|Judge Anderson by chriss2d|
Actress Olivia Thirlby attends the The Hollywood Reporter TIFF Video Lounge Presented By Canon on Day 1 during the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival at Brassaii on September 7, 2012 in Toronto, Canada. (Todd Oren/Getty Images For The Hollywood Reporter/AFP)Olivia Thirlby is in love. It's a complicated love, though, because the other person isn't real. And the other person is, in a manner of speaking, Thirlby herself.Thirlby co-stars alongside Karl Urban (Dr. McCoy in the Star Trek reboot) in Dredd, a gritty adaptation of the long-running UK comic book series about all-powerful police officers - called Judges - in a dystopian future America.She plays Judge Cassandra Anderson, a rookie assigned to Judge Dredd (Urban) for evaluation. And while the slums of Dredd's Mega-City One are a long way from the high school hallways of 2007's Juno, in which Thirlby played the best friend of Ellen Page's titular pregnant teen, Judge Anderson might be her best role yet."I am obsessed with this character. I love her," the 25-year-old New York City native said in an interview at the Trump Hotel in Toronto, the day after Dredd kicked off the Midnight Madness program of the Toronto International Film Festival."I think I've only realized that in hindsight, seeing the film and having to talk about it," Thirlby said. "I realize how much I love her and how much I love playing her and how much she excites me."In the most perilous training day since Ethan Hawke was paired with Denzel Washington, Thirlby's Anderson accompanies Dredd into a 200-storey slum to investigate a triple homicide, only to be hunted by the forces of the tower's resident drug queen, Ma-Ma (Game of Thrones' Lena Headey).Beautiful, poised and surprisingly petite in person, Thirlby is the literal face of the good guys in Dredd. Since Urban's Judge Dredd never removes his helmet (Sylvester Stallone doffing his helm in 1995's cheeseball Judge Dredd is one many things fans hated about that movie), she's the film's emotional touchstone by virtue of the fact her face is never covered."In the world of Judges, I don't think that sensitivity is something that's prized or helpful," Thirlby said. "What I love about her is it's that which could be construed as her weakness which ends up being her strength, and ends up making her an exceptional Judge."Written and produced by Alex Garland (28 Days Later), Dredd is a faithful, and thus violent, adaptation of the source material. For Thirlby, that meant long days of training on sweltering sets in South Africa, learning how to shoot guns and do roundhouse kicks. In head-to-toe leather, no less, with lifts in her boots to offset her five-foot-three frame."My hands are incredibly small, so I can't change a magazine or cock my gun with one hand. So I had to devise ways to do it and make it look real," she said.But it's Anderson's mind-reading abilities that are by far her greatest power."She's so acquainted with all the joys and sorrows of every single person she comes in contact with. She knows their circumstances, instantly. She knows the human condition," Thirlby said."So her world is a world of grey. There is no good and bad."