August 29th

Mia Wasikowska is coughing, softly at first, then gradually it becomes rasping, hacking throat-burner as her embattled heroine, Edith Cushing, stumbles out of the stifling confines of Allerdale hall into a drift of fake snow. It flurries around her as the coughing gets harsher, until finally, battered by the elements, she retreats into the main hall, where the walls are belching up blood-red clay from the mines below. “It’s pretty physical. The continuity of the cough is tough – is there too much coughing? They’re blowing all that shit around and you end up inhaling it, which helps. but it’s kind of a pain in the ass. No more sick characters after this. Only healthy, angry people”, says Wasikowska. 

A sensetive soul who can see the presence of the many spirits that roam Allerdale Hall, Edith is far from being the conventional scream queen.

“She’s a very intelligent and strong character, but one who finds it hard to accept any help at the beginning of the movie”, says Del Toro. “She came from Edith Wharton. (her surname, of course, came from Hammer horror legend, Peter Cushing) I was thinking about a girl, at the right moment when the suffragists are succeeding, who still has to fight the notion of what a young woman needs to be”, he continues.

Swept off her feet by Hiddleston’s dashing, Byronic Sharpe (“Women also have their bad boy phase,” laughs Mia). It’s not long before Edith realises Crimson Peak may be the last place she ever sees. And it might not be the ghosts that get her.

“For Edith, it’s about learning to fear the living, not the dead”, says Mia.

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Empire Magazine, 2015