Snowpiercer star explains biggest change between the TV show and movie

Jess Lee
Photo credit: Alexandria Basso

From Digital Spy

It's been a long time coming, but Snowpiercer finally launches in the UK this Monday (May 25) on Netflix.

Like in the 2013 cult classic movie – which was based on a 1982 graphic novel – from now-Oscar winner Bong Joon-ho, the TV series takes place on a perpetually moving train after the world has become a frozen wasteland.

Annalise Basso is one of the stars of the new show, playing LJ Fogler, a teenager who lives in first class.

"She seems like she's this bored teenager, and I think as people get to know her, they'll see that she's really depressed and angry, she's full of rage, and she doesn't really have any friends," Basso said about her character in an interview with Digital Spy.

Photo credit: Alexandria Basso

"She's one of the only passengers in first class who's 17 years old, and so growing up in this world where she hasn't been able to explore her freedom or her independence or explore who she is as a person, she has not adjusted well."

There are similarities between the TV series and the movie; for example, a large part of the show follows the tail section as they plot to fight back and make their way up the train. But one major change comes from how the storytelling makes use of the show's episodic format. Here, the narratives can unfold across numerous episodes in multiple seasons (Snowpiercer has already been renewed for season 2).

"I would say that the biggest difference is, the film is very linear – it starts in the tail and it goes through to the engine. And our show travels around all the different classes and tells various stories," Basso said.

"Both the movie and the show draw inspiration from the graphic novel series and they each tell their own unique story, which is great.

"The story [in the TV show] isn't put into this box of a two-hour feature film. Each episode, you get a glimpse into the lives of each character and each class and you get to explore more of the train – which is something I really hope viewers will really enjoy, because it's a 1,001-car long train. So there's a lot to explore and a lot to see, and I think people will really enjoy getting to know Snowpiercer and the cast on it."

Photo credit: Netflix

And speaking about her experience on set, Basso shared that filming in confined spaces – reflecting the setting of the TV show – really helped to heighten the drama.

"Being in such a contained environment and having the set department and art department create such a real world, it did create a very claustrophobic environment that I think helped bring some sincerity to these moments," she said.

"It's just a chaotic show and every character is dealing with this life in a metal cage, and I think having that environment being manufactured with the set design really helped."

Interestingly, Basso revealed that she was originally lined up to play an entirely different character as Snowpiercer went through two versions of the pilot and a change of showrunner.

"That was a challenge, to go from this Midwestern girl who works in the greenhouse car, which was my character in the pilot, to LJ who has a lot of issues," she shared.

"One wasn't really better than the other. It was just fun to see how a story and a world can be so different because there is a different creative head. The differences between both of these worlds are so crazy but they are also so similar because they're taking place in this frozen, chaotic post-apocalyptic train world, and it was fun to be a part of that from the very beginning."

Photo credit: Disney / Pixar

Finally, Digital Spy asked Basso if there was a dream role she would love to play one day.

"I don't want this to sound too cheesy, but the live-action version of Merida – being able to ride a horse and show off my archery skills in the Scottish highlands – that would be a dream role for sure," she said.

Talking about archery, Basso added: "We have a tree set up in the back of our house here with some hay bales and targets painted on them, so I go up there and practise."

Snowpiercer launches Monday, May 25 in the UK on Netflix with the first two episodes. New episodes will be released on Mondays. The series airs on TNT in the US.

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