After Tron: Legacy and Cowboys and Aliens, actress Olivia Wilde has got the taste for science fiction. She told the press conference for Cowboys and Aliens that she even has her eye on the captain’s chair.
I grew up watching Star Trek with my family often. And my sister was a Trekkie as well. There have been great female characters in Trek over the years and there still are. I think playing Captain Janeaway – [Kate Mulgrew] did it well, she’s got that voice I could never compete with. But I would love to play more powerful women in science fiction. I think what Sigourney [Weaver] did for women in science fiction is just incredible and I think she’s set the standard. I love the genre and I would love to do more of it.
There was much to appeal to Olivia in the Western element of Cowboys and Aliens, and we’re not talking long dresses and corsets. Director Jon Favreau was persuaded by the stunt coordinator to let Olivia do her character’s biggest stunt – the moment when she is lassoed off a horse.
That stunt was supposed to be done by my great stunt double and we started off with me on the mechanical horse, which was the horse they did use in Sea Biscuit but it looked way too slow for our movie. And so I ended up getting on the real horse. I felt safe because Daniel was riding next to me (laughter) and I galloped through two eighty foot cranes and then at one point a bungee chord was attached to a safety harness around me and yanked me back forty feet into the air. The danger was that I would get stuck in the stirrups so the trick was not to get my feet stuck and not to get ripped in half.
It was amazing to be floating above the set from this unusual perspective. There was our crew looking like little ants and these incredible mountains and deserts and canyons around us and it just made me realise how ambitious it was to lug these giant machines and cameras out in to the middle of nowhere to tell a story. It was just really beautiful.
Then there were the guns. Although not a fan of weapons, Olivia Wilde did rather like the antique firearms that they were given and there was something about her instructor…
Daniel [Craig] was actually the one who taught me how to fire a gun, which is really cool because I’ll always be able to tell people ‘James Bond taught me how to shoot a gun’.