Sarah says it’s a dream come true play­ing the de­voted screen wife to Tom Cruise’s high­fly­ing char­ac­ter in a new ac­tion adventure

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY - SEANNA CRONIN

Sit­ting in a plane while it was be­ing flown by Hol­ly­wood star Tom Cruise was just one of many sur­real mo­ments for Sarah Wright on the set of Amer­i­can Made.

The ac­tress stars op­po­site Cruise in the ac­tion comedy by di­rec­tor Doug Li­man.

“Did I sit there and think about Top Gun? Did I feel like I had to pinch my­self ev­ery day? I knew at the time this was a once-in-a-life­time thing,” Wright says.

The film is based on the out­ra­geous life of Barry Seal (Cruise), a pi­lot who lands work for the CIA and as a drug run­ner in South Amer­ica dur­ing the 1980s.

Amer­i­can Made re­unites Li­man with Cruise, who starred in his 2014 film Edge of To­mor­row.

“The first time I read the script I was to­tally fas­ci­nated by the story,” Wright says. “It was just one of those sto­ries that you can’t be­lieve that it’s true and then I was ex­cited to see what Doug Li­man was go­ing to do with it. Tom was al­ready at­tached to it. I didn’t nec­es­sar­ily think it was some­thing I was go­ing to get. I was just ex­cited to go for it.”

Wright’s au­di­tion process for the role of Lucy, Barry’s wife, was un­like any she’d un­der­gone be­fore.

“The day that I au­di­tioned with Tom and Doug in At­lanta, they had called me on my phone when I ar­rived and said, ‘We’re so ex­cited to see you and play around with this. Let’s have fun and im­pro­vise’,’’ she says.

“It was a four-hour au­di­tion and be­cause of that I felt so com­fort­able and so open to be able to take that lib­erty with them. I didn’t feel in­tim­i­dated by him (Cruise). He al­ways re­ally lifted me up and made me feel like I had so much to con­trib­ute.”

Much to the sur­prise of Lucy, Barry goes from a well­re­spected TWA pi­lot to a key fig­ure in one of the great­est scan­dals in mod­ern his­tory.

Once the hot­shot air­man and charm­ing en­tre­pre­neur gets caught up in a shad­owy di­vi­sion of the gov­ern­ment – run­ning crates of AK-47s and ki­los of co­caine – he makes a for­tune as a key player in the Iran-Con­tra af­fair.

“They were work­ing for the good guys. In that re­spect I think they thought that they were al­ways un­touch­able,” Wright says.

“She was head over heels in love with him. That was her guy, her soul­mate. Peo­ple have asked me if I was wor­ried that she was go­ing to be that tro­phy wife char­ac­ter. I wasn’t be­cause Doug Li­man would be bored by a char­ac­ter like that. He re­ally likes to make fe­males strong.”

While there’s plenty of high-fly­ing ac­tion as Barry dodges the DEA on his reg­u­lar drug runs and grap­ples with the com­pet­ing de­mands of the CIA and narco-ter­ror­ist Pablo Es­co­bar, his ex­ploits are de­picted with a heavy dose of dark hu­mour.

“The scene where he crash lands the plane and is cov­ered in pow­der and grabs this bi­cy­cle and is still keep­ing up with his man­ners in this chaos is funny to me,” Wright says.

“The part of Lucy that’s so funny is she’s so blunt and hon­est and strong and open.

“There’s a lot of sit­u­a­tional comedy in such weird and dra­matic sit­u­a­tions.”

From mov­ing her fam­ily half­way across the coun­try in the mid­dle of the night to hid­ing duf­fel bags full of cash, Lucy sticks by Barry through thick and thin.

As a mother of two, Wright could re­late to Lucy’s over­rid­ing de­sire to keep her fam­ily to­gether.

“That’s what’s so bad-ass about her. Lucy will do what she has to do to pro­vide for the fam­ily,” she says. Amer­i­can Made opens in cin­e­mas to­day

Tom Cruise and Sarah Wright in a scene from the new ac­tion comedy Amer­i­can Made, di­rected by Doug Li­man.

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