Kate Beckinsale was raised by actors because both of her parents were in the entertainment industry. After making her acting debut in “Much ado about nothing,” Kate’s performance in the BBC comedy “Cold Comfort Farm” caught the attention of viewers and critics.
Her performance in the film office hit “Pearl Harbor” brought her first notoriety. She later gained even more celebrity status for her role in the “Underworld,” an action television series directed by her then-husband, Len Wiseman.
The actress has always been passionate about her acting career, and her love of acting has given her the versatility to work in a variety of genres. One instance of her demonstrating her passion for acting and putting her enthusiasm into the character she was given is the 2013 movie “The Trials of Cate McCall.”
Kate Beckinsale’s Character in “The Trials of Cate McCall”
In the 2013 movie “The Trials of Cate McCall,” Kate Beckinsale characterized her character as someone who had lost everything and blown it. Her character is a highly successful lawyer whose marriage has fallen apart because she’s essentially turned into an alcoholic.
“She messed everything up, she’s lost custody of her daughter, and she’s been fired. So she takes on a case to get off probation, basically. She inherits this case about a woman wrongly accused of murder. And it all sort of unfolds from there,” the actress detailed.
Kate Beckinsale’s experiences working with female directors
The 2013 movie “The Trials of Cate McCall” was the first project Karen Moncrieff discussed with Kate Beckinsale before she was asked to play the part. The actress commended her, stating that in addition to thinking the role was significant, she adored her and thought she was knowledgeable and engaging.
Kate has collaborated with female directors before. Prior to “The Trials of Cate McCall,” she collaborated with Lisa Cholodenko on a project that she truly appreciated which is the “Laurel Canyon.” She further emphasized that she doesn’t necessarily believe that a director’s gender significantly impacts how a film is produced.
“Karen is very nurturing, but I don’t know if that’s necessarily female as I’ve had very nurturing male directors,” she said. “I really enjoy working with directors who have written the script, actually. I find in the preparation of the movie it’s wonderful to have a communication going with the director when they’ve written it.”
“Oddly, they’re much more ready to hand the character over to you if they’ve written it. It’s surprising, but that has been the case most times. But I haven’t really noticed a vast difference with having a female director, apart from the fact that she’s very pretty.”
Kate Beckinsale describes the differences between shooting an action movie vs. a drama movie
Kate Beckinsale has portrayed roles in a number of genres during her whole acting career, so she is well aware of the differences between one genre and another. She uses the difference between an action movie and a drama movie as an example, noting that while there are certain parallels in terms of what you want to develop and how you will establish the character very well, there are also some key differences.
“A movie like Underworld or Total Recall, it’s not a character study in the same way – but that’s not to say one is better than the other. Really, there’s not that much time in an event movie to ponder whether that character has had a bath that morning. But the process is similar in the preparation,” the actress explained.
She claims that preparing a movie like Total Recall is far more physically demanding since you have to learn how to use various weapons. However, she had to learn brand-new abilities that she had never acquired before or wasn’t particularly adept at in “The Trials of Cate McCall.” As required by the process shown in the movie at the time, she had to see a lawyer and attend a trial.
“Always with a film, there are things you have to learn that you haven’t learned before. The things themselves may vary, but they all come under the umbrella of your’ prep.’”
Kate also mentioned that she never saw herself as an action star but chose to pursue it because she enjoys trying new things. When she first learned that she had been given a part in the movie “Underworld,” she admitted that she thought the notion was absurd but that she could also handle the task of acting in such a movie.
“It was, and then all of a sudden, it turned out that people seemed to buy that, and I’ve ended up doing more of them. But I’m not nearly as comfortable doing the physical roles. I was always feeling like the last person picked for teams in physical education. It’s something I still find quite frightening because I’m more comfortable in a movie like I’m doing now,” she continued.
The complexities of Kate Beckinsale’s marriage while producing a movie
As previously mentioned, Kate Beckinsale has collaborated with her ex-husband, Len Wiseman, on the action drama “Underworld” and the 2012 film “Total Recall.” At the time, Kate stated that they get along well and enjoy each other’s company, adding that although he is his director and they are married, fights between them don’t happen frequently.
“We have quite similar tastes, and one of the reasons we like working with each other is that we can see eye-to-eye on most things,” she added, further noting that during the production of “Total Recall,” Wiseman always wanted her to be involved.
“I was aware that my husband was involved with the movie, that he was writing the script and all that,” she remarked. “At the beginning, when he started working on the script, he said, ‘I’ve got you in mind for this,’ and I just thought, ‘OK.’”
“But when it came down to it, I was actually not available. I was very much aware of him going through the casting process while I was doing Underworld 4, so we were both a bit sad about it.”
According to Kate, her ex-husband approached the situation with maturity and asked if she would want to play the three-boobed woman, which required spending roughly a day on set to which she agreed.
“So for about three weeks, I was going to play the three-boobed woman for an afternoon. But then the dates of my other film moved, and suddenly I was available. It was a complete shock. I’d been familiar with it all, so that helped, but I was straight into it.”
How does Kate Beckinsale find the acting career enticing?
Being an actress comes with a lot of pressure, especially if your parents are celebrities as well. There are moments when you will be compared to others or perhaps wonder if you are actually heading in the right direction.
It wasn’t the case for Kate Beckinsale, who is constantly forthright about her love for acting and how much she enjoys what she does. Nevertheless, despite her passion for the craft, Kate Beckinsale, like all other actors, finds it uncomfortable to watch herself act; instead, she prefers to see the finished product of a movie in which she stars.
She said: “When you first watch a movie that you’re in, I think most actors find it terribly disappointing and even devastating. As an actor, you’re aware of every tiny thing that you’ve done, and obviously, you’re not in control of cutting the film and of what ends up on the screen. It’s such a collaborative process, really.”
“With action films, it’s interesting because quite often there are visual effects that you haven’t seen or certain things make more sense in a way that they haven’t until they’ve gone through the post-production process. But I’m always dying to see the finished product.”
“I always have a quiet moment afterward feeling horrified. The second time I sort of evaluate it, and then if you can wait a decade, you can watch it like an audience member. I really think it takes that long,” she remarked.
Then she went on to say how much she loves putting together a whole picture of a person from various indications and really starting to grasp what makes that person tick. She believes that attempting to decipher how it came to a specific point is mysterious or possibly equivalent to doing an autopsy. The actress is really delighted by this as well as intrigued and interested by it.
“For an actor, there are so many things you have to do to connect with the part. Some of it is imaging yourself in a situation you might not have been in before, some of it is drawing on things that have happened to you. I just find all of that process extremely engaging and different every time.”
This demonstrates Kate’s belief that curiosity plays a part in the development of character and life, particularly if you’re interested in people or human psychology, what makes people distinctive, and how similar we all are.