Something odd happened between the draft of the script being completed (the first draft was in Spanish and titled Lo imposible) and the final, finished film, called The Impossible. The Belón family from Spain became British (with the new surname Bennett). María became blonde and was portrayed by Australian actress Naomi Watts and her husband Henry was portrayed by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor.
|The Belon family|
To read more of what the director said about the movie, click here.
|Actress Naomi Watts |
and María Belon
Belón said she was involved in the making of The Impossible for several years and that she did have a say in the film's casting. When Bayona asked Belón who her favorite actress was, she replied Naomi Watts because of her performance in 21 Grams [directed by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu].
Read more of what she said about the movie in Ben Kenber's blog on Yahoo! by clicking here.
|Director Juan Antonio |
Read more of this blog by clicking here.
On the movie, the Clearing Customs brings up a different point, noting, "My first thought when I saw the movie trailer was, Why must we tell non-Western stories through the eyes of Westerners? Surely there were stories about Indonesians, Sri Lankans, Indians, Thais, and others in Southeast Asia worth telling. Belón [in an appearance on the U.S. television show "The View" addressed this by saying], "It needed to be told just as an excuse to tell everybody else’s stories. That’s the only reason why we wanted our story to be told is because nothing happened to us. . . . I will tell that thousands of times. Nothing happened to us, but from so many people were so painful, so difficult, that that was the only reason why we wanted to tell this story, just an excuse to tell everybody else’s stories. . . . Only for them. Only for them."
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For her performance as María, Naomi Watts earned Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Actress. Also interesting to note that while the family in the film had an undisclosed nationality (even though speaking with British accents), principal photography occurred in Alicante, Spain (and later Thailand).
Most good storytellers tell stories with universal themes in which all of us can relate.The question then is "What is universal?" or "What makes a story universal?" Does it mean people of European heritage in the lead roles? A story that deals with non-Caucasian characters but tells the story from a Caucasian character's point of view? British accents? (Confer films of the science fiction/fantasy genre, such as the Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises.)
Would a couple of Spaniard actors playing María and Henry in The Impossible make the film's story less universal?
|Dev Patel and Frieda Pinto|
in Slumdog Millionaire
|Suraj Sharma (and tiger) in Life of Pi|
|Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild|
Perhaps when Hollywood takes a good, truthful look at the world and who populates it, maybe then it won't be so skittish about telling stories that are truly universal.