Karen Allen helped develop the character of Marion Ravenwood at first Indiana Jones. Here’s why that matters.
I don’t know about you, but I grew up with it Indiana Jones. As a young viewer, I probably took for granted how much of a BAMF Karen Allen’s Marion Ravenwood was. She was intelligent, independent, quick and witty. Yes, she was still Indy’s love interest and the occasional virgin in distress, but she was definitely able to pull herself out of the scrapes too.
We love a strong female character here.
It was 40 years ago Hunter of the lost treasure came out so Variety sat down with everyone. together to discuss her iconic role in the film. She highlights many points that reflect the strength of the writing.
For character introduction
Everyone knew she wanted to play Marion as soon as she read her opening scene.
“When they auditioned that scene from the Raven bar, I just fell in love with the character,” Allen said said. “That heartbreaking man comes in and she hits his jaw, I mean, it was just such a wonderful and colorful performance from a woman.”
Character ideas are so important! The first few moments with a character should give the audience a good idea of their personality. Are you funny Fraudulent? Shy? A fighter? A pacifist? This intro is meant to encourage the audience to get to know this character better.
It definitely worked for everyone.
“So having a role like this was an exciting event,” said Allen. “I’m always looking for characters that have that inner strength because it’s just so interesting to play.”
To the prehistory
Sometimes you can script anything, especially when characters are walking around trying to stop Nazis. But even if it doesn’t fit (as with Luca Brasi in The Godfather), as an author, you should know everything about the character.
Everyone helped create some of Marion’s backstory to improve her performance.
“I feel like there are these basic things that we all know about ourselves. It only seems right that my job as an actor is to ask these questions of a character I don’t know much about” , she said. “Who was her mother? How old was she when you came to Nepal? Where was she born?”
And what about her crush on Indiana Jones? She thought of that too.
“I don’t think there was a great romance between them,” she said. “I think she was very in love with him, or had a crush on him. She was 16 and he was probably the first person she ever had a crush on. They may have kissed. I don’t think it was something because my father was there and [Indy] was my father’s student. ”
If you’ve already roughly sketched this framework, you can decide how characters react to different situations or how they talk to each other. We only get a hint of it in scenes between Marion and Indy, but it adds so much flavor to their relationship.
What about the future?
Everyone likes to think that Marion and Indy settled down.
“I’ve been thinking about what our world would be like after they got married and what they’d both end up doing,” she said. “I imagined that they would settle somewhere, he would work as a professor again, and they would have a semblance of the life we first encounter them when he divides his time between these two worlds. Her and him could go on “adventure, but they would also have a semblance of domestic life and their son would be part of it.”
Try this out full interview for more insight from Hunter of the lost treasure! And start making this backstory.