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Jodie Comer Interview: The Last Duel | Screen Rant

Ridley Scott's The Last Duel tells the story of power and honor in 14th century France. Nicole Holofcener and stars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote the script, adapted from a book of the same name by Eric Jager. The Last Duel follows the relationship between Sir Jean de Carrouges (Damon) and Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) throughout the years, culminating in a duel after Carrouges' wife, Marguerite (Jodie Comer) accuses Le Gris of raping her.

Related: The Last Duel True Story: What Ridley Scott's Movie Is About

Screen Rant spoke with Jodie Comer about the intense subject matter of the film, giving life to a historical figure, and The Last Duel's unique point-of-view.

Screen Rant: I have not been able to stop thinking about this movie. How did you cope with being in that headspace while filming? Because it's intense.

Jodie Comer: A lot of that darker material was at the end of the shoot. And we'd stopped down for five months because of COVID. So when we came back, we were shooting in a little town called Dalkey in Ireland, which is just so beautiful. And there were a lot of restrictions, we were very much going to filming and going home.

And I had a very wholesome time because I couldn't do anything. I was cooking nice, hearty, healthy meals, I was going swimming in the freezing cold sea - any opportunity to shake everything off. And so that was my way of dealing with what we were doing on set. I was in a really lovely environment, taking care of myself, which was nice.

After watching this movie, I went on a deep dive. I found it so interesting because there's the book and then there are also extensive Wikipedia pages about both men, but Marguerite doesn't have one. How did you find who she was to give Marguerite a voice?

Jodie Comer: I think when you get sent a script, you either have instincts, or you feel connected, or you don't. I immediately felt connected to her. There was the odd information, we knew that she was extremely well-read, we knew she spoke several languages. But then it was about getting together with Nicole. And I mean, Nicole had written it so beautifully anyway, but just being afforded the freedom to try and find out who she was.

She must have had friends, she's got two of her friends, what did she enjoy? You know, give her a sense of agency, and also just understanding the foundations of who she was, as a woman, when you think about the lack of power that she had and the [fact that] her life was at risk. And she still stood up and publicly spoke about what had happened to her; that's a real strength of character there.

So just taking those nuggets of information, and then trying to expand on that. Ultimately, just trying to understand how she may have been feeling and give her a personality and give her all of those things. So she's not just this wife, which she is seemingly, in part of the movie.

I love the three different POVs that we get, because there are these subtle differences, even from the way that someone perceives her glances. That must have been a unique acting challenge. Was that intimidating? And did you have a favorite little subtlety change?

Jodie Comer: Yes. And yes. And what was interesting was, usually, when you come to a project, you're playing your one character, and you have your intentions, and you don't have to worry about what anyone else, you don't have to worry about what the other character thinks of you, you don't have to worry about what your other character needs from you. It's not your job to worry about that.

Whereas with this role, I was having to actually lean into that and play a projection of myself for them. In Carrouges' story, I'm the dutiful wife, who loves him, and he looks after me, and it's a happy marriage, and it's a marriage from love, and that couldn't be further from the truth.

And then, you know, with Le Gris, it's that he's saving me from this miserable marriage, and it's adultery and it's flirtatious. Some we can't help but be together. And again, that is not the truth. So I was having to lean into those and perspectives, which was really fun, but sometimes confusing. 

I think probably my favorite one, which wasn't scripted, was there's a moment where they're sat around the table by the fire and it's Carrouges, Marguerite, and her mother in law. And he says, "I'm going off to Paris" and she's like, "Oh no, please stay" and then in her story she's like, [sarcastic]  "Oh no, please stay" like just please go is what she's [really] saying.

Just finding the little moments like that, that are so small, but the audience go, "Okay". They hear her loud and clear as to how she's really feeling.

There was a big chuckle from the audience at that moment.

Jodie Comer: To speak of the script, it's just so smart. The other challenge was that the dialogues the same - there's no dialogue changes, it's not like the characters remember a completely different event. It's the exact same scene, but you're just having to come at it from a completely different angle.

My two favorite movies of the year are The Last Duel and Free Guy, I'm having a very Jodie Comer year. I want to ask you before we wrapped up, Ryan Reynolds tweeted that Disney said, "Yes, we want a Free Guy sequel." How exciting is that?

Jodie Comer: I just heard this right now. Someone else just said the same thing. I would honestly jump at the chance to be back on a set with all those guys. It was such a joyous experience. And so to hear that may be in the cards sounds like a ton of fun.

Next: 5 Upcoming Jodie Comer Roles

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