It was an acting challenge that Naomi Watts failed to pass.
Oscar-nominated stars in “Lakewood” have spent the lion’s share of such heinous exercise in movie heroes and heroines, such as “The Impossible” and “King Kong” At the boy’s school, which is in lockdown with an active shooter. It’s Watts and Watts alone on screen most of the film’s 84-minute run time. Since an actor became so isolated and exposed due to a psychological catastrophe via speakerphone in Talk Hardy’s “Lock”.
“It scared the shit out of me and it’s always an interesting thing,” Watts said. Diversity “Lakewood” then premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in the morning. “I feed other actors. You rely on your cast. As an actor, you don’t want to be there by yourself. You want to be interactive and responsive. Even if you have a well-thought-out thought, you still need to push someone else to the rhythm or somewhere else.
So Watts had a condition. When his character calls different people in his life – neighbors, car mechanics, his children and elderly parents – when he is struggling to read about the disaster that happened at school, he has to be on the phone with other actors who are performing their dialogues live.
“Those conversations weren’t recorded before, and it was extremely important because a lot of things could happen that were unplanned,” Watts said. “It means they were able to move with me and stay agile. If we just pre-recorded the voices, it would indicate my performance and make me feel quite cool.”
In “Lakewood,” Watts plays the grieving mother of Amy, a teenage son who is increasingly dissatisfied with the tragic death of his father. To clear her head, Amy goes into a long natural world, only to find that her morning race is interrupted by reports that authorities are looking for an active shooter. They even suspect that Amy’s son might somehow get caught in the middle, which increases the excitement and risk. Watts needs to be in constant motion to capture that growing sense of fear and panic.
“Naomi has a do-it-yourself attitude where nothing can beat her,” said director Philip Noyes. “Sometimes he runs two and a half miles on his own. One day, he placed cinematographer John Brawley, three camera operators and four grips in the ailing bay. They all had to retire while trying to stay with her and Naomi was still going.
Watts says the physical fatigue he felt helped him capture Amy’s growing panic.
“I wanted to get to a place where I was dizzy and my body was hurting, but it was all fuel for the chaos and that added a sense of sheer terror to Amy,” Watts said. “I wanted to continue. You get to a place where your mind is not working and neither is your body, but you are just moving forward and things are starting to happen in a way that seemed to be true.
In thematic consideration, Noise and Watts were concerned that the film would not be exploitative. To get a better idea of life shattered by mass shootings and gun violence, Watts met with members of the Evertown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group. The director and star also said the actual shooting going on at the school was not dramatic, but instead focused their camera on a mother desperate to know what was happening to her son. Although the film tells a deeply personal story, Watts wants it to help start a debate on a topic that is politically polarizing.
“I hope it will continue the conversation,” Watts said. “My job as an actor is to reach people’s hearts and minds. I’m just a tube. Hopefully this can change those who think gun law should be theirs. Hopefully it can show people’s perspectives on what a parent is going through when one of these horrific shots happens. ”
“Lakewood” was shot in 2020 with a skeleton thrower and crew as Hollywood was slowly starting production after a long cove-forced lockdown. Noise believes that in that context the film has created a deep realization of the need for construction and empathy which is a core part of “Lakewood”.
“All of these covids left us at home with our kids for the most intense six months we spent,” Noise said. “It simply came to our notice then. We knew what the film was about, how much time a parent would take to protect their child. ”