Actors Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts star in “The Impossible”, the account of a family caught in the mayhem of the tsunami that hit South East Asia in 2004.
Watts plays the character of Maria, who finds herself separated from her husband and sons during one of the worst real-life natural disasters of our time.
“The idea of making a movie about just the tsunami and it being sort of spectacular in any way was very scary to me in the original, when the idea was originally proposed to me,” said Watts. “But once I read the script, I knew I had to do it because it was handled with such sensitivity, and told from the truth, which is Maria’s story.”
Directed by Spanish filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayona, “The Impossible” was inspired by the true story of a Spanish family. In the film, however, it’s a British family that spends most of their Christmas holiday searching for each other and bonding with fellow survivors.
McGregor said the biggest challenge was doing the real-life characters justice.
“Well it was very important that we were there, I think, where it happened. We shot in the same hotel where the family had been staying. When the tsunami hits the coastline, we’re standing in the same positions that the family had actually been in, in 2004. Our crew, our Thai crew, a lot of them had been affected by the tsunami. A lot of their family had been affected. We stayed in hotels that have been struck by the tsunami. So, we were surrounded by people all the time who’ve had first-hand experience in what we were trying to recreate.”
“The Impossible” is already on release in some European countries this year and opens in the U.S. on December 21st.