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Twenty-seven years after she first appeared in Steven Spielberg’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” actress Karen Allen is back on screen as Marion Ravenwood, Indiana Jones’ feisty love interest. The latest installment of the megahit series, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” premiered at the International Cannes Film Festival on Sunday, and will open Stateside this Thursday. Here, Allen speaks to WWD about resuming her role, reuniting with Harrison Ford and filming in locales as diverse as Yale University, New Mexico and Hawaii.
WWD: How was it meeting up with Harrison Ford again for the filming?
Karen Allen: It felt pretty seamless to be back because [the series] has been such an ongoing part of my life. It was fantastic the first day we got together for the camera test and Harrison came out with his hat, coat and whip on his hip. Shia LaBeouf [who co-stars in the movie] was completely overwhelmed.
WWD: Did you have a favorite moment while you were filming?
K.A.: The first day of shooting with Harrison in Hawaii. We’re in a windowless truck going along a bumpy road and there’s this moment where we have to leap through the window and take control of the vehicle. We’re being thrown all over the place and are whacking our elbows on each other’s heads. We looked at each other [as if to say], ‘Same old, same old.’ Twenty-seven years have passed, but we were both totally game.
WWD: Did you do any special physical training for the role this time around?
K.A.: I feel like any time you make a film, you want to be in the best possible physical shape. I went into a great, get-up-early training regime. Now filming’s over, but I’m getting ready to wear frocks and the last thing one wants is to look bad for that.
WWD: What was the scariest scene to shoot?
K.A.: There were scenes that involved large quantities of water racing towards us. I was like, ‘Gulp.’ But we were always completely safe.
WWD: With the evolution of film and special effects, do you think the movie will still manage to enchant today’s audience?
K.A.: It’s not just another comic book adventure that’s an excuse to do a lot of stunts — it’s about creating an international, mysterious journey. I don’t want to break the mystery, but [the designers] built some of the most amazing sets. When I saw them my heart was pounding. I couldn’t believe the worlds they were creating. It was a challenge as actors just to navigate the sets.
WWD: Did you get to keep any souvenirs from the filming?
K.A.: The things I really loved were the gigantic props. Shia and I were always pretending to put things under our jackets but they had cameras trained on the sets.