In reimagining Philip K. Dick’s story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” for the 2012 update of Total Recall — the film was first rendered onscreen in 1990 and starred Arnold Schwarzenegger — director Len Wiseman and the other filmmakers did something a little devilish, if a little delicious as well: They cast Wiseman’s wife, Kate Beckinsale, as Douglas Quaid’s (Colin Farrell) seemingly loving wife, who of course turns out to be a savage killer. It was a turn that Beckinsale relished.
“I’ve never played a bad guy before. I’ve always been on the side of truth and justice,” she explains. “But the thing is, my character thinks she is on the side of truth and justice. That’s the great thing about this movie — you never know who’s on the right side. Also, there’s a slightly maniacal side of her — she’s slightly out of control, and that’s always fun for an actor to play.”
For this version of Total Recall, an actor resembling Beckinsale had to be cast for the part of Melina, the woman Quaid first meets in his nightmares and who comes to help him to rediscover his true past. Wiseman chose Jessica Biel, who was attracted to the project by the themes of its story. “We’re completely tapping into what Philip K. Dick’s story is really about: identity issues, relationships,” Biel says. “It’s really a tragic love story between Melina and Quaid. He doesn’t remember her. … He doesn’t remember that they love each other, that they are passionately connected. That’s what interested me.”
Total Recall is available on Video On Demand starting Dec. 18. Check your cable system for availability.
Photo: © 2012 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.