Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

FUTURES: 'Compliance' Star Dreama Walker on the Controversial Film: 'I felt a tremendous desire to be a part of the whole discussion'

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire August 16, 2012 at 11:12AM

Why She's On Our Radar: Despite not winning an award at Sundance for her breakout turn in "Compliance," Craig Zobel's acclaimed and controversial drama, 26-year-old actress Dreama Walker gave what was arguably one of the bravest performances in Park City this year.
1
Dreama Walker in "Compliance"
Magnolia Dreama Walker in "Compliance"

Why She's On Our Radar: Despite not winning an award at Sundance for her breakout turn in "Compliance," Craig Zobel's acclaimed and controversial drama, 26-year-old actress Dreama Walker gave what was arguably one of the bravest performances in Park City this year.

In "Compliance," Walker stars as Becky, a young fast food employee who is accused of stealing from a customer after a man, under the guise of a police officer, calls the restaurant demanding to speak to her manager Sandra (Ann Dowd). What follows is a horrific true account of how the mystery caller managed to convince the young woman's supervisor (as well as others asked to help out) to commit a number of physically invasive acts, including sexual assault.

READ MORE: Combative New York Premiere of 'Compliance' Latest Victim of the Most Provocative Film of the Year

Walker is best known for her supporting role on the ABC sitcom "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" and for appearing opposite Clint Eastwood in "Gran Torino," but "Compliance" marks her biggest on-screen role to date -- and her most challenging. As Becky, Walker is given the difficult task of engendering sympathy from the audience while also making them believe that her character would go along with what's demanded of her. She hits it out of the park, matching the lauded work of Dowd, a veteran character actress.

Dreama Walker in "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23"
ABC Dreama Walker in "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23"

What's Next: Her latest film "The Kitchen," co-starring Bryan Greenberg and Laura Prepon, recently closed the GenArt Film Festival in New York. "I have a couple of little things here and there," Walker tells Indiewire, "and then I'm going back to the show ('Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23') at the end of next week."

How did Craig sell the premise to you initially?
Well it was kind of a funny story how it all happened. I was on the set of "The Sitter" one day, directed by his friend David Gordon Green. David was checking his phone and checking his email and came over to me and was like, "Hey your name just got thrown in the bowl for a movie that I'm producing." And I was like, "Ooooh! Pick me!" -- trying to make him feel uncomfortable. And he said, "Well, it's really not anything like this. It's very dark." And I was like, "I can do dark!" I had no idea what it was about, and obviously we didn't really go into it because we were at work. Then I got wind of what the story was about, and I remembered the incident when it happened in 2004, and this always kind of resonated with me as something that I thought was intriguing and fascinating. I read the script, and I thought Craig had done a really fantastic job of telling this story and also that it was going to come from a really cool perspective. And that it was going to try to fill in the gaps of these true events that took place and how they all got there. I felt a tremendous desire to be a part of the whole discussion and justification of how my character did what she did.

"I knew that psychologically it was going to be taxing. I knew that this wasn't going to be a walk in the park."

How scared were you to take this role on?

Terrified, to be honest. I knew that psychologically it was going to be taxing. I knew that this wasn't going to be a walk in the park. People still would have a hard time believing! We had to really bring a lot of truth to it and make it really, really believable.

How did you make Becky's actions believable for yourself? So many folks have walked out of this film going, "Well I would never go along with that."

Well, Craig and I had a lot of really honest, open discussions about a lot of similar situations with it; lower-stakes ones that were more meaningless and trivial. Experiences in our lives where we'd been accused of something that we weren't guilty of and there came a certain point where someone that you know and have a relationship with is accusing you of something. All of a sudden you find yourself second guessing yourself. We had discussions about how it's very primal and evolved for people to go along with something because everyone else is doing it.

Whether it's something as simple as going into a conversation with a lady on the street, and then before you know it she's sold you 300 dollars worth of clothing and you're buying it even though you don't need it or want it. Those things happen almost on a daily basis. We're all put in situations where we do something because we think that we're supposed to, or we think that we have to. To me that was incredibly intriguing. Also I wanted to connect the dots from A to B and explain how it got there for my character.

This article is related to: Dreama Walker, Futures, Interviews, Compliance






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More