upside-down

Who says movies aren’t original anymore?

In the trippy romantic indie Upside Down, Adam (Jim Sturgess) and Eden (Kirsten Dunst) fall in love as teens despite the fact that they live in twin worlds, with gravities that pull in opposite directions. After a forced 10-year separation (because its kind of a no-no to interact between the worlds), Adam, who lives in the poorer, bottom world, sets out on a dangerous quest to reconnect with his love, Eden, who lives on top, in the more affluent world.

The film touches on many themes seen before but the landscape in which the story is told makes Upside Down a truly unique vision, especially in the hands of new Argentinian writer/director Juan Solanas.

Here are what stars Dunst and Sturgess had to say about it:

On their first reactions to script:

Kirsten Dunst: “I didn’t know what it was going to look like, but I thought it was a beautiful fairytale. And then I met Juan and saw his short, ‘Man Without a Head,’ I was so impressed by this poetic small story and the way his effects were done, so beautiful and romantic. [Upside Down] came from his dream; he’s such a visionary director.”

Jim Sturgess: “Confusion, at first, but in a good way cause you wanted to find out what the story was about and the world Juan was trying to create. Because when it’s just words on a page, you have no sense of what it’s going to look like, these two worlds. I was very intrigued.”

On working with the special effects:

JS: “I shot this before Cloud Atlas so it was my first experience with a fantasy film, with green screen. I had just finished The Way Back so maybe self-consciously, I was sort of craving the fairytale, the fantasy. Totally different acting challenge when it comes to fantasy. You actually have to work instead of just surviving it, like in The Way Back.

On Dunst being the wire-work veteran (from her Spider-Man  days):

KD: “I think I remember telling Jim to unleash himself, after the take. You don’t always have to keep it so tight.”

On Sturgess’ most difficult scene:

JS: “For me, physically, it’s when I flip up into the other world for the first time, in the storeroom. The room was actually on a wheel in the studio, and it spun 180 degrees. I was kind of loose in the room and had to flip and land on my feet. I was pretty proud of that, glad they caught that on film. There were many takes I landed on my head.”

On Dunst learning the Tango for the film:

KD: “I had a lot of classes in New York and in Montreal, too. I worked hard on that tango. As long as you go with the flow and have the right footing, it was fun. I loved the tango.” Kirsten was then asked if she hopes “Dancing with the Stars” will call. She laughed, “I really hope not.” Jim added, “If she doesn’t do it, I will.”

On the theme of class struggles:

JS: “It’s very much Juan’s reality. He comes from Argentina, which is a third-world country and now lives in Paris, which is more an up top landscape. And in England, there is very definitely a class structure. It was real to me. There is a down below world getting screwed by the up top world and the up top world thriving more and more. The poor are getting poorer and rich are getting richer.”

On having to always look up:

KD: “Jim got the brunt of it.”

JS: “I begged for a massage but they wouldn’t give it to me. Not in the budget.”

On indies vs. big-budget movies:

KD: “I feel indie movies are even more seen through Netflix and iTunes. I see myself watching so many more documentaries and movies that I haven’t seen through these new venues. I think this film, if it were in a studio’s hands, would be a huge movie. It’s a big fantasy film, kids can see it, families can see it and even though word could spread on it and it could get big, I think a big studio could have done a lot with it.”

Upside Down opens in theaters Friday, March 15.