Sam Rockwell On 'Moon,' Mind Games, And The Perils Of Clone Ping-Pong

Sundance wouldn't be Sundance without an appearance or four by Sam Rockwell, whose superb sci-fi effort Moon features the actor playing opposite one of his most formidable co-stars to date: Himself.

We'd say spoilers follow, but it's hard to say whether the reveal that occurs at Moon's half-hour point is in fact a twist or just a requisite plot point ushering in the film's second act. Either way, one can't describe Rockwell's performance without acknowledging his dual portrayal of Sam 1 and Sam 2, each an unaware clone of the original Sam Bell, an astronaut "harvesting" energy on the moon. When Sam 1, mere days from returning to Earth, experiences an accident and the second Sam is brought to life by his base's friendlier, Zolofted version of 2001: A Space Odyssey's HAL 9000 (voiced by Kevin Spacey), a breach in protocol brings the clones face-to-face as they settle a mutual, potentially deadly resolution.

To loyal Rockwell fans, Moon may not immediately reflect his best work; it's jittery, quirky, too conversational. But as his story uncoils - as he fights himself, challenges himself to ping-pong, and grapples with his nature folding repeatedly onto itself - the seams disappear and the accomplishment seems to defy such easy reckoning as "best" or "worst." It's simply another marvel we'll file alongside his others, even as we wonder how the hell he did it. Rockwell and Moon director Duncan Jones sat down with Defamer this afternoon to attempt an explanation.

For the interview with Defamer click here


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