TRIP OF A LIFETIME
They may have been flying by the seats of their pants, but Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt and Michael Sheen were all along for this ride
JENNIFER LAWRENCE IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT FOR SPACE EPIC PASSENGERS
It may be a space epic, but Passengers was actually a pretty intimate endeavour. Most days on set, the cast consisted of just Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt and Michael Sheen, who naturally got close quickly.
“I have friends I’ve known for more than 15 years and I don’t know them as well and they don’t know me as well as we (all) do because we spent 16 hours a day, every day together,” Lawrence says. In the film, which is in cinemas this week, Pratt and Lawrence are passengers on a 120-year journey to a new planet. Travelling in hibernation pods, both wake up 90 years earlier than planned. Sheen plays a robot bartender and de facto friend of the two leads as they try to figure out what to do. You didn’t know each other before? JL: None of us did! MS: I remember the very first conversation we ever had. It was about ghosts. JL: Was it? I was staying in a haunted house! It was straight up haunted. MS: Within a minute we were talking about ghosts. JL: It was heavy on my mind ... it was really haunted. The jacuzzi would turn on by itself. Does every actor dream of being in a space film – strapping on a spacesuit and playing with weightlessness? JL: If we were actually weightless it would be amazing. The truth is you’re on a wire being held by your underwear in a 75 pound spacesuit having to float your arms up pretending to be weightless. MS: Would you have preferred to do what they did on Apollo 13, going on that actual aeroplane and dropping? JL: No, I would not. CP: I would love that. MS: You would? CP: That would be amazing. MS: That scares the bejeezus out of me. CP: I would love that. I would do that in a heartbeat. Does the idea of going on a 120-year journey to colonise a planet hold any appeal to you? JL: It does for me. It’s a huge adventure. It’s definitely a downside that by the time you get there everyone you know and love is dead. If you could bring a couple of people, though ... if I could bring Michael and Pratt, I’d be like, “Guys, let’s go on a vacation. Don’t ask questions. You’re going to have to get a colonic.” And then I would just sneak you into the hibernation pods and when you woke up I’d be like, “It’s 200 years in the future!” MS: It would be interesting to see if in 200 years in the future, anyone is watching any of the films that the three of us have been in. JL: Oh, of course they are! CP: But it’s crazy to think that just like, 200, 300 years ago people did get to make that decision. They boarded ships headed westward where they truly knew they were never going to come back. MS: That idea of being a pioneer, I can see what is so exhilarating about that for people. CP: We’ve run out of things to explore that are physical on this planet. There are no islands left, there are no landmasses left that haven’t been colonised or explored. There’s a pretty big twist in this movie that audiences will react strongly to. JL: That’s what’s so amazing. We don’t want to talk too much about it because we want people to be surprised, but it’s such a controversial twist in the movie that we haven’t even advertised. And that was what I really liked about the movie. Everyone who leaves is going to have a different opinion. MS: We’re talking about the twist that I don’t have legs? JL: Yes. What was the water bubble stunt like? JL: I was in a tank that was filled with mostly my urine. The hardest part was going upside down but not being able to blow the air out so water got in my nose and I’d have to swallow it. Is it refreshing to do an original blockbuster? MS: It’s now becoming rarer and rarer to see a film on this scale that you come to completely fresh. It’s not a rehash. It’s an original story ... It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Also it’s a massive sci-fi film and there’s a really intimate story going on too. I can see why this film could easily not work without these specific two people doing it. JL: Thank you Michael! MS: This is La La Land, right? Passengers opens in cinemas January 1
Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt became close while filming Passengers.