The rehearsals gave me the chance to work with different options and find 20 different Victorias, even opposite ones. We didn’t want to be superficial with the common story about ‘a good girl becoming bad.’ That’s not what Victoria is about. So we were working on very different faces of her and then choosing the ones that were more interesting. I worked a lot on her background; watching several documentaries about little geniuses who have played the piano since they were three years old, and the kind of lives they have later. That helped me to understand why she runs away from home and decides to be in Berlin. And I could find her deep motivations to carry on with this crazy night, even when things are getting worse than ever.
The film doesn’t explain the characters’ backgrounds, just a bit in the piano scene, but we worked a lot on them. Also the guys—Freddie was calling Sebastian in the middle of the night asking him really upset, “Why should Sonne rob a bank? It makes no sense!!” And he was right because these street boys are not stupid. They won’t rob a bank if they can rob a shop; it is less dangerous. So that question made everyone think about their reasons to rob the bank, and we realized they could do it just for friendship and loyalty to their family and friends. It was not about money. And that makes sense.
I loved Sebastian’s rules about the acting in this project: “You cannot repeat the same action, ever. You have to go through the scene, but always in different ways. Even if it is no good. Never, never repeat a sentence, an action. Keep it real.” That made me discover Victoria so deeply, and at the end of the process I mixed the 20 Victorias I had found. There were just two fixed things in the entire movie: the Spiderman kiss in the club stairs and Victoria’s reaction in the hotel. But the other stuff is fresh right-here-right-now. I have the feeling that no one is gonna give me the opportunity to shoot this way again.
You know what? I would love to see a jump-cut version also. Because you can find magic moments in all of the three one-takes we did. And I would like to see a jump-cut version just full of magic moments. Or see the same scene three times in three different ways. That could be a beautiful film exercise. What do you think about that? Could a jump-cut version be an interesting format for Victoria? Which was your favorite one-take? Freddy and I loved the second one. Don’t ask why because we don’t know, but we were saying it all the time.
“I loved Sebastian’s rules about the
acting in this project:
‘You cannot repeat the same action, ever.
You have to go through the scene,
but always in different ways.’”
— Laia Costa
SBG: I was very happy about the first one-take, just the fact that we managed to pull it off made it successful for me, and I thought it could only become better. For me the first take was technically the best. The last was the worst technically, but I am quite happy about the third take. Just the chaos of the getaway after the bank robbery! You were driving and both the boys and Sebastian were shouting “Faster! Slower! Right! Left!” I actually felt scared and my adrenaline was pumping! We almost ruined the take by driving straight into craft services and the whole SWAT team that was waiting for their scene. I like that it has a lot of these crazy uncontrollable moments. Were you scared at any time during the shooting?
I am not sure I would like to see a jump-cut version, just because I don’t want to break the illusion of what we did. I guess we never saw the success of Victoria coming, but it sure has opened a lot of doors for me. I am certain that it has opened many doors for you as well. I remember I was going off to Iceland to shoot Rams after we wrapped Victoria, and you told me that I was probably going to be bored by shooting something conventional. Do you find that the challenge of Victoria was so extreme that all other projects fade in comparison?
LC: I was never scared to make a mistake because I was Victoria, and she could be scared, worried, overwhelmed or whatever she needed to be. I was so in-character I could not even think as myself in any moment. That’s the difference: you had to be in control and I didn’t. Or at least a different kind.
I guess right now we imagine a conventional filming process could feel boring for us. But I know how we are, and we are gonna try to put our whole soul in every new adventure. That’s our shoot of adrenaline. And if it isn’t, we can always call each other and go for One More Take.
Sturla, I would love to work with you again, but like we did in Victoria, dancing together with a camera in between.
SBG: We will dance again someday.