Abbie Cornish: RoboCop a big part of my childhood

Steve Tilley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:32 PM ET

Abbie Cornish has a healthy, loving relationship with her technology. But even the closest couples can benefit from a break every now and then.

Aussie actress Cornish, who plays the wife of the titular cyborg policeman in this week’s RoboCop reboot, says she’s a fan of personal gadgetry and loves how fast technology is advancing, although “we have become much more reliant on email and text to communicate, and I think we need to be conscious of that.”

That level of reliance was driven home during the RoboCop shoot in Toronto. While visiting Ontario’s famed Muskoka cottage country region with friends, Cornish’s iPhone took a tumble. And it wasn’t pretty.

“I was on the way up to the laundry and I dropped my cellphone and it smashed to the point where you couldn’t even see the screen,” Cornish says. With the nearest Apple store hours away, she was in a bind.

So she just went with it, for 10 days, after letting her manager know what was up and emailing friends to tell them she wouldn’t be in constant communication for a while.

“I found I was soaking up and I was enjoying every moment for what it was, in really wonderful beautiful conversations because I wasn’t distracted by the buzz of my phone,” says Cornish, best known for her roles in Man of Steel director Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch, Madonna’s W.E. and Jane Campion’s period drama Bright Star.

She even avoided getting a new phone for several days after she got back to L.A. “I didn’t want to get it back because I enjoyed the solitude and the quiet and the human relation,” she says. “Just seeing things you sometimes don’t see when you’ve got your head down and buried in a cellphone.”

As Clara, wife of Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman), Cornish is the human heart of RoboCop, a character that initially was only meant to have three or four scenes until director Jose Padilha (Elite Squad) realized Murphy needed more motivation to hang onto his humanity.

She was also a huge fan of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 original RoboCop, along with her brothers. “We watched that VHS until it shredded and it couldn’t be watched anymore,” she says. “So when I heard RoboCop was being remade, I instantly was interested.”

Filming RoboCop in Toronto and Vancouver was just the icing on the cake – “I love Canada. As an Australian, I think Canadians and Australians are very similar,” she says – although shooting the recent Discovery Channel gold rush miniseries Klondike in Alberta was a tad more challenging, thanks to the Rocky Mountains weather.

“Once the snow stopped, it was just all mud,” Cornish says. “But that was perfect for Dawson City, because that’s what Dawson was.”

Twitter: @stevetilley

Steve.tilley@sunmedia.ca

 


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