Alice Krige is an accomplished actress who has done everything from Shakespeare to Star Trek. We were fortunate enough to speak with the talented thespian about her impressive past and her current role as The Witch in Osgood Perkins’ reimagining of the Brothers Grimm tale, Gretel & Hansel.
Alice Krige made her debut on film in the Academy Award winning, Chariots of Fire. She followed that success with a memorable turn in Ghost Story. From there, the Central School of Speech and Drama graduate and Royal Shakespeare Company member has had a remarkable career that has encompassed many genres.
We were fortunate enough to speak with the busy actress about her early years in the entertainment industry, being a Borg Queen and how she almost turned down the part of The Witch in her current film, Osgood Perkins’ reimagining of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Gretel & Hansel.
A Ghostly Beginning
1428 Elm: It is a pleasure to speak with you, Ms. Krige. We have enjoyed your work for years. Let’s start off by talking about some of your past performances. In 1981, you starred in Ghost Story with a pretty impressive cast: Fred Astaire, Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., John Houseman and Patricia Neal. This was also your first horror film. What intrigued you about the script?
Alice Krige: Well, it was the fact that essentially, I played as it were, three different versions of the same person with the same soul. There was Alma Mobley, Eva and the apparition. It just seemed kind of extraordinary to be given that opportunity.
The experience was fascinating, interesting and challenging but just to comment on how you framed your question, I was very new in the industry. It was my second film. I had just begun as an actor.
You are quite right. I was given what was and what turned out to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with the stars of the Golden Age of the movie industry: Fred Astaire, Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., John Houseman and Patricia Neal.
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There was a kind of gallantry to them that I haven’t encountered often since. I have worked with wonderful actors and obviously they have had that similar gallantry, humility and generosity but to work with FIVE of them, in one movie, right at the very beginning of one’s career was a huge gift and also, a learning experience.
Craig Wasson and I were in the presence of people who were as good as it gets and at the top of their game. Looking back on it, the only person who went on to make one more piece of work was Pat Neal. For all of the others, it was their last movie.
It was an enormous privilege. As an actor, it was a challenge. I wasn’t young because I had started acting professionally when I was 25 but I was new to the industry. It was a gift for which I will be forever grateful.