Men star Rory Kinnear on the bizarre scene in Alex Garland’s new horror movie where he gives birth, describing it as terrifying
Rory Kinnear, who plays multiple characters in Alex Garland’s new horror film Men, describes the process of giving birth multiple times. Garland, who made a name for himself writing the scripts for 28 days later and Sunshine, was first announced Men in collaboration with A24 in 2021, and shot the film at the end of May. This would see a reunion between the director and the hit indie studio, as Garland had previously worked with A24 on the acclaimed 2014 film. Ex-Machina.
Alongside Kinnear, Jessie Buckley plays the character of Harper, a young woman who goes on vacation after losing her husband. Kinnear plays several characters in Men, ranging from a vicar to the tenant who rents Harper’s vacation home. The film required both heavy use of Kinnear’s acting chops and some bravery in front of the camera as it had to do full-frontal nudity, although he said movie magic was definitely employed.
Nudity wasn’t the only thing demanded of Kinnear, however, as he also had the interesting task of giving birth to himself multiple times, which he describes in an interview with Subway. Kinnear states that it must be a “terrifying experiencefor anyone who gets on the subway with him after seeing the movie, because it’s a traumatic scene. He also describes it as a sticky experience, stating that the heating sheet given to actors after nude scenes stuck to him as a result of the prosthetics and props used in the sequence, saying thatvarious lumps” walked away with it. It was also quite realistic for him and, despite the use of “models to represent various openings that I would come out of“he always felt like he was”do it for real.” Find the full quotes below:
“The first time I saw Men, I got on the subway realizing maybe I could get along with someone who had just seen this and what a terrifying experience it could be for them.”
“Yeah, especially when they try to warm you up with one of those foil blankets afterwards and you realize it’s going to stick to you and various lumps come out of it.[…]Obviously there were models to represent different openings that I was coming out of, but it sure felt like I was doing it for real.”
Kinnear is no stranger to demanding sequences, especially those involving “openings.” In black mirror season 1 episode 1 ‘The National Anthem’, Kinnear played the British Prime Minister who is forced to have sex with a pig on a livestream. He was widely acclaimed for the role, which he received once again for his performance in Men.
According to critics, Kinnear and Buckley’s performances are the biggest aspect of Men, and while they all praise the actors’ dedication to the film, many are disappointed with its story. Its Rotten Tomatoes score of 73% is indicative of this split, though most critics are quick to say that despite its flaws, the film is a very effective horror flick. For Kinner, Men is just another example of his prowess, and his commitment to moments like the childbirth scene is part of what makes him one of Britain’s most acclaimed working actors.
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