- Front Porch
ISSY-LES-MOULINEAUX, France — Wiry Zoe Saldana got a kick out of wearing a huge fake belly as she played a young, pregnant wife on the Paris set of the remake of the classic horror tale “Rosemary’s Baby.”
“Every time I wear the really big ones, it breaks everybody’s heart whenever we’re doing all those stressful scenes, so I am milking that, I am really milking that,” the actress quipped as she sat in a hospital room used as a filming location.
Saldana is Rosemary Woodhouse in the two-episode remake of Ira Levin’s 1967 book, which director Roman Polanski also turned into an unforgettable 1968 film. The four-hour series directed by Agnieszka Holland also stars Patrick J. Adams, Jason Isaacs and Carole Bouquet and will air on NBC on May 11 — Mother’s Day in the U.S. — and May 15.
Saldana and Adams play an American couple who settle in Paris near posh French neighbors, Margaux and Roman Castevet (Bouquet and Isaacs). Then newly pregnant Rosemary begins to worry that the Castevets have malevolent plans for her baby.
Holland, a Polish director known for her work on HBO’s “The Wire” and “Treme,” said the plot of “Rosemary’s Baby” follows the novel, except it’s set in Paris and shows more “blood.” Fans of the original may wonder how that is possible.
“It has more adventures. It has more blood,” said Holland, a three-time Oscar nominee. “ It is, you know, a contemporary American TV series, so you need some meat inside.”
Moving the story to the French capital isolates the main characters more than the book and increases the tensions, according to Adams, a Canadian actor known for his role as Mike Ross, an up-and-coming New York lawyer in the TV series “Suits.”
“The sense of being alone in a place can be so terrifying. I think it really ends up putting Guy and Rosemary in a difficult position because they don’t know anybody,” Adams said.
Holland said the series explores the tensions between the happiness of giving birth and the sometimes-shocking psychological and physical changes that pregnancy brings about in women.
“It’s interesting to see how this acceptance (of the baby), even if it’s something very painful, is coming,” she said.
Saldana, who starred in “Avatar” and the two “Star Trek” films, said playing a pregnant woman took both a physical and emotional toll.
“The moment I put the belly on, my body just feels really tired,” she said. “I just allow myself to be sort of like an open vessel, where emotions just come in and then they go out.”
Bouquet, a French film star, praised Holland’s filming style and her relentlessness on the set.
“She does whatever she wants with the light, I must say,” Bouquet said. “I mean it’s exquisite the way she shoots, you know, and she gets exactly what she wants. She won’t give up.”
Polanski’s “Rosemary’s Baby” starred Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes and won Ruth Gordon an Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as Minnie Castevet.
Saldana said she was grateful for getting to play the same part as Farrow but added that she and Holland tried to give Rosemary their own touch.
“It is a gift to be able to play a role that another actress, a very iconic actress, played and found a very special way to make it authentic,” she said.
Meriden motorcyclist killed, one woman injured in crash on Berlin …
BERLIN — A Meriden man is dead after crashing his motorcycle into the side of a car making a U-turn on the Berlin Turnpike early … more ...
Two fatal crashes on I-91 in Wallingford early Saturday morning …
WALLINGFORD — Two people have died in two separate crashes along the same stretch of Interstate 91 in Wallingford this morning. State police have identified … more ...
Woman remains hospitalized in fatal turnpike crash, Berlin PD investigating …
BERLIN — A Cromwell woman remains hospitalized following a crash on the Berlin Turnpike over the weekend that resulted in the death of a Meriden … more ...
Two killed in Southington I-84 crash …
SOUTHINGTON — Two were killed in a rollover crash on Interstate 84 eastbound Tuesday afternoon, according to state police. The accident occurred near exit 31 … more ...
Meriden resident opening downtown studio and paint bar …
MERIDEN — After receiving her degree in studio art last year, city resident Karen Jaime hosted paint parties at homes, restaurants and other venues, all … more ...