Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson (“Mission: Impossible – Fallout”) portrays what director Mike Flanagan claims as “one of the best Stephen King antagonists in many, many years, Rose the Hat” in the horror/suspense film, “Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep” (now in Philippine cinemas).
The film continues the story of Danny Torrance, 40 years after his terrifying stay at the Overlook Hotel in Kubrick’s “The Shining.”
(Watch the “Doctor Sleep” featurette “The Shining 40 Years Later below.)
Rose the Hat leads the quasi-immortal cult known as the True Knot, who have powered their elongated lives by victimizing children with the shine—“steam” as it emerges from their bodies—which is devoured by Rose and her followers. The former humans continue to move through existence, unnoticed, imitating humans, predators mimicking prey. However, the modern world—with its diversions, complications and shortcuts to adulthood—has dulled children’s shine, leaving the True Knot with fewer substantial sources of sustenance. For the first time in eons, they are hungry and their future is in question.
Such a complex and dichotomous character made her casting a challenge. Mike Flanagan observes, “Rose the Hat is monstrous in a way that a lot of King’s villains never come close to. But there’s also something about her that’s magnetic, confident and very charming. There’s a wicked delight in living as long as she has without consequence. What would that look like?”
“Rebecca’s one of the most charming people I’ve ever met,” Flanagan adds. “And she understood what makes a great villain. It’s that you need them to be liked. You want them to be feared, but you also need them to be liked. For Rose the Hat, we wanted somebody who had the things that Rebecca brings seemingly effortlessly to screen. Rose is beautiful, seductive and beguiling, and that is exactly her intention. That is the power that she uses to pull you in.”
Ferguson says, “After reading the script, I thought, ‘This is one of the biggest challenges I will ever have if I’m offered the role.’ What I really loved was pulling down the scary elements—her limitlessness for cruelty and all that makes her the monster she is—and to make her as human as possible, while making her a threat to everyone around her. All that in combination with King and Kubrick’s revolution of the genre. There is no way you can say no to that.”
As an actor, Ferguson built her character from one of the most relatable scenarios in the human psyche: “The whole essence of Rose and the True Knot line, and really pretty much anyone, is love. Being a part of something. It’s the primal emotions. The difference being that children are what sustain them. So, for Rose, it’s about providing for my children, my flock, out of deep abiding love.”
“Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep” is distributed in the Philippines by Warner Bros. Pictures, a WarnerMedia Company. Use the hashtag #DoctorSleepMovie
About “Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep”
In “Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep,” Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) is still irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook, but has fought to find some semblance of peace. But that peace is shattered when he encounters Abra (Kyliegh Curran), a courageous teenager with her own powerful extrasensory gift, known as the “shine.” Instinctively recognizing that Dan shares her power, Abra has sought him out, desperate for his help against the merciless Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) and her followers, The True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality.
Forming an unlikely alliance, Dan and Abra engage in a brutal life-or-death battle with Rose. Abra’s innocence and fearless embrace of her shine compel Dan to call upon his own powers as never before—at once facing his fears and reawakening the ghosts of the past.