Brie Larson & Lenny Abrahamson: Room Q&A at LFF

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Last night at the London Film Festival, the talent behind Room, (L-R) Brie Larson, Emma Donoghue and Lenny Abrahamson, came out for a quick Q&A after the movie’s screening to talk about the casting process and shooting in the claustrophobic space.

Room is based on the book by Donoghue about a young boy named Jack who lives in Room and does not know a whole world exists outside of it. That’s all he has known because his mum (Larson) was kidnapped and kept hostage in Room for seven years. They plot an escape and the film follows their progress once they leave the enclosed space.

Here is a round-up of interesting facts from the Q&A:

– Donoghue was not commissioned to write the screenplay from her book – she simply wrote it and then offered it around. Abrahamson approached her with a detailed and very specific breakdown of how he would tackle the film and, as it seemed like they were on the same page, they began working on it

– Larson had eight months to prepare for the project so she did as much as she could to become Ma

– When she met her onscreen son, co-star Jacob Tremblay, for the first time, they never discussed the movie and just bonded over common interests such as Star Wars and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She recalls it was like a date where they played Lego and found out more about each other as she was so desperate for them to get along.

– Once he was picked, they had three weeks of bonding inside Room, where they played toys and games to familiarise themselves with the space. They also improv-ed scenes.

– Although the material was quite dark, Tremblay never knew the entire story (like Jack) so he kept the atmosphere on set light and fun and full of energy. He used to cheered with Larson when they managed to cry on cue.

– Abrahamson and his DP Danny Cohen made a mock-up of Room beforehand so they could figure out camera angles and movements.

– Although the practicalities of the shoot sound tough, Abrahamson admits his biggest challenge was sustaining the drama and emotional connection over the two very different halves of the film.

Room is brilliant and my review can be seen here! I took many pretty crappy photos of the Q&A which you can see below.

 

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  1. […] To see pictures from the Q&A after the screening, check here. […]

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