In Jose Nestor Marquez’s new Sci-Fi thriller "Reversion," opening in select theaters today, the talented Aja Naomi King stars as Sophie Clé,
a wealthy businesswoman and daughter of the creator of Oubli, a wearable device that enhances past joyful memories,
allowing consumers to re-live happy moments as if they were occurring for the very first time; thus allowing constant
delight and happiness to be an achievable feat. However, As King’s character relives
the last treasured memory of her deceased mother repeatedly, she begins facing its
side-effects, as well as unraveling the mystery behind the creation of this technology
breakthrough, setting the stage for this original and unpredictable story with
plenty of complexity and ambiguous characters.
King, a Yale Drama alumni, delves into the challenging role
of Sophie, which allowed her to explore and experience a gamut of complex human
emotions. In our interview, the lovely actress tells S&A more about what
attracted her to this role, working in this film, as well as the possibilities,
and moral implications, of future technology.
S&A: What attracted you to this role?
ANK: When I read the script, the first thing I thought was
that I would’ve made the same choice that my character made at the end of the
movie. In life, we want to protect ourselves from any kind of wrong doing, so
it really makes you question the times of the memories you actually have. If
you ask two people to remember a specific event the stories are going to vary
wildly because we always make ourselves out to be the hero. The use of the
technology is so intriguing, like, if this were to be used now, we would all be
using it for sure [Laughs].
S&A: Definitely an original concept and something that
could very well happen in real life..
ANK: There’s a question when it comes to memories – is it
how you’re remembering it or is it the truth? That’s what’s so intriguing and
what I love about this movie.
S&A: And this is a great role to dig into..
ANK: Definitely. The film is based on this technology, but I
was also looking at the story of this woman trying to find out the truth about
what happened to her mother and the relationships between her and her father
and her and this bodyguard. I love all the relationships and how they come to
play. The script is so well written and so solid. It all felt so real; the
dialogue felt like things I would actually say.
S&A: And very unpredictable, like your father’s role. Is
he really the bad guy?
ANK: Right? It really makes you question what we do. It’s
really tricky; I like how complicated it is. There’s no right away to look at it
really, because, like, maybe even at the beginning of the film when everything
was fine for her, she was still missing something. She didn’t feel like a real
human being because of this technology, so she wasn’t really feeling fulfilled
even though she’s this woman of privilege who has so much.
S&A: This movie is also about altering nature and how
the human mind works. I don’t think something like this should be trusted. We
need the bad memories right?
ANK: If all we remember are good things then happiness is
our baseline and there’s no longer happiness. We need other feelings in order
to appreciate others (feelings).
S&A: How did you get onboard with this project?
ANK: I went in and auditioned for the producer, and a couple
of weeks later I found out that I had the part and that we were jumping right
in. I found out we were going to start filming the very next week, and as you
can see I’m in a lot of this movie; so I had a lot of work to do!
S&A: How challenging was to portray Sophie?
ANK: It was very challenging. For the most part, we shot in
order, which I appreciated. It was so great working with Jose [Nestor Marquez];
he’s the kind of director that wants to dig in. He wants to explore. It was
great to talk about each theme ad-naseaum and really look at what we were
trying to do with the script, and where it was headed in order to shape it in
the right way and to be on the same page. That exploration is crucial because I
may think I know what I want to do in this moment, but in the doing, you discover
so many different things, and you think “I’ll play it this way instead.”
S&A: So the director [Jose Nestor Marquez] gave you a
lot of freedom…
ANK: Yeah, he gave me so much freedom. It was really nice to
be in an environment where not only I had the freedom, but where everyone was
so generous. We wanted to take care of one another. If we were shooting
something heavy, they [cast and crew] were so respectful.
S&A: Needless to say, this was a great role for a black
ANK: It’s wonderful to be in a role where my entire story
had nothing to do with race. I hope to see more of that because it was
wonderful. It’s such a freeing experience.