Gone Girl: Other Woman, Small-Town Detective

When Nick reports his wife missing, he begins a thorny, unwanted relationship with Detective Rhonda Boney, the primary investigator on the case — and Nick’s only conceivable lifeline. Among the image-obsessed characters in Gone Girl, Boney is the one drawn to cold, hard truth. Taking the role is Kim Dickens, best known for The Blind Side, “Deadwood”, “Friday Night Lights” and “Sons of Anarchy.”

Dickens says she felt an instant kinship with the character. “I felt I could climb right into her,” she says. “She’s a real salt-of-the-earth woman – pragmatic, humble but actually quite good at her job.”

She notes that Boney chooses to sidle up to Nick because that’s the most promising strategy, guilty or not. “The percentages are very high when a wife goes missing that the spouse is involved,” Dickens points out. “But Boney knows that even if Nick did it, she still has to get him to think she’s on his side so he’ll open up to her. She knew him as a child, but now she has to try to figure who he has become as a man – and it’s not all that clear right off the bat. Things feel a little hinky. But she still gives Nick a little benefit of the doubt because that’s what her instincts about human behavior tell her.”

The hinkiness only deepens as the investigation entwines with the media onslaught that pegs Nick as a wife-killer. “It’s all very weird for this small Midwestern town but I think Boney sees herself as a fair, no-nonsense detective who isn’t going to be drawn into a witch-hunt,” says Dickens. “She sees the media coverage as just one more obstacle she has to deal with in this case.”

Having the chance to interrogate Ben Affleck was both a deep thrill and a challenge. “I didn’t know what to expect,” Dickens admits. “I was going toe-to-toe with this huge movie star—and had to stand up to his character. But Ben was so fun and smart and once we got to know each other it was like we were in the trenches together. I think he’s so perfect for this role: he has that mix of being super manly yet with a bit of a boy about him. And Ben is also great at playing the put-upon guy.”

Dickens also enjoyed playing opposite Patrick Fugit as her less intuitive partner Gilpin. “Patrick and I had an ease and chemistry from the first time we read together,” she says. “That was great because Boney and Gilpin are the kind of comrades who have a real short-hand –and a way of ribbing each other. There’s not a power struggle between them, which is a nice change.”

Fincher was impressed by Dickens’ organic take on the role. “I wanted Boney to be a kind of Midwestern Sherlock Holmes, and that’s what Kim brings to her. She doesn’t miss much,” he says.

The Other Woman: Emily Ratajkowski On Andie

Playing the role of Nick Dunne’s all-too-involved student Andie is Emily Ratajkowski, a popular fashion model known for her starring role in Robin Thicke’s controversial “Blurred Lines” music video, who makes her major feature film debut in Gone Girl. Ratajkowski had read the book a year before she was cast. “It was one of those ‘I just can’t put this book down’ kind of things,” she recalls. “I was so intrigued by all things it had to say and even then, I felt like I really understood Andie.”

Once she took the role, Andie became even more clear to her. “I felt she was a truly nice young lady, a bit liberated for the town perhaps, but someone who tries to do her best by Nick when he is first accused,” she says. “I think she saw Nick as this smart, sophisticated guy, a New York writer who could open up a world she hungers for. He symbolized the future she wants. I think a big part of her just wanted to have a taste of this kind of grown-up experience.”

Ratajkowski admits it all seemed surreal that this was her first major feature. “Working with Ben Affleck and David Fincher was quite a way to start off in movies,” she laughs.