep in touch and everything.”


The Lovely Bones Poster The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones Poster The Lovely Bones


The Lovely Bones Poster The Lovely Bones

“And neither of us have sisters so we kind of took each other,” McIver added. “We spent a lot of time at the Salmon house where we would shoot. We did a little kind of getting to know each other as a family and getting to know the dog that would play Holiday.”

Even though the family has to deal with grief for most of the film, it was not a dour set. Mciver’s confrontational scene with the killer (Stanley Tucci) proved less harrowing than she feared. “I didn’t know it was going to be as easy as it was because when I met Stanley, I thought, ‘This man’s too nice. He’s not going to be Mr. Harvey and how am I even going to be scared of him?’ But when we were shooting that, it was in New Zealand and it was very contained fear. It was fine and whenever we’d cut, it would go back to normal but I certainly was actually really terrified I think. The idea of Lindsey putting herself in that position and having already lost her sister, putting herself at stake and being so vulnerable, I mean it’s brave but it’s dangerous. I think the nature of that, the nature of the script made it a very easy kind of emotion to tap into.”

Then she got to have Susan Sarandon cover her with oatmeal in a makeover scene. “Well, I think Susan just pushed me to see how far it could possibly go,” McIver said. “We rolled and rolled and I think Pete and everybody was just having a laugh at me because I think there were about six eggs, seven eggs in the end and a whole pack of oatmeal. She just kind of went to town on it. I think I got some ash in my face, a drink spilled on me. It was a really humbling experience.”

The Lovely Bones opens to theaters on December 11th.

For the trailers, poster, stills and more movie info, go to The Lovely Bones Movie Page.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of DreamWorks
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