Feel­ing her way around new role

The New Paper - - LIFESTYLE - ME­HER TATNA, IN LOS AN­GE­LES

Blake Lively acts blind, sings and does nu­dity for All I See Is You

In order to play a blind per­son in her new movie All I See Is You, Blake Lively drew in­spi­ra­tion from one of her “dear­est friends”, who is vis­ually im­paired.

At the Four Sea­sons ho­tel in Bev­erly Hills, the 30-year-old US ac­tress said: “He ex­pe­ri­ences things on a much deeper level than I do. He is so much more in tune with other things that I do not even think about, be­cause I am tak­ing ev­ery­thing at face value.

“There is some­thing in­cred­i­bly valu­able about ex­pe­ri­ences that you have with­out just re­ly­ing on your eyes to tell you the truth.”

In the psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller di­rected by Marc Forster (World War Z, Quan­tum Of So­lace), which opens here to­mor­row, Lively’s char­ac­ter Gina has an al­most per­fect mar­riage with husband James (Ja­son Clarke) even though she has been blind since child­hood due to a car crash.

The cou­ple live in Bangkok, where she re­cov­ers her sight with a corneal trans­plant.

But a joy­ful thing like that turns into some­thing more sin­is­ter, as James be­comes threat­ened by the loss of Gina’s de­pen­dence on him.

To pre­pare for All I See Is You, Lively — who has two daugh­ters, James, two, and Ines, one, with Cana­dian ac­torhus­band Ryan Reynolds — had to wear cus­tom-made con­tact lenses that “took away” her sight.

She said: “What was crazy was that I had to keep up­ping the level, be­cause even though they cre­ated com­plete blind­ness, my eyes would adapt through it and fight through, and we would have to cre­ate thicker and thicker lenses.

“Be­cause of that, you have to be so much more aware of tex­tures and sounds.

“When speak­ing with some­one, what you do is take so­cial cues. You hear some­one’s voice and ad­just your face there rather than putting your ear there.

“So there are all of these lit­tle nu­ances that were re­ally im­por­tant for me to get.

“But it is hard act­ing in a scene when you can­not look your co-star in the eyes be­cause it is such an emo­tional thing when you are in a scene with some­one.”

How do you pick your roles?

It usu­ally is me read­ing a script and say­ing: “Oh, I can­not do this, this is too hard.” So I have to do it. I nor­mally like to find a char­ac­ter that chal­lenges me and some­thing that I have never done be­fore. I look for nice peo­ple too, be­cause some­times that is more rare than you think.

With this film, it was four months af­ter I gave birth to my (first) daugh­ter, and Ja­son had a baby with the same name, a boy who was born two weeks af­ter. So he was so un­der­stand­ing and car­ing, and it was nice to have that.

What ap­pealed to you about All I See Is You?

I can­not sing to save my life, and I sang in this movie. I was blind in this movie.

And I did nu­dity for the first time, and so it was all of these firsts for me.

It was step­ping out of my com­fort zone in so many ways be­cause I think it is im­por­tant to chal­lenge your­self.

How did you deal with the nu­dity?

The peo­ple I work with al­most did not send me the script be­cause they said: “We know you would not do that.” I said just send it to me be­cause I can just talk him (Forster) out of the nu­dity part (laughs).

So I read it and I loved it. When Marc de­scribed it, he said this is a woman who, when she lost her sight, was not de­vel­oped in any way. She gets her sight back and sud­denly her body is that of a woman. The last time she could see, she was a lit­tle girl. Her husband has been able to see this, and now it is time for her to see it and to en­joy and ap­pre­ci­ate it.

It is a movie about see­ing some­thing for the first time, so you have to see it (the nu­dity).

What was in­ter­est­ing to me is that in the first scene, they are mak­ing love and we are see­ing some­thing on her — as an au­di­ence — that she has never seen. There is some­thing that feels both beau­ti­ful and (yet) gets you in your gut a lit­tle bit... that was pow­er­ful to me.

What are your thoughts on the sex­ual as­sault al­le­ga­tions that are roil­ing Hol­ly­wood right now?

I think that power gam­ing is in ev­ery in- dus­try and I think that is some­thing that is im­por­tant to ac­knowl­edge. There is aware­ness and there is con­ver­sa­tion now. It does not mat­ter if you are work­ing in a gro­cery store or star­ring in a movie — there is re­ally de­spi­ca­ble be­hav­iour that hap­pens.

As a woman, it is some­thing you of­ten think: “Oh, that is just what hap­pens and I am not go­ing to re­port that, be­cause that is just the way that it is.” Some­thing very small, like cup­ping your butt or mak­ing some com­ment. Un­less it is on a greater scale.

But as a mother of two daugh­ters, I am so happy that there is been such an awak­en­ing and peo­ple are fi­nally speak­ing out.

tnp@sph.com.sg

PHOTOS: REUTERS, SHAW OR­GAN­I­SA­TION

Blake Lively (right) stars in All I See Is You (above).

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