Welcome to Marwen marks a major first for both Diane Kruger and Janelle Monae; it’s their very first time doing performance-capture. Kruger plays one character and Monae plays two in this big screen adaptation of the true story of Mark Hogancamp. Steve Carell leads the film as Mark, a man who’s nearly beaten to death and then turns to creating a mythical Belgian town and populating it with dolls that represent the real friends and enemies in his life as a coping mechanism. In Mark’s real world, Monae plays Julie, a disabled veteran working as a physiotherapist. But in the town of Marwen, she’s the kick-ass GI Julie. Kruger, on the other hand, plays a doll with no real-world connection for Mark. Deja Thoris essentially haunts Mark’s own Marwen counter-part, Captain Hogie, doing everything in her power to complicate things for him.
With Welcome to Marwen now in theaters, I got the chance to play a little “Would You Rather” with Kruger and Monae. We put the spotlight on performance-capture, weighing whether they’d rather do that again or take a role that requires heavy make-up effects, whether they’d rather run throughout a scene or do an entire scene of wirework, and so much more. You can hear about all of that and more in the video interview at the top of this article.
Here’s the official synopsis for Welcome to Marwen:
Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Flight, Cast Away) directs Steve Carell in the moving true story of one broken man’s fight as he discovers how artistic imagination can restore the human spirit.
The screenplay for Welcome to Marwen was written by Caroline Thompson and Zemeckis, while Oscar®-winning producer Steve Starkey (Forrest Gump, Flight), Jack Rapke (Cast Away, Flight), and Cherylanne Martin (The Pacific, Flight) of Zemeckis’ Universal-based ImageMovers banner produce alongside the director. It is executive produced by Jackie Levine, as well as Jeff Malmberg, who directed the riveting 2010 documentary upon which this film is based.