OWEN WIL­SON ON WON­DER

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TEARJERKING movie Won­der tells the story of Au­gust (Aug­gie), a young boy with fa­cial dif­fer­ences and what hap­pens when he starts school for the first time, aged ten. We met up with huge Hol­ly­wood stars Ju­lia Roberts and Owen Wil­son, plus Ja­cob Trem­blay (who plays the lead role in the movie), when they came to Lon­don, to find out more…

Ja­cob, you spent some time with chil­dren who su er from the same con­di­tion as Aug­gie. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Ja­cob: My par­ents and I were learn­ing about fa­cial dif­fer­ences on­line and we found a group of chil­dren in a kids’ hos­pi­tal in Toronto, so I reached out to them and I asked them if they could send me let­ters of ex­pe­ri­ences and tips. Just any­thing they could share with me or wanted me to know. Later I got back all these let­ters. I put all the let­ters in a binder and I had it with me ev­ery day on set and I would read it be­fore I did some emo­tional scenes. And also, be­fore I filmed Won­der, I went to a re­treat where fam­i­lies of kids who have fa­cial dif­fer­ences get to­gether and just have a good time. They in­vited our fam­ily and I got to go to Florida and I made lots of friends. It was very fun.

You spent a lot of time in make-up to play Aug­gie, then you had to for­get about the make-up to play him. How was that?

Ja­cob: It was chal­leng­ing but I would do it again in a heart­beat.

Ju­lia and Owen, you play pretty cool par­ents in the film. Do you think you’re cool par­ents in real life and do your kids think you’re cool?

Ju­lia: They’re two very dif­fer­ent ques­tions be­cause I was go­ing to say we’re in­cred­i­bly cool par­ents, but would our chil­dren say we’re cool? I don’t know, it would de­pend on the day.

Owen: That does seem to be part of be­ing a kid, is that at some point you start to roll your eyes at your par­ents. And sadly with me, it’s al­ready be­gun at six. But I think I’m a pretty cool par­ent.

Do you ever re­call a mo­ment in your life when some­body’s kind­ness has made your day or your kind­ness has made some­body’s day?

Ju­lia: I think yes­ter­day, that nice man whose birth­day it was, who came in and talked to us, he put a smile on our face for the rest of the day. He told us such a sweet story about be­ing at school with a class­mate when there was an ac­ci­dent. He was new as a se­nior and a guy was kind to him. He reached out to the guys four years later and told him that, even four years later, it still means some­thing to him that he was the only per­son that was truly kind to him. We were all in tears; it was so sweet.

What’s your favourite funny mo­ment from be­hind the scenes?

Owen: It ac­tu­ally didn’t end up be­ing be­hind the scenes be­cause we used it in the movie. When Ju­lia’s char­ac­ter gave me her man­u­script and then I give her a present and she opens it – that was be­hind the scenes, but you got to see her re­ac­tion to it in the movie. I was ex­cited that day and had an idea.

Ju­lia: He wasn’t sup­posed to give me any present, so it was pretty funny.

Ja­cob: Of all the fun­ni­est things that hap­pened on set, most of them have to do with Owen and some of them have to do with just us kids mess­ing around. Dur­ing one scene Owen stubbed his toe and he fell to the ground, which was pretty funny. I don’t know why I laughed at him get­ting hurt, but it was funny.

What ad­vice would you give to some­one who is strug­gling at school and try­ing to fit in?

Owen: It’s such a great thing what Iz­abela [who plays Aug­gie’s sis­ter] says in the movie. Maybe you want to say some ver­sion of that.

Ju­lia: She says: “It’s im­pos­si­ble to blend in when you were born to stand out.” But that’s so hard to feel when you feel re­ally small in class with gi­ants, or what­ever the feel­ing is!

Won­der is in cin­e­mas now.

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