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Olivia Thirlby Talks ‘Dredd’

The co-star of the upcoming Judge Dredd movie on sequels, psychic powers and last year's controversy.

I had a chance to sit in a roundtable interview with Olivia Thirlby for her new drama Being Flynn, which she actually shot immediately after Dredd, the new Judge Dredd movie. When conversation turned to Dredd, Thirlby confirmed in detail just how much ass she’ll kick alongside Karl Urban.

“I do, I kick major butt in Dredd,” Thirlby said. “I get to kill people. I break a guy’s neck by roundhouse kicking him in the face. It was me, I did it. I learned how to roundhouse kick. I also do it with my hands cuffed behind my back so it’s pretty cool I have to say. Yeah, leather body suit, blonde hair, the whole thing.”

No helmet though. “No, actually. The helmet, you know what, I’m not going to say anything.”

Thirlby does not reprise Diane Lane’s character from the 1995 Stallone version. Rather she plays a character from the comic books. “Her name is Judge Anderson. She actually got her own little spinoff because she has psychic abilities. That was kind of my prep for the character although she was written by several different people, so depending on what comic you read, her persona is very different. Sometimes she’s very sassy, she’s got a lot of one-liners, she’s very cool. Sometimes she’s a lot more tortured. She’s had some dark things happen to her so sometimes she can be a very tortured person.”

The version of Anderson in Dredd seems to favor the more intense incarnations. “The character that Alex Garland wrote was just amazing. Probably the best action related script that I’ve read because it was really about the characters, really about this girl going through something intense. He wrote and was a very, very big part of it.”

We’re still waiting to see an official trailer, but Thirlby has seen a lot of the film finished. “I’ve done a lot of ADR so I’ve gotten to see a good portion of the film and I’m very happy with it. I’m very excited to see the final cut.”

As to rumors that director Pete Travis was taken off the film, Thirlby says the movie that’s coming together is still the film she signed up for. “Yeah, absolutely. Any filmmaking, any film is a collaborative process. There’s always a lot of people working on things together. The whole filming process was wonderful and I think everything’s going really well.”

That’s a little vague. So is Travis still on the film? “Mm hmm.” Thirlby assures.

She is also diplomatic about the Stallone Judge Dredd movie. She says the rest of the Dredd production made little mention of it. “There were some jokes about gold codpieces but no, in general I think we appreciate the last Dredd but we’re trying to make something very different.”

It’s still early, but Thirlby wants to do a sequel to Dredd. That makes it fair to assume Judge Anderson is still standing at the end. “It would be a dream to be able to play Anderson again because I really am quite fond of her.”

Dredd, shot in 3D, opens in September.