'Constellation' roles lingered with Noomi Rapace, Jonathan Banks

Noomi Rapace stars in "Constellation." File Photo by Rune Hellestad/UPI
1 of 6 | Noomi Rapace stars in "Constellation." File Photo by Rune Hellestad/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Noomi Rapace and Jonathan Banks said they had trouble shaking their intense roles in Constellation, premiering Wednesday on Apple TV+.

Rapace plays astronaut Jo Ericsson and Banks plays mission control chief Henry Caldera.


"There were moments throughout this show when I came home and I felt so lost and detached from the world around me, the real world," Rapace told UPI in a recent Zoom interview. "Noomi and Jo went on an intense journey throughout those eight months."

Jo is part of a mission on the International Space Station. When she returns to Earth, she finds her life is not quite as she left it and begins to question her reality.

This phenomenon affects Henry, too, even though he remained on the ground throughout the mission. Banks said he usually claims to leave his roles on the set, but can't always do so, especially with Constellation.


"There are things that hang on me for quite a while and I try to get them off me," Banks said. '"It's usually after a performance. It takes a while to dump them."

Upon Jo's return, her relationships with her husband (James D'Arcy) and their daughter (Davina and Rosie Coleman) have changed. As the mother of a 21-year-old son, Rapace said portraying a threat to her maternal relationship "was brutal."

"It was more like me going to places in myself and my own motherhood and imagining losing connection with my son," Rapae said. "Knowing he's out there and I need to find him somehow, but I don't know where he is."

Constellation required physical training for Rapace, too. To simulate working on the ISS, Rapace interviewed astronauts and learned to simulate weightlessness while hanging on wires.

Physical feats stayed with her after she completed filming them.

"If you do a very intense physical scene, your body doesn't know that you're faking it," Rapace said.

For the physical work, Rapace said she wanted to capture the grace astronauts display when moving through the space station. Rapace watched live YouTube feeds from the ISS for inspiration.


"It's almost like a dance in this one," Rapace said. "No aggression. It's only grace."

Rapace credits the team of people holding her wires with helping her achieve such graceful movement while bound by Earth's gravity. Rapace said her wire team was in sync with her and responded cooperatively to her movements.

"It's totally teamwork on a different level that I haven't really done before," Rapace said. "It's an amazing, incredible team that needs to be an extension of my movements."

Back at mission control, Henry has a lot of technical dialogue. Banks said he was asking questions to learn as he was going along.

Although Constellation is a science-fiction story, it is based in the modern world of space travel. Rapace said NASA astronaut Scott Kelly was on set to advise the production.

"We wanted to make it as real and credible as possible," Rapace said.

New episodes of Constellation premiere Wednesdays on Apple TV+.

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