Talking with Q'orianka Kilcher, who plays Pocahontas in Terrence Malick's The New World, you realize two things: First, she's a normal teen – full of energy, smiling easy and often and a little overwhelmed by the buzz of press around her work in the film. At the same time, she's not a normal teen – on-screen, she seems preternaturally mature, and show-biz speak drops pretty casually into her conversations. Talking one-to-one in San Francisco in January, she spoke with Cinematical about working with Terrence Malick, the cultural burdens of playing an American legend … and how it's hard to track down some Malick's classics at your local Blockbuster.
Cinematical: How do you feel watching The New World now?
Q'orinka Kilcher: You know, I feel kind of like it's a dream. ... When I see my posters in a movie theater or something, it's kind of really funny. I look at it and I'm like … "Huh …this is funny, this is weird." I just remember the entire experience when I watch the film, and I play the entire filming and those events back in my head when I'm watching the movie and it's a memory of a wonderful, amazing learning experience.
C: You had the on-set experiences, and many of the scenes of the film felt pretty improvisational in terms of the physical quality of them ... and then you had to record a lot of voice over.
C: Was that a protracted process of putting your role together? Did it feel like it took a longer time than a normal film shoot?
QK: Well, we did the voice-overs at the end, and I had no clue where they were going to put them … (So) I'm not really sure, because I've had smaller roles – I've never had the main role, so I'm not really sure what is long and what seems not long – but to me it seemed short. I mean, yeah, it was challenging, and it was kind of hard sometimes, but it seemed to go by too quickly.
(More with Q'orinka Kilcher after the jump. ...)