A Star who's pleased if you're appalled. Rosamund Pike delights in her ruthless role in Netflix's ''I Care a Lot''.

''There are two types of people in this world,'' says the coolly assured voice of Rosamund Pike, playing Marla Grayson, in the opening voice-over of  'I care a Lot,'' as the camera slowly pans over the dazed-looking inhabitants of a nursing home. ''The people who take, and those getting took.''

From the first shot of the back of Marla's razor-sharp blond bob, it's clear which category she belongs to, A ruthlessly amoral and icily self-assured con woman, she plays the role of conscientious, court -mandated guardian perfectly, all while deftly separating the elderly wards under her care from their families and bank accounts.

Pike, the British actress best known for her Oscar-nominated performance in ''Gone Girl,'' is the blazing star of ''I Care a Lot,'' written and directed by J. Blakeson, which arrived Friday on Netflix.

Pike has already earned a Golden Globe nomination for the role, in which she is both chillingly villainous and seductively fearless, a true antihero doing very bad things with relish.

''Marla is like a scrappy street fighter in designer clothing,'' Pike said in a recent video interview from Prague. ''It was a deep dive into finding a place where I could own the hunger for money, the hunger to win, the conviction that your own goal is more important than anything else.''

All are traits ''that aren't often portrayed by women in film,'' she added.

Pike, 42, is disarmingly beautiful, with flawless peaches-and-cream skin and smooth blond hair. Articulate and thoughtful during the interview, she considered questions carefully, occasionally going-off-piste : ''I wish I could ask you some questions,'' she said at one point.

Pike, who found early limelight at 21 as a Bond girl in ''Die Another Day,'' has had a successful acting career for more than two decades, but she has never acquired or apparently aspired to - the mega fame of some her peers.

Perhaps that's because, although she might have successfully specialized in playing the English rose, Pike has never allowed herself to be pigeonholed by prettiness.

She has spoofed the British spy film in ''Johnny English Reborn,'' acted opposite Tom Cruise in the action thriller ''Jaxk Reacher,'' and played a hilariously clueless socialite in ''An Education,'' the hard bitten reporter Marie Colvin in ''A Private War'' and the enigmatic Amy of ''Gone Girl.''

''I think she sometimes gets bypassed because she rarely goes showy in her roles,'' Blakeson said. It confound me that she didn't win the Oscar for ''Gone Girl''.

The World Students Society thanks author Roslyn Sulcas.


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