If Men actor Rory Kinnear looks familiar, it’s because you’ve probably seen him playing a wide range of characters over his long career on stage and screen — sometimes in the same film or series. Director Alex Garland’s subversive horror film Men features Kinnear in nearly a dozen different roles, and it’s far from the first time the award-winning British actor has showcased his talent for portraying multiple characters in the same project, with his dual role in Taika Waititi’s Our Flag Means Death offering another recent example.

Men does, however, provide quite a few other firsts for the veteran actor. Kinnear is the focus of a terrifying, visceral final scene in Men that has already sparked plenty of discussion due to its graphic nature and — more importantly — the powerful symbolism behind it.

Kinnear sat down with Digital Trends to discuss his experience on Men, that wild final sequence, and why he keeps finding himself playing multiple characters in a single story.

The following interview contains discussion of key plot points from Men .

Digital Trends: You play so many characters in this film, sometimes even in the same scene. What was it like on your side to keep track of all of them and their mannerisms and such throughout filming?

Rory Kinnear reciting William Wordsworth

Rory Kinnear: It was a pretty enjoyable juggling act. It did feel like I was sort of working towards capacity in terms of keeping an eye on everything, where you were in the story, where those characters were in their stories, and so on. But basically, I was playing just the one character a day, except for the the pub scene, which was the only time where I was sort of dashing in and out. When I woke up in the morning, I knew who I was going to be, and also, as soon as I got hair and makeup sorted that day, it gave me my jumping-off point into the rest of the day.

Alex Garland keeps the themes and message of his films intentionally vague, but why do you feel it was necessary to have you play all of these characters? What went through your mind about the message or themes that conveys?

Obviously, you can’t get caught up with the themes when you’re acting in it, so my takeaway from the film has been informed by seeing it. I’ve now seen it twice. By the second time, you’re beginning to see it as an audience, rather than the first time, when you’re mostly interested in how they put the puzzle together. In terms of the acting experience, while creating these characters and making sure you had justification for their behaviors, you could see what Alex was doing in terms of crafting the micro- to the macro-aggressions that these characters were displaying towards Harper (Jessie Buckley). But at the same time, for most of them, Harper was a small feature of their lives rather than hers.

But in terms of how I, as an audience member, have taken it thematically, Alex likes to keep these things opaque and I feel like I should probably fall in line with that as well. Being part of the creative process, you have an assumed degree of authority, which I don’t have here. My takeaway from the film, though, is the impact of trauma. That’s something that chimes with me. There’s this inescapable, ineluctable nature of trauma that people experience, and it repackages itself through many different and varied experiences one has — in this case, all played by the same person.

There’s this sense of repetition, this sense of deadening multiplicity, and it can echo through through your life. It’s how you try to challenge that and stop it repeating itself.

You’ve mentioned before that the big, final scene of the film was settled after you had already signed on. What was your reaction on learning what it would entail?

When it’s as big a swing as that, it’s always, “How are we going to do that?” And when it’s as bold as something like that, you’re really aware that everyone has to be so committed and inventive. The technical know-how that’s on show throughout that sequence is something that you have to take a sort of a leap of faith in when you’re performing, [hoping] that they’re not going to leave you high and dry after the event. And I’m certainly not high or dry at any point in that scene.

Definitiv nicht.

Recht? But what’s lovely about filmmaking is this collaboration, and for so much of that sequence, the collaboration was after the event. Whereas I trusted Alex, I trusted Jessie, and I trusted the crew, and knew that we could do something special ourselves with it, I also knew there were quite a lot of people I was not going to necessarily meet who were going to be in charge of making it fully realized.

Well, I do want to ask you about that, because it clearly makes a lot of use of effects — practical and digital — but there’s still so much of you in it. How do you approach that aspect of filming scenes and the need to imagine what they’ll look like in the end?

Nun, die endgültige Sequenz ist im Grunde eine Sequenz zwischen mir und Jessie. Es gibt das Geburtsbit, aber sobald jeder geboren wird, haben sie diese Art von Haltung oder Beziehung zu Jessie [für eine kurze Zeit]. Es gibt eine noch längere Version dieser Sequenz, die zusammengeschnitten werden könnte, da es viele verschiedene Alternativen gab, die wir in der ganzen Welt gedreht haben.

Um sich vorzustellen, wie die Dinge aussehen würden, hatten wir für die Pub -Szene Leute, die ein bisschen wie diese Charaktere aussahen. Der Geoffrey-Ersatz war in den 60ern, während der Stellvertreter des Polizisten in den späten 20ern, frühen 30ern war und sie die Linien selbst gelernt hatten. Also haben wir die Szene so gemacht, wie Sie es zu jeder anderen Zeit tun würden. Für mich musste ich manchmal fokussiert bleiben, damit ich nicht in ihre Linien schlüpfte, weil ich es an diesem Morgen gemacht hatte, aber im Großen und Ganzen konnte ich jedes Mal die Szene als den Charakter spielen, den ich spielte.

Sie haben in einer aktuellen Show mehrere Charaktere gespielt, die viel Buzz generiert hat: our Flag bedeutet Death. Es gab auch ein paar andere Projekte, bei denen Sie das auch gemacht haben. Appellieren Sie diese Art von Mehrarakterkunden -Leistungen an Sie?

Es ist lustig, weil ich direkt nach LA [für our Flag bedeutet Death] auf der Rückseite dieses gefilmten gegangen bin, und ich stellte fest, dass ich aus einem Make-up-Raum mit einem 3D-gedruckten Bild meines Kopfes gegangen war und mich für sechs anstarrte Wochen, sofort in einen anderen Make -up -Raum mit einer 3D -Büste meines Kopfes, die mich anstarrt. Heutzutage können Sie die Details einfach per E -Mail senden und sie für Sie ausdrucken. Also habe ich jetzt viermal in einer einzigen Szene mehrere Versionen von mir gespielt. Ich habe es in penny dreadful gemacht. Ich habe es in _inside Nr. 9, einer britischen Show und offensichtlich auch diese beiden gemacht. Und es ist eine seltsame Nische zu haben.

Vielleicht liegt es nur daran, dass sie sehr billig bin, dass sie denken, dass sie mehr bekommen können, oder vielleicht bin ich so teuer, dass sie mehr aus mir herausholen müssen. Ich weiß nicht. Wir reden nicht über diese Dinge. Aber ja, in Bezug auf die Tonänderungen können Sie nichts so deutlich anders bekommen wie diese beiden.

_Alex garlands männermit jessie buckley und rory kinnear ist jetzt in den Kinos.