UK Markets closed

Stacy Martin: Wearing ‘Archive’ prosthetics was 'horrific' (exclusive)

Freda Cooper
·Contributor
·3-min read

Watch: Stacy Martin talks to Yahoo about Archive

Nymphomaniac star Stacy Martin has revealed that wearing extensive prosthetics and make-up for her new sci-fi, Archive, was ‘horrific’ and left her feeling ‘grumpy’.

She plays a sophisticated form of artificial intelligence created by lonely scientist to look like a human. Totally white for a number of scenes, she wore prosthetics and make-up designed to both create the look and stand up to the rigours of filming. “I’m not going to lie, some of it was pretty horrific,” she told Yahoo Movies UK.

“We did several trials with the white look to find the right texture and colour. It needed to stay on for the whole day, I needed to be able to wear a wig and headphones and also to speak without the make-up crinkling.

Stacy Martin in a still from Archive. (Universal Pictures)
Stacy Martin in a still from Archive. (Universal Pictures)

“In my first scenes, I couldn’t hear very well, I couldn’t sit down, I couldn’t move. It was very hard and very uncomfortable and made me grumpy.”

Read more: The best ever prosthetic movie makeups according to special FX artists

But she also believes the experience helped her understand her character, J3, and knows the actors inside two other robot costumes had an even harder time. “It was all quite painful but I should add that there were two people inside the J1 and J2 robot costumes, which were extremely heavy.

Stacy Martin poses for a portrait to promote the film "The Evening Hour" at the Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP)
Stacy Martin poses for a portrait to promote the film "The Evening Hour" at the Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP)

“That was a very difficult process, compared to me. I could have some physical proximity to people, they had none. I could vocalise, they couldn’t.”

Stacy Martin in a still from Archive. (Universal Pictures)
Stacy Martin in a still from Archive. (Universal Pictures)

Set in the near future, Archive follows solitary scientist George (Theo James) in a remote research facility, covertly working on a personal, artificial intelligence project.

He’s already created robots J1 and J2, but the third will be the culmination of his efforts and one that will fill a gaping void in his life. At all costs, it has to be kept secret from the organisation he works for.

Stacy Martin and Theo James in a still from Archive. (Universal Pictures)
Stacy Martin and Theo James in a still from Archive. (Universal Pictures)

Martin, whose breakout role came in Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac and was more recently seen alongside Natalie Portman in Vox Lux, also provided the voice of one of the other robots, J2.

In post-production, she and debut director Gavin Rothery (Moon) “did a lot of experiments to find a voice that mixed AI with something human.

“I ended up reading backwards, and reading letters and words separately. And Gavin made a collage out of that.”

Alongside Martin and James, the film also stars Toby Jones, Peter Ferdinando and Rhona Mitra.

Archive releases on digital download on 18 January. Watch the Archive trailer below.