During a press conference for the release of 'The Colony' in the UK, Florian Gallenberger (director) and Richenda Carey (Gisela in the movie) talked about Emma:
Was it a difficult film to shoot?
FG: Somehow every film is a difficult film to shoot, but it was very difficult in this case for many reasons. We initially wanted to make this as a German film but it turned out that it would be impossible to raise enough money in Germany to make a film that size. The choice then was to either forget about the project or try to shoot it in English with, potentially, a bigger market. When Emma (Watson) took on the part, that changed the project into a different film entirely, which was absolutely great.
The making of the film was difficult in that, for financing reasons, we shot half of the colony in Luxembourg and half of the colony in Munich. It puts a lot of pressure on you and you feel insecure about whether that will work together and whether it will fit together. As always, it was too little time, too little money and too little of everything but I think that’s just the reality of filmmaking. Apart from that, it was also a great experience and we were a great crew who had the desire to make the film work.
How did the role [of Gisela] play on your conscience?
RC: It obviously wasn’t very comfortable, but I think you simply have to put yourself in a place where you were that person, brought up in a loveless way. Obviously, it’s very uncomfortable to play someone that cruel and unpleasant but that’s the game and that’s what we do. Michael found it incredibly hard playing Paul, that was a really horrible journey for him.
FG: I remember you suffered when you had to beat Emma with that rolled up piece of hosepipe and you were just resisting. It was difficult for Richenda, she didn’t feel too great about it.
RC: Emma being a third of my age and a third of my size! This was the first day of shooting and I was given a rolled up piece of hosepipe and was told I had to whip Emma, one of the world’s most popular actresses! And I questioned it and Florian was like, “yes, you do”.
FG: Now that makes me look very bad [laughs].
How do you feel her fans will react to seeing Emma in a very different role?
FG: I have no idea. I think that the role is something entirely different: here she plays an adult woman, which is something she hasn’t done before. It was important for her to take the part so she could show that it’s not only teenage girls that she can portray. Another thing she cares about is that it is the girl who saves the boy and not the other way round, as it normally would be. This was something she really cared about and goes hand in hand with her work for female empowerment.