Spanish filmmaker JA Bayona directs Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts in the movie based on the true story of Maria Belon and her family’s experience of the 2004 tsunami in Thailand. It’s at times unnerving to watch – having to imagine anyone going through this, but the cast, including its young stars (most notably Tom Holland) carry the film with sensitivity, and it’s a testimony to the human spirit of survival.
I sat down with Ewan and Naomi ahead of the film’s release to talk about the sensitive subject matter. Luckily Ewan is a dream to interview – and you’ll see how he can make one feel instantly at ease. I first interviewed him in South Africa for the Long Way Down motorcycle adventure series in 2007 (which is a really good watch if you haven’t already seen it). Here he talks about why he wanted to make this film, and working with the young cast. Also, Naomi talks about the difference between playing real-life characters like Maria and Princess Diana – a role she takes on for the upcoming Diana biopic. There’s another real-life character the Oscar-nominated actress might one day play too: that of South African HIV/Aids activist Gail Johnson, mother to the late Nkosi. She’s expressed an interest but nothing has yet been signed.
The Impossible is on in South Africa now.
Pic: Warner Bros.