Dan Stevens and Malin Akerman are having a really good time right now. Well, minus the mild hangover Akerman might be nursing—but even that is a result of their Saturday night after-party following the Tribeca Film Fest premiere of their new film The Ticket, Israeli director Ido Fluk's English-language debut. This film was a passion project for the both of them, who have taken on this intimate indie drama between bigger projects. The comedy-leaning Akerman—whose acting credits run 54 deep—is currently on Showtime's Billions with Paul Giamatti, while Stevens is having his "It" moment, following up Downton Abbey with the cult favorite The Guest, and the upcoming Beauty & the Beast (in which he stars opposite Emma Watson) and Colossal (that mysterious Anne Hathaway movie that's supposedly "Lost in Translation meets Godzilla").
The Ticket is a much quieter movie than either's usual choices, but it allows Stevens and Akerman to flex their acting muscles in ways we haven't seen before. The film follows Stevens' character James, a blind man who suddenly gains his vision, and lets his newfound confidence in life make him overly ambitious—to a fault—at work. The relationships between him and his coworkers, friends, and family—especially with his wife (Akerman)—start to shift and crumble. It's like a common man's Limitless meets classic cautionary tale. Though Stevens and Akerman slowly drift apart in the film, their real-life chemistry is akin to that of close friends. But how well do they actually know each other? We sat down with Dan Stevens and Malin Akerman to find out more about them and to play a dreaded game of "Would you rather?"
I am ruined from the after-party last night.
Malin Akerman: We're in the same boat.
Dan Stevens: You found the wild corner. I missed it.
Malin: Yeah you got out before the wild corner started.
Dan: Yeah. I went back to bed, back to the sensible dad corner. I'm feeling as wrecked as you guys but that's just from being up since 5:30 in the morning with a three-year-old jumping on my head.
You guys are great to watch; you did such a convincing job shifting the relationship between you two. Your roles are different from what we're used to seeing both of you do, so what brought you to them?
Malin: I love my character. There are so many questions about who she is and what makes her tick. It's exciting as an actor to find characters like that because it's not every day you get to have such a beautiful—sorry, my brain is... I have champagne bubbles going through my mind. It's taking a moment to formulate a sentence.
Dan: I was just listening to them pop. I just moved to New York and met Oren [Moverman, the producer]. We talked about all the films that we loved and he was like, "I think I have a script you might be interested in." I said to Oren, "I moved to New York to make films like this, please let me do this." Then Ido [Fluk, the director] and I would walk around Brooklyn and talk about the ideas behind this film and our respective religious and cultural backgrounds. It just seemed like a very American tale told in a strangely sort of European style. Ido has that kind of eye.
I don't know if you've looked on his Tumblr with his shorts. There's this eight-minute film that's a loop of Bambi running out into the snow saying, "Mom? Mommy?" And I swear, it's the most chilling, haunting, weird thing. I was like, "This guy. I want to work with this guy." So the short answer to your questions is Bambi.
Malin: That tells us a lot about your psyche.
Dan, I don't know if this came to your mind as well, but that scene where you're meeting with your son's principal reminded me so much of the scene in The Guest where you march into the principal's office.
Dan: I knew someone was going to say this.
Did you think of it?
Dan: Yeah, it actually occurred to me last night as I was watching it for the first time. And I sort of thought, "No one is going to guess, no one knows what I'm talking about." I guess maybe that's my thing: marching into principals' offices. That really says a lot more about my psyche than the Bambi film.
Malin: There's a lot of psyche that we can discuss but that will take a whole day.
The debate of "Would you rather be blind or deaf?" comes up in the movie and I think that this is a thing that a lot of people talk about. Which would you choose?
Dan: It's one of those "Do you like cats or dogs?" kind of questions. If I was going to lose any sense, it would be taste.
Malin: Those people get really depressed. Wasn't it the singer from INXS who lost his sense of taste and went into a deep dark depression?
Dan: Did he go into deep dark depression because he lost his sense of taste or because something else? I mean, I don't know the man, but you're the lead singer of INXS, let me just start you off there.
Malin: But food is hugely important to me. I'm such a foodie and I actually think I would rather lose my hearing than my taste.
Dan: Would you though?
Dan: But no music?
Malin: I can feel the bass.
Speaking of which, dancing is kind of a big part of this movie. Do you dance, and what kind of dancing do you do?
Dan: Oh, we dance.
Malin: We love to dance. Any opportunity. We actually got to go to a ball and learn how to dance.
Dan: It was like a community dance. It was actually really fun. All ages, races, and you mix around couples and basically everyone just wants to dance with the people who are good at dancing and everything else falls by the wayside. If you've got the moves, you get a spin on the floor. And I did not a get a spin on that floor.
Malin: I took pity on him. I danced because I had to. I was getting paid to.
Dan: I was working on my pitiful dance, which is hard to master.
Malin: You did a really good pitiful dance.
Aside from each other's dancing skills, what's the most interesting thing that you found out about each other?
Dan: That Malin is both Canadian and Swedish.
Malin: I'm only Swedish.
Malin: That's how well he knows me.
It's like you're only meeting for the first time today.
Malin: I'm South African actually.
Dan: Wait, are you Charlize Theron?
Dan: I knew it.
The Ticket is playing at the Tribeca Film Festival 2016—for more coverage of TFF, click here.