If you could clone your loved one, would you? April Mullen’s science fiction thriller Simulant endeavors to answer this question. Starring Jordana Brewster, Simu Liu, Sam Worthington and Robbie Amell, the film tells the story of love and loss in a technologically advanced world. Here’s the synopsis, per Mongrel Media: “A humanoid AI’s attempt to win a widow’s heart puts her in the path of a government agent trying to stop the rise of machine consciousness.”
Recently I had the privilege of chatting with Maša Lizdek (pronounced “Masha”) who plays in Android Simulant called Lisa (or LISA), what audiences can expect, how she prepared for her role and more.
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This interview is condensed for length and clarity.
Melody McCune: At GGA, we love a good origin story. How did you get into acting?
Masa Lizdek: My mom was a single mom so I wanted to help find a job. I started with modeling in the beginning and then switched to advertising. I loved auditioning for school plays and high school musicals. I like the competitive side and the feeling of getting nervous. Then I made my way into television and film.
MM: Let’s talk about it Simulant. Can you tell me what it is about and how you came to the project?
ML: I received an audition from my agent. I saw it was an April Mullen film. I’m a big fan of her work. And I was keen to book this project. I had never done science fiction – I always wanted to.
It’s sci-fi, but it’s also a thriller and a love story. There are some comedic elements in my character. It’s about this woman; Without revealing too much, there is an accident involving her husband and she decides to clone him into an AI. But she gets in trouble with people overseeing this process and has to pull the plug on him. It’s a lot harder than it seems.
MM: How does your character, Lisa, fit into the narrative?
ML: I play an android. Lisa stands for Land-Based Interior Service Android. I’m at the service of Faye, played by Jordana Brewster, and Robbie Amell’s character, Evan. I make them tea and pancakes in the morning and sometimes I drive them.
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MM: Did you have to change physically for this role? Like makeup or prosthetics?
ML: I spent at least four hours every day in the makeup chair. It was a lifelike prosthesis. They made a mold from my bust to my head and then poured a very thin layer of silicone into the mold. When you put it on my torso and face, you take it off and you melt and remove all that. Then they have to reoccupy another layer. They constantly submitted new applications for each working day.
MM: As an actor, how did you prepare for this role?
ML: I tried to eat well. It was generally difficult to eat with the prosthesis. I only drank smoothies so I stayed nice and slim. But in terms of her attributes, like most actors, I have a lot of background in the service industry, so I live to serve.
MM: Describe Simulant with three words.
ML: Futuristic. daring. Tough.
MM: What can viewers expect when they see this film?
ML: These sci-fi movies hit almost too close to home. We’re not far from AI creations and humans building lifelike robots. I think audiences will have that conversation after seeing the film. If you had the chance to clone a lost loved one, would you?
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MM: What are your professional prospects?
ML: I’m in the process of doing an ADR session for my next film. I think it’s due out later this year, hopefully for the Toronto International Film Festival. It is a film based on the Holocaust, a true story adapted from a book by Maxwell Smart called Maxwell Smart The boy in the forest. The boy in the forest is the film title and follows the adventure and survival story of young Maxwell during the Holocaust.
MM: Have you seen anything interesting lately?
ML: I watched older movies that had gotten a lot of Oscar buzz that I didn’t have time for before. I observe beam with Jamie Foxx for the first time, and it was a tearful day. I was very emotional about it. I watched too The helpthat I loved so much. I love seeing stories powered by an all-female cast.
MM: Name your five favorite films.
ML: X-Men. parasite. love actually. Shrek. The departed.
MM: Thank you for talking to me, Maša!
ML: Thanks Melody!
You can follow Maša on Instagram (@mashliz). Simulant is now available via DirecTV’s VOD, with a wider release planned for June 2nd.
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