In The Day the Earth Stood Still, Jennifer Connelly portrays Helen Benson. This character faces a slight bit of pressure in the movie:
She is essentially the human prototype by which alien visitor Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) will decide whether we live or die on earth.
ComingSoon.net asked Connelly if playing this character felt like a huge responsibility:
It's not just Helen. It's not just on my shoulders in reality. I think the relationship between Helen and Jacob is employed in a different way than it is in the original film. It really functions like a little microchasm of human nature; how we are treating each other. They're sort of in conflict and there's a bit of a crisis and there's a reconciliation and they each take responsibility and then there's a movement towards a resolution and Klaatu observes this. So there is that dynamic.
There is also the Barnhardt scene and other encounters that he has to help shape it so that was a little bit of a relief that it wasn't just me. I wanted people to be able to identify with her and I thought it was important that she, herself be aware of the task and the enormity of that task and that position so I like that she has a moment with Barnhardt where she says "tell me what to do." She's aware what the stakes are and what she's found herself involved in.
I liked Patricia Neal's character in the original, that she is open-minded and she's a very strong, free-thinking individual. I thought that was important to carry over; that bravery. Those qualities, to be a human without prejudice, without bias, was really essential. That she be able to communicate and that's she'd be really making you feel the depths of her love. I thought those were really important things.