January 1, 2011

Clint Eastwood Contemplates the “HEREAFTER” in New Film

Barely five-and-a-half months after wrapping “Invictus” in South Africa, Clint Eastwood is back behind the camera filming Warner Bros.’ “Hereafter” and considers this production schedule business as usual. “It just happened,” he says. “You know, people used to do it all the time. You just keep forging ahead.”

For Eastwood, “Hereafter” — written by two-time Oscar nominee Peter Morgan (“The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon”)—represents a departure from his previous films. The film centers on the interwoven stories of three people touched by mortality in different ways: George, a blue collar American (played by Matt Damon), who seems to hear the voices of the dead when he makes any kind of physical connection; Marie (Cécile de France), a French journalist who has a near-death experience in a violent tsunami while on holiday in Southeast Asia; and Marcus, an eleven-year-old London boy who loses his twin brother in a car accident.

Morgan’s script found its way to Eastwood through a series of human connections involving Kathleen Kennedy, who ultimately produced the film with Eastwood’s longtime collaborator Robert Lorenz. “It’s a very intelligent screenplay,” Eastwood notes. “It is a good character study. Everybody is affected by something that eventually pushes them towards each other. I just thought it was very cleverly constructed. It had some interesting message about loss, finding oneself, love. I am not too big on psychics, but it seemed a different way to do that subject matter. That’s what attracted me to it.”

Kennedy had previously worked with Eastwood and Lorenz on “Bridges of Madison County” and was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them again. “I had an incredible experience with Clint and I’m enormously thankful to be doing this again,” she states. “He’s one of a kind.”

For Cécile de France, working with Eastwood for the first time was a revelation. “I felt he totally trusts you, so you feel ready to give him all your energy and potential,” the actress says.

“He wants everything to unfold naturally, in terms of letting the actors be spontaneous and moving things along,” says Lorenz, who has worked with the director for over a decade. “He trusts the people that work for him, and creates this fantastic working environment with his presence. It all emanates from him.”

“When you approach a scene in a movie, your intuition is to do it a certain way,” Eastwood offers. “I like to embrace the stories and let them unfold naturally by getting to know the people.

“In this film, each of the three main characters has something the other one needs, not necessarily answers, but a starting point to get on with their lives. They’ve all just got to do the best they can while they’re here.”

Opening soon across the Philippines, “Hereafter” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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