Why Mia Goth’s Pearl and X Characters Look Exactly alike, According to To Ti West [Exclusive]

Ti West’s movie “X” was released back in March, and perhaps surprisingly, it ended with a trailer for the completed prequel. Now, “Pearl” is out in theaters just five months later. And, as it turns out, West isn’t done yet. “MaXXXine” is also coming soon.

The premise of “X” is that a group of daring adult filmmakers in the 1970s must travel to a remote farmhouse to shoot their latest movie. There are many conversations about the integrity of independent filmmaking and the liberating importance of pornography. During filming, however, the ranch’s very elderly owner, Pearl, slides around the production business, intoxicated with sex, but also longing for lust for years lost. Pearl ends and continues a killing spree. In a somewhat odd cast, both Pearl and Maxine, one of the actresses in the film, are played by Mia Goth.

“Pearl” is about the title character’s life decades earlier on the same farm. The barn is new, but Pearl is still struggling with her very natural sex drive in a confined, restrained environment that doesn’t allow her to express it. As the previews have shown, this will result in Lizzie Borden-style ax slashes. Also, “Pearl” may have a mystery in its hands. Why are Pearl and Maxine identical? In “X”, there seems to be a thematic reflection of the characters – one being sexually free and the other repressed.

In a recent interview with /Film, West explained to BJ Colangelo that the two mirrored characters may have a nuanced connection.

Same kind

/Film directly asked West what it meant to have Goth play two roles. As Pearl in “X”, Goth wears a full-body, almost unrecognizable outfit. As Maxine, Goth just loves gorgeous makeup. Why cast Goth as Pearl and not hire an American actress? West explained that he and Goth brainstormed to choose the role and agreed on the similarities between the two characters. Metaphorically speaking, Pearl and Maxine occupy the same space of consciousness. It’s just a wormhole that for several decades has guided their path. Swap them, and the stories will be the same. West says audiences can go both ways. In his words:

“I think it’s a bit of both. I don’t know if it’s the older one, but to talk to the old is to say, Mia and I, when we do ‘X’, part the reason why I wanted her to play both roles was that we always thought, “They’re two different characters, but the same person.” That always made me interesting to do ‘X’, before knew we were going to do ‘Pearl.’ I think it’s really conceptually appealing.”

West is probably a fan of Ingmar Bergman’s “Persona” from 1966. The film is about an actress and a nurse who escape to a remote island when an ex (Liv Ullmann) is suddenly muted. while performing on stage. The nurse (Bibi Andersson) must save her, but in the end the two women merge psychologically, their personalities blending together. Sex was a big part of “Persona” and West did a trilogy about killers with similar themes.


West also acknowledges a secondary reason for Goth’s dual role, and it has nothing to do with the character or the theme. West just wanted to face a technical challenge. What is the logistics of having an actress playing two roles? How long does it take to design and do full body makeup? How to shoot a scene where Pearl and Maxine interact? One of the central scenes of “X” depicts Pearl sneaking into Maxine’s bedroom at night, undressing, and climbing in with her. The special effects that bring two Goths into the same scene are impeccable. West admits that this particular film has as much to do with technical exploration as it does with sex:

“‘X’ to me is very crafty and I wanted to bring the effects that filmmakers do to the screen, special effects makeup is one of them and performance is one of them. The concept, the idea seemed to fit the movie, and I didn’t know if we could make it until I met Mia. All of that just seemed like a fun challenge.”

So Pearl and Maxine look alike because they’re basically the same person in two different timelines, yes, but it’s also fun to bring together the talent of a hard-working and creative FX makeup team. Also, Goth’s own talent and willingness to play both roles certainly helped.

One can only speculate on how Goth will play Maxine again in “MaXXXine”, but time will tell. “Pearl” is currently showing in theaters. “X” is available for rent online.

https://www.slashfilm.com/1010288/why-mia-goths-pearl-and-x-characters-look-identical-according-to-ti-west-exclusive/ Why Mia Goth’s Pearl and X Characters Look Exactly alike, According to To Ti West [Exclusive]

Fry Electronics Team

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