Come on, you're playing a sociopath in a convincing way for a number of months. You think that doesn't fuck with your brain? You're like 'Is this because I'm a terrible person? Can I pull this off because I am awful?' Of course, it crosses your mind.
Looks like while Gone Girl was playing with our minds, it also did quite the number on Rosamund Pike too. In an interview with The Off-Camera Show, Pike explained how as an actor it's a combination of pretending and convincing yourself your role is real. So she naturally wrestled with just how she was able to tap into such a maddening character so well. The experience was an unsettling one for not only that reason, but also because of the crazy preparation she did to get into character.
To get ready for her body slashing scene, Rosamund Pike visited a butcher and practiced with her box cutter on some unlucky pig carcasses with incredible intensity, just as incoming customers walked in on the scene. The actress also recruited a Dora the Explorer doll to pose as Neil Patrick Harris' character, to practice how she would murder him in the film-- placing the poor stuffed doll on a six foot stake as a stand in before filming the disturbing sequence. The measures the actress may seem a bit extreme, but it was necessary for Pike to pull off her most memorable performance.
Diving into deep research for a role wasn't isolated to Gone Girl either, the actress also put a quite a bit of effort into getting into character for one of her more tacky films, Doom. Rosamund Pike revealed that since her character Samantha Grimm had to dissect monsters for a living, she went ahead and joined a human dissection class.
Rosamund Pike's attention to detail with her roles puts her as quite an overachiever among actors, as it seems she has taken a hands on approach to getting into character since the dawn of her career. She does pretend to be other people for a living though, so why not get a little in their shoes in preparation?
Rosamund Pike is playing another intense role in the upcoming release of A Private War in which she plays American war correspondent Marie Colvin who was often at the frontlines at global conflicts in the Middle East. Jamie Dornan joins her as British photojournalist Paul Conroy in the dramatic true story about the taxing life of journalists who cover war. A Private War comes to theaters on November 16.