This Friday The Giver finally makes it to the big screen after nearly 20 years of talks about bringing the beloved Lois Lowry novel to life. The cast and filmmakers reconvened at The Four Seasons in Beverly Hills to talk about the highly-anticipated flick (in theaters Friday, August 15) and offered up some interesting behind-the-scenes factoids.
Jeff Bridges had another actor in mind to play The Giver.
“I originally wanted to direct my father Lloyd Bridges in the film,” says the veteran actor who was an intrinsic part to getting the film made. “I wanted to make a movie that my kids could see, they were young kids at the time. I was going through this catalog of children’s books and came across this wonderful cover of a grizzled old guy. I read it and was knocked out on a kid book level but also thought this was a brilliant story.”
The Giver’s author Lois Lowry took the picture that landed on the book cover.
“He was a Swedish painter named Carl Gustaf Nelson,” says Lois. “At the time I was a photojournalist and I had been hired to do an article about him. He was dead by the time I wrote the book but I saved the photograph.”
Brenton Thwaites and director Phillip Noyce had their own language.
“When you get this gift, this opportunity, you kind of have to pinch yourself every morning before you go to work,” says Brenton. “And to work with a fellow Aussie (Phillip) was pretty cool, too. If I was bad he would say, ‘Mate.’ If I was good he would say, ‘Mate.’ But I understood what he was getting at.”
Katie Holmes found her role challenging for a unique reason.
“It was interesting to play this character because in this world there’s no emotion,” explain Katie. “There’s no pain. For an actor you’re always trying to emote but you can’t, so it was interesting. Playing Brenton’s mom and him having these experiences that were so foreign to my character and also being the guardian of the rules of this world was really interesting and quite a challenge. But mostly it was just an honor to be a part of it.”
Cameron Monaghan is quite the comedian.
“I mean when I got the audition for this movie they told me it was based on a book that’s taught in all of these schools, produced by the Weinstein Company, with this great director and these actors Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep,” jokes Cameron. “I was like, ‘What have they ever done? Boring! I guess if I have to go to this audition…’ Kicking and screaming I was dragged to go act in a Meryl Streep movie. Obviously having the chance to work with Jeff and Katie and tell this really amazing story, I read the book when I was auditioning, it’s just a really beautiful story.”
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