Wednesday, October 19th Saw Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and writer and Director Derek Cianfrance descend on Central London for the Premiere of The Light Between Oceans.
The film, which was first shown at the 73rd Venice Film Festival, and is based on the extraordinary best-selling novel from M.L Stedman, THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS, is a beautiful yet heartbreaking story of love and sacrifice. On a remote Australian island in the years following World War I, lighthouse keeper Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) and his wife, Isabel (Alicia Vikander), discover a boat washed ashore carrying a dead man and a two-month-old baby. Rescuing the infant, they make the decision to raise her as their own but the consequences of their choice prove to be devastating.
Ahead of the premiere, we attended the press conference at London’s prestigious Claridges Hotel where Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Derek Cianfrance wherein good spirits and joked with members of the press in conversation on the film.
Director and Writer Derek Cianfrance’s Attraction to the Story.
When I first read it I was just so taken with the emotion, I was on the subway train in Brooklyn and I was crying during rush hour. It was so embarrassing to be crying but I felt like if anyone else was reading what I was reading they would be crying too. Eventually, when I wrote the script these guys there were crying too.
Basically, I wanted to do it because I wanted to cry more.
Alicia Vikander on her character Isabel.
She is an interesting character and quite complex when you find her in the beginning of the story alongside most people at this time after the First World War had gone through a loss with a generation wiped out. She’s still young, she’s becoming a woman. She’s still quite naive but she has this immense amount of life spirit within her. I loved that both in the book and the script I read there was an element of this young woman that is almost unlikable at the beginning because she is so upfront, she acts and says things without thinking. However, she never does anything without it coming straight from the heart. She wants to do good, I admire her for having this just wanting to believe in life, create life, and believe in love, a big arc of her becoming a wife and a mother in this story. It’s interesting for both me and Michael to play ordinary good people that sometimes don’t make the best decisions. It’s relatable they are flawed but they only act with true emotion and goodness.
Michael Fassbender on his character Tom’s back story.
It was something Derek and I talked about, we talked about lots of things, we would go for walks and chat about life and things that weren’t related to the film but definitely what Tom is bringing when we meet him. I was very aware it had to be written on his face, his soul and he was almost carrying this shadow of death with France and trench warfare, just the horrors of world war 1. Everything about him is that war, the fact he survived it, the fact he is carrying this survivor’s guilt with him and the fact he seeks a job that’s going to put him in absolute isolation. So it was something I was very focused on.
What We Learned About The Light Between Oceans.
Alicia had just been in Perth shooting for a film which is where she got her perfect accent from in the movie. She was terrified each day with the thought of doing the accent.
Derek says the role of religion in the film was forgiven, people forgiving other people for just being human.
The whole time shooting the cast including Director Derek, Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander did nothing but snotty crying.
Derek spent 6 months trying to find the right location, he wanted to shoot in Austrailia but Pirates of the Caribbean 5 came into town and took all the tax credit away. So they couldn’t afford to shoot there. So they ended up in New Zealand.
Michael Fassbender on working with children thinks when they are improvising they are magical. It just comes flowing out of them. He finds it quite hard to keep up with them. You can learn a lot from working with kids.
When filming they had weekends to themselves to explore the location.
Listen to the press Conference, in full, below.
The Light Between Oceans is in UK Cinemas November 1st