'Non-Stop' thriller plays on our worst fears as travelers, says Moore

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International  |  Feb. 28, 2014 at 12:08 AM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. actress Julianne Moore says she wanted to star in the high-altitude nail-biter "Non-Stop" because it was fun to tap into our worst fears as travelers.

"When you are constructing entertainment thrillers and horror movies -- anything that is supposed to give us a scare -- they are all based on what our natural worries are. You sort of take them and exaggerate them," the 53-year-old North Carolina native told reporters in New York recently.

"Are you afraid of ghosts? Are you afraid of the devil? I'm very scared of the devil," she confessed. "But, in this case, you take something that is sort of routine where, obviously, when you enter an airplane you give up some control and you play on that fear and you sort of take it [to the next level.] What I liked so much about this particular script and director Jaume Collet-Serra's handling of it is he takes rather ordinary circumstances and turns it into a rather Hitchcockian event. It's very reminiscent of those older movies and disaster movies I loved as a kid like 'The Poseidon Adventure' and 'The Towering Inferno.' So, it becomes classic entertainment."

So, what would she and Neeson do if they ever found themselves facing a real-life threat on an airplane like the one their characters do in the movie?

"We'd run screaming from the room," Moore laughed.

In the film, Moore plays Jen Summers, a New York-to-London flight passenger who helps Liam Neeson's character, alcoholic air marshal Bill Marks, try to catch whoever is murdering people on the plane. At various times throughout the movie, all of the characters -- including those played by Moore and her co-stars Michelle Dockery, Nate Parker, Anson Mount, Linus Roache and Lupita Nyong'o -- come under suspicion.

"I liked the fact that there was a sense of mystery surrounding all of the characters because I feel like in life that's how it is. In cinema, people are always walking into scenes saying, 'This is who I am and this is what I want and this is how I am going to get it.' And we don't in life, particularly not in a public situation," Moore reasoned. "If you start there and realize this is a much more normal presentation in a film than what you would ordinarily have and you're like, 'Well, who is this?' And, you know, there is a big life behind what everyone presents. That, I think, is super interesting. The fact you can scratch someone and find all these things you'd never know."

"Non-Stop" opens nationwide Friday.

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