Imogen Poots approached frequent collaborator Jesse Eisenberg with the script to Vivarium and asked if he wanted to play her co-star.
The British actress starred alongside The Social Network actor in The Art of Self-Defense and Solitary Man and they team up once again for the thriller Vivarium, in which they play a couple trapped inside a suburban housing development and forced to raise a child.
After the Green Room star was offered the lead role of Gemma, she immediately thought of Eisenberg for Tom, and was thrilled when he agreed to play a supporting character.
“We had done The Art of Self-Defense together the year prior, and I loved working with Jesse. Vivarium came my way not long after that, and I thought Jesse would be awesome to play Tom. Luckily, he was available and up for it, which I’ll say is super cool,” Poots recalled to The Hollywood Reporter. “On the page, it was certainly a female-centric film in the sense that Gemma had been written as ‘the lead’ or what have you. It’s quite rare for a male actor to say, ‘Yeah, I’ll play the other part…’ So, it was really, really cool and supportive that he was up for it. That’s how it came about, and we got to work not long after that. He’s amazing that way; he’s so loyal and cool.”
The film is largely set in a development of identikit houses that they can’t find their way out of, and because the setting was so surreal and abstract, Poots was determined to make her performance as truthful as possible.
“So, all that I could focus on was the truth of Gemma in those circumstances — rather than ‘Wow, this scene is a metaphor for motherhood, or this scene is a deconstruction of paradise…’ It wasn’t helpful to be cerebral, but after the fact, you can enjoy those parts of it,” the 30-year-old shared.
Vivarium is now available on most digital video-on-demand platforms.
© Cover Media