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Rosamund Pike Played Word Games With the Cast of ‘Saltburn’

Rosamund Pike as Elsbeth in Saltburn

Saltburn works as a film for a multitude of reasons. Whether it’s Oliver Quick’s (Barry Keoghan) journey with the Catton family or the antics at Saltburn, audiences are being swept into the world that Emerald Fennell built. Part of that allure comes courtesy of Saltburn’s matriarch, Elspeth Catton.

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Played by Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, The Wheel of Time), Elsbeth is Felix’s (Jacob Elordi) mother, who embodies the family’s lavish lifestyle and tries to be a picture-perfect, accepting parent. But while she yearns to make that impression, she doesn’t actually do anything to model those values for her children. I asked Pike about building that relationship with the Catton family during the press conference for the film. She revealed that the cast played word games together to build a familial dynamic.

“Well one thing is that Emerald [Fennell] insists that nobody goes off set into their own kind of world while we’re shooting,” Pike said. “You know, there’s no kind of retreating to a trailer or a dressing room or something.  She wants everybody to hang out in the same space.  So, we had a kind of sitting room in the house that was our green room.  And everybody was there.  You know, everybody.  From, you know, the family to the guys playing the footmen, and Paul Rhys playing the butler, Duncan. He is also a brilliant character, he kind of is the house.”

She went on to talk about Duncan and the atmosphere of Saltburn. “He will remain forever unchanged.  I think you can go back in 30 years and Duncan would be looking exactly the same. So, I think that’s one thing. And we laughed a lot. We just laughed. And we played games. And played cards. And played kind of silly word games. And my children were around. Which is a great icebreaker for everybody.  And so, they played with everybody. And just having sort of children on set, sort of, you know, it takes your mind off things.  And that was it, really.”

Pike also talked about the “very familial atmosphere” thanks to producers Josey McNamara and Margot Robbie. “They were around. And ever-present. And you just felt that we were all making the same film.  It was, really.”

Saltburn is in theaters now.

(featured image: MGM)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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