For Franciosi, the task of portraying Clare felt like a major responsibility because, while her specific character is fictional, violence committed against women is no such thing. So, in concert with Kent, she spent the nine months between landing the part and the start of production doing as much research as she could. “I did my own research, but then also pointed in the right direction by Jen, I would look at PTSD, violence against women, sexual violence, obviously the historical context,” the actress explains. “I met with real victims, I met with social workers who work particularly with women who have been in an abusive relationship—and that, for me, instantly carried so much weight.”
Capturing early 19th century Tasmania for the period genre pic would be a challenge, which led Kent to shoot the film on the remote island state itself. “Of course, we were in civilization as well, but we had to drive out to these remote areas, and it was very grueling, really. There were easier choices that could have been made, but we wouldn’t have ended up with what we have on the screen, which is a world that hasn’t been filmed before,” the director explains. “It’s the first time it’s been in cinema, so we’re really proud of that.”
For more from our conversation with the talents behind The Nightingale, take a look above.
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