LOS ANGELES — Diane Kruger is such a fan of science fiction that she once attended the massive Comic-Con in San Diego wearing a Darth Vader mask so she wouldn’t be recognized.
Despite her love of the genre, Kruger’s acting career has stayed on more traditional paths with roles in the action film “National Treasure” and the mystery “Unknown.”
“I always wanted to make a sci-fi film because I feel like, for an actor, your imagination can run wild. Those characters are larger than life. You really can do so much and make bold choices,” Kruger said.
She finally gets to star in a full blown sci-fi movie with “The Host.”
In the film, based on the Stephenie Meyer book, aliens take over the bodies of most humans, and Kruger’s character — The Seeker — is determined to track down any last remaining humans. That task is complicated by a transplanted human who keeps both her human and alien personalities.
Kruger was drawn to the role because she’s a “Twilight” fan and wanted to work with director Andrew Niccol. His “Gattaca” is one of her favorite science-fiction movies.
“While I was reading the script, I thought she was this cool villain. Then this whole reveal happens, this evolution for the character. I didn’t see it coming at all,” Kruger said.
That, and what Kruger describes as being “part of the cool kids club” for being in a Meyer movie, was all she needed to get on board.
Then the hard work started.
Being a fan of “Star Trek,” Kruger understands what it means to have to go Spock on a role. So she was in full agreement with Meyer and Niccol that the character would have a tight rein on her emotions.
“That’s because the jury’s still out as to who is evil. I believe you can tell if a person is a nice person or a mean person by the emotions that come out,” Kruger said. “We get a feel for people. But people who show no emotion, and you don’t know what’s going on, that’s actually much more terrifying than someone who’s always nasty.”
The complications of the character were a plus for Kruger. While she desperately wanted to make a movie in the genre, she wasn’t going to do just any sci-fi project. She had to be able to get something out of it as an actress, and she found that with “The Host.”
The movie not only gave her a great character to play, it asks lofty questions, such as: When it comes to humans, is it the thing that makes us great that also makes us very flawed?
Getting to look at questions like that made Kruger happy to boldly go into a film genre that she had never done before.