[The following story contains spoilers from the Apple and A24’s film Causeway]
Tragedy A24 and Apple causeway much of it revolves around the relationship between Jennifer Lawrence’s returning soldier Lynsey and Brian Tyree Henry’s mechanic James, so it’s important that the film’s two central actors have strong chemistry with each other.
Luckily, first-time film director Lila Neugebauer knew the two were a good match “as soon as they met”.
“I had a vague idea, having met Jen and spent time with her, a meaningful time with her,” said Neugebauer, who worked extensively in theater before directing. causewaytold hollywood reporter at a movie screening in New York earlier this month. “And having known Brian for almost 20 years, I suspected that they would connect easily, deeply, and by chance, that suspicion proved correct.”
Neugebauer, who met Henry when they were both students at Yale, said that Atlanta The star was the “first and only person” she wanted for the role of James.
Part of the reason why she thinks he would be a good fit for the role is because of his “deep soul and persona” as well as his “sympathetic sensibility and imagination,” which she feels he will be especially needed. plays a man dealing with pain and physical trauma caused by a car crash.
“That aspect of the character’s story is the essence of the story, and we thought meaningfully about the ethics of casting in this film,” Neugebauer said of letting Henry play a character. Men who lost part of their leg in a traumatic incident in the past. She added that she knew Henry would “do meaningful work to prepare for this role thoughtfully, with good conscience, and from a place of integrity and discretion.”
For writer Elizabeth Sanders, James’s physical reminder of the accident was an important part of his relationship with Lynsey, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan and is dealing with other injuries. other spiritual harm.
“I think in order to show that it is human empathy that will allow them to work through pain and hurt together, that kind of visual representation has allowed them to start a friendship that might not have been possible. get started,” Sanders said.
And, she continued, that relationship grew so quickly because they realized “the hurt they both share.”
Sanders said the idea for the film originally came from her concerns about military veterans trying to return to civilian life.
“How do I care about life? [for them]especially when their wounds are not visible and what to expect when they come back and deal with the trauma and get over the pain,” Sanders said. CHEAP.
To understand that side of the story, Sanders and the film crew spoke with veterans, including those who have been to Afghanistan and service members, in part to “see equipment used and who were diagnosed with what illness upon their return. .”
Additional screenwriters Luke Goebel and Ottessa Moshfegh were brought in later in the process, after the cast had been signed but before filming began in New Orleans, to expand Lynsey’s Afghanistan story .
“We did a lot of research on traumatic brain injury; Afghanistan’s water system, the work Lynsey will do there; her experience of being wounded and recovering back home – that looks the same for a lot of soldiers,” said Moshfegh CHEAP.
Goebel said that while much of this was not included in the film, they did learn a lot about the “ancient water system” in Afghanistan, which he expressed “great admiration” for, saying, ” amazing, sustainable” and “incredible”.
In addition, they learned about the remarkable recovery and nonphysical manifestations of traumatic brain injury.
“Just know that you will be airlifted from Kandahar to Germany, have brain surgery, undergo a full recovery there and then come live with a carer who is an independent carer. established, for months or more just to learn how to brush again,” says Goebel.
Moshfegh added, “I never thought so much about recovering from one [traumatic brain injury] is an emotional experience. Work on the early scenes of when Lynsey is first in this nurse’s house and think of ways that she might say something she didn’t mean to say or have a really unexpected emotional reaction to it. something and the way she said it. make her aware of what she’s going through.
Despite her lack of personal military experience, Neugebauer said she connected to the project through the “feeling of recognition” she experienced while reading the original script.
“I felt very connected to this character’s inner life,” she said. “I am not a soldier. I’m not a veteran, but her inner self speaks to me deeply. And there is a care, patience and attention to detail in the storytelling that also appeals to me.”
Neugebauer was also pleased to discover that directing film and theater is “deeply linked.”
“The core questions you are asking and trying to answer, the strategies for collaboration, the physics of creating a common language with an actor, the role of visual composition in storytelling story: The projects feel very well aligned even when the structure and processes are completely different,” Neugebauer said of directing the two vehicles.
And Lawrence, who starred in the film and made her debut as a producer through her excellent Corpse shingle, was intrigued by both first-time film director Neugebauer and the project. stripped.
Justine Ciarrocchi, Lawrence’s producing partner, said: “It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Jen in an intimate movie like this, a topless movie like this. CHEAP. “She’s done a lot of bigger sets and I think she’s craving something smaller. I also think the script is very unique, it has a lot of soul. I think she connects pretty instantly with the character.