[The following story contains spoilers from the Apple and A24’s film Causeway]
The A24 and Apple drama Causeway largely revolves across the relationship between Jennifer Lawrence’s returning soldier Lynsey and Brian Tyree Henry’s mechanic James, so it was key that the 2 actors on the heart of the movie had robust chemistry with one another.
Fortunately first-time movie director Lila Neugebauer knew the 2 have been the precise pair “the minute they met.”
“I had an inkling, having met Jen and hung out along with her, significant time along with her,” Neugebauer, who labored extensively in theater earlier than directing Causeway, informed The truestarz at a New York screening of the movie earlier this month. “And having identified Brian for nearly 20 years, I had a suspicion that they’d join simply and deeply and fortuitously, that suspicion proved correct.”
Neugebauer, who met Henry when the 2 have been college students at Yale, says the Atlanta star was “the primary and solely particular person” she needed for the function of James.
A part of why she thought he’d be an excellent match for the half was as a result of “depth of his spirit and his humanity” in addition to his “sensitivity and empathetic creativeness,” which she felt could be particularly essential for him to tackle the function of a person coping with the grief, and bodily damage, attributable to a automobile crash.
“That facet of the character’s story was intrinsic to the story, and we thought meaningfully in regards to the ethics of casting on this movie,” Neugebauer says of getting Henry play a person who misplaced a part of his leg within the traumatic incident in his previous. She provides that she knew Henry would “put within the significant work to arrange to tackle this function thoughtfully, in good conscience, and from a spot of integrity and care.”
For author Elizabeth Sanders, James’ bodily reminder of the accident was a big a part of his bond with Lynsey, who suffered a mind damage in Afghanistan and is coping with further emotional trauma.
“I feel that with the intention to present that it was human empathy that will permit them to maneuver by their grief and trauma collectively, that that type of visible illustration allowed them to start a friendship that may not have in any other case began,” Sanders stated.
And, she continued, that bond develops so rapidly as a result of they acknowledge the “trauma that they each share.”
Sanders stated the thought for the movie initially got here out of her questioning about army veterans attempting to reenter civilian life.
“I used to be desirous about what life was like [for them], particularly when their accidents weren’t seen and what that entailed so far as them coming again and processing their trauma and overcoming their grief,” Sanders informed THR.
So as to perceive that facet of the story, Sanders and the staff behind the movie spoke to veterans, together with individuals who had been to Afghanistan, and army personnel, partially to “see tools that was used and what individuals have been coming again recognized with.”
Extra writers Luke Goebel and Ottessa Moshfegh have been introduced on later within the course of, as soon as the solid was signed on however earlier than filming started in New Orleans, to increase Lynsey’s Afghanistan backstory.
“We did a whole lot of analysis on traumatic mind damage; Afghanistan water methods, the work Lynsey would have accomplished there; her expertise in getting injured and her restoration again dwelling — what that appears like for lots of troopers,” Moshfegh informed THR.
Goebel stated that whereas a lot of this didn’t make it into the movie, they discovered extensively about “historic water methods” in Afghanistan, which he expressed “nice admiration” for and stated have been “sensible, sustainable” and “unbelievable.”
Past that, they discovered in regards to the important restoration course of and non-physical manifestations of a traumatic mind damage.
“Simply studying that you’d be airlifted from Kandahar to Germany, have mind surgical procedure, undergo in depth rehabilitation there after which go stick with a caretaker, who’s an impartial caretaker, for months or longer simply to study to brush your tooth once more,” Goebel stated.
Moshfegh added, “I had by no means thought a lot that the restoration from a [traumatic brain injury] was such an emotional expertise. Engaged on scenes early on the place Lynsey is first staying within the dwelling of this nurse and arising with ways in which she may say one thing that she didn’t imply to say or have a very unexpectedly emotional response to one thing and the best way that that type of made her conscious of what she was going by.”
Regardless of her lack of non-public army expertise, Neugebauer stated she related with the undertaking by a “feeling of recognition” she skilled studying the unique screenplay.
“I felt very related to this character’s interior life,” she stated. “I’m not a service member. I’m not a veteran, however her insides spoke to me very deeply. And there was a care and endurance and a spotlight to element in the best way the story was informed that additionally appealed to me.”
Neugebauer was additionally happy to find that directing for movie and for the stage “are deeply aligned.”
“The core questions that you simply’re asking and searching for to reply, the collaborative methods, the physicality of making a shared language with an actor, the function of visible composition to storytelling: The initiatives felt very aligned even when the construction and course of are radically totally different,” Neugebauer stated of directing for the 2 mediums.
And Lawrence, who stars within the movie and makes her debut as a producer by her Glorious Cadaver shingle, was drawn to each first-time movie director Neugebauer and the stripped-down undertaking.
“It had been a very long time since we’d seen Jen in one thing this intimate, one thing this stripped again,” Lawrence’s producing companion Justine Ciarrocchi informed THR. “She had accomplished a slew of larger studio movies and I feel was craving one thing smaller. I additionally assume the script was unconventional, it had a whole lot of soul. I feel she related fairly instantly with the character.”