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Tatum Matthews Talks Becoming an AI Character in The Artifice Girl

Tatum Matthews, who stars in The Artifice Girl as Cherry, has opened up about what it was like making the movie and playing an AI character. The film’s premise follows a Cherry, who has been designed to trap pedophiles. Speaking with Fangoria, Matthews revealed that she’d never played a role like that before, so the new challenges that would come with it were part of what drew her to the project.

“I just tried to approach her as a real girl because even though she’s not, she’s able to bring that spontaneity that AIs will never be able to, so I wanted to make sure that came across. But I also had to figure out where to add those little touches where you can kind of tell that something is off because they are really, really good at seeming natural, and Cherry was designed to fool people, these online predators. I wanted to be sure that was believable, but at the same time, you get a little bit of a sense that she’s not real.”

To help prepare herself for the role, Matthews worked with Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, to develop the robotic-sounding voice. Alexa also helped Matthews with correctly saying the big technical words in her lines, which the director of the movie also assisted her with. Of course, learning your lines is one thing. The physicality you need for a role is another.

“I guess I just kind of put myself in her shoes and focused on having her be almost straight-faced, but also finding those moments where I could, like, tilt my head a little bit, that felt natural. The blinking was the main thing; when I didn’t have lines, I was definitely focusing on that.”

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Actors And Directors

Paper Street Pictures

The writer and director of The Artifice Girl was Franklin Ritch, who acted in the film as well. He and Matthews had collaborated in the past on a couple of short films before this, his first feature. Her trust in Ritch and the rest of the crew made it easier than it would have been to take on a film with heavier subject matter.

“[Ritch] was great! Personally, I love directors who give me feedback after takes because I’m very open to it. He’s also open to cast feedback and from the crew, but he was really good about being like, ‘OK, this really worked,’ or ‘Maybe we’ve gotta work on that a little bit.’ The adjustments he gave me were so good, and it wouldn’t have been the same film if it wasn’t for him.”

Another member of the film’s cast was Lance Henriksen, who recently celebrated his 83 birthday. Among other roles, Henriksen is known for playing a famous robot, Bishop, in Aliens, written and directed by James Cameron. Before that, Henriksen was also considered for the role of the Terminator in the 1984 film before being cast in the supporting role of Detective Vukovich.

“I haven’t seen many of [Henriksen’s] films, but I have seen clips from his iconic movies, and he is such a legend and definitely deserves that title. He was incredible to work with, just a very down-to-earth and grounded person. He’s really wise and gave me a lot of helpful information about the industry.”

When asked if there were any actors or directors she’d like to work with next, Matthews mentioned two of her role models in acting, Amanda Seyfried and Meryl Streep. As you might have to guess based on that statement, Matthews loves Mamma Mia! and thinks the after mention actors are really entertaining.

“Directors is a good one; I’d have to think about that a little, but I would love to be in any kind of genre I haven’t done or anything that will allow me to be more diverse in what I do. I want to be different in every film I make, so I’m just excited and hoping someone will see this and be inspired.”

The Artifice Girl is currently available to watch in theaters and on streaming.

This story originally appeared on Movieweb

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