The Natural Aristocrat spoke with ‘On/Off’ star Carole Brana (Meredith) about vulnerability as a source of acting inspiration in the silent void of space.
At the heart of every human fear is the beating truth of real possibility, just as actress Carole Brana’s Meredith discovers in On/Off. The Sci-Fi French short took film festivals by storm, amassing over 16 awards, and recently seeing its first public debut through DUST. The film’s easy attraction of maximum calamity and catastrophe in the helplessness of space, the new wild west, speaking to genre fans.
Then a timely film twist left them wondering about the future of technological depravity. How advanced civilization is doomed to search for a connection to the humanity they intentionally left behind. Meredith’s imprint of an aged voice message throughout the picture embodying the concept. A subconscious human need to cling desperately to an idea without even remembering its true origins.
Actress Carole Brana told The Natural Aristocrat it was through the power of vulnerability that she found inspiration to play the title’s lead, Meredith… Who watches her very spacecraft disintegrate before her eyes.
Interview with Carole Brana on Sci-Fi film short, On/Off
The Natural Aristocrat [Nir Regev]: As Meredith, you portray the ultimate vulnerability of space. Despite being fully shielded in your exterior, even minor objects flying toward you like a screw could spell the end. What do you look to as an actress to connect with this concept? Do you utilize sense memory and emotionally recall a particular point in your life where you felt similar vulnerability?
As an actress I need to use vulnerability as a source of inspiration. Vulnerability is often considered in real life as a weakness unfortunately. To play Meredith, I needed to mute the daily mental brainstorming and let things emerge organically. This is not about memory or recall, but about finding the limits inside myself, the failure to catch the light.
In the film, Meredith asks for the music to be turned off despite her plunging serotonin levels. Was she truly irritated by the music or did she want ‘the headache’ to continue in order to access the voice message memory in your opinion?
Excellent question! This moment is interesting because you have the choice. You, and only you can decide Meredith’s mood! So, I won’t tell you what I think and but I’ll let you choose which decision speaks more to you.
What went through your mind when you visualized the spacecraft disintegrating? The last refuge evaporating before your eyes…
This scene was very intense, I remember the vertigo of the soul. Something broke forever inside Meredith and I needed to make a step and jump in it.
What did it mean to you to be nominated for a Maverick Movie Award for On/Off for Best Actress in a film short in 2014?
I was very proud and very honoured to be nominated for the Best Actress Maverick Movie Award. It means a lot to me. I’m passionate about my job and to receive a nomination is a gift. I’m very proud that On/Off won the VFX Maverick Movie Award on 2014…
I’m very grateful to (Director) Thierry Lorenzi who gave me this opportunity, and very grateful to the technical crew. I hope to see this movie have a long life.
Should it someday be possible to live on like Meredith as an android of sorts, would you just choose that for yourself?
I don’t know. Today I believe that life is a continuum of states and we haven’t explored all of the possibilities. But being an android is not really one of my goals!
Were you inspired by the replicas of Blade Runner 2049, HBO’s Westworld, Ex Machina, A.I. Artificial Intelligence or any other Sci-Fi work for the revelation that you’re a robot?
I’ve been interested in the Sci-Fi world since a very young age, so I’ve been watching a lot of movies, I’ve read a lot of books and I think I’m somewhat created by this culture. To play Meredith I decided to act like a computer. I used my body as machine with uploads, updates, bugs etc… So I proposed a machine reload more than a conscious revelation.
[End Spoiler Warning]
On/Off Film Premiere Trailer and Synopsis
Obsessed by a mysterious voice message, astronaut Meredith will face its paradoxical condition in order to stay connected to her humanity.
* For English Speakers: The film has English subtitles with French being the spoken language of the picture.
Visit the official DUST website to watch On/Off (no subscription needed) and other intriguing, curated, independent Sci-Fi films. Take a tour of the official On/Off website for more information about the short film by Director Thierry Lorenzi.