Special thanks to Summit Entertainment, I recently participated in the press roundtable interviews for THE IMPOSSIBLE, which is a drama about a family surviving trough the 2004 Tsunami tragedy, a true story film that I think did a great job of depicting the Tsunami and making it look more real and deeply affecting that the digital version in Clint Eastwood's Hereafter. I asked producer Belen Atienza what were the decisions behind casting Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts to play these lead roles that are based on real characters..
BA: “We absolutely felt that we needed someone that you can instantly feel close to. In that they can be everyday man or woman, you feel instant empathy with them, you feel them easily to be parents, playing with kids. They feel warm, like a family. And at the same time, they’re ultra talented, but we didn’t want to have nothing like a breaking the tone of the film, we needed to work in normality and realism, so both of them, they do like a perfect match as a couple and of course as I say, they were very talented, so it was easy.”
I also asked Atienza if some of the profit from this film would go into helping families over in Thailand or helping efforts to reunite families torn apart by the 2004 Tsunami tragedy.
BA: “We already did some of that during the shooting. There are small NGOs in the area that do a great work helping orphans there and small schools. In Spain, we’re doing a big action, there’s been also a charity premiere in UK, but it’s built more within its territory because each territory has a different distributor but I think everyone is doing actions in their territories.”
Directed by J. A. BAYONA Written by SERGIO G. SÁNCHEZ Produced by BELÉN ATIENZA, ENRIQUE LÓPEZ LAVIGNE, ÁLVARO Starring NAOMI WATTS, EWAN McGREGOR, TOM HOLLAND Genre: Drama Studio: Summit Entertainment Website: TheImpossible-Movie.com Rating: PG-13 Release date: December 21, 2012 (limited)
Based on the true story of one family’s survival of the 2004 tsunami, THE IMPOSSIBLE stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor and is directed by J.A. Bayona (THE ORPHANAGE). Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand, looking forward to a few days in tropical paradise. But on the morning of December 26th, as the family relaxes around the pool after their Christmas festivities the night before, a terrifying roar rises up from the center of the earth. As Maria freezes in fear, a huge wall of black water races across the hotel grounds toward her. THE IMPOSSIBLE is the powerful and unforgettable account of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time. But the true-life terror is tempered by the unexpected displays of compassion, courage and simple kindness that Maria and her family encounter during the darkest hours of their lives. Both epic and intimate, devastating and uplifting, The Impossible is a journey to the core of the human heart.