British actress Emilia Clarke takes a 360-degree turn from her famous Mother of Dragons character, Daenerys, in “Game of Thrones” to portray the wide-eyed, endearing Louisa, in New Line Cinema’s heart-tugging romance, “Me Before You.”
“What drew me to this movie were the words of Jojo Moyes, the book first and then the script,” explains Clarke. “I was hooked on page one and so excited to play a character with such charm and sincerity, who is so authentically and brilliantly British, and with such a lovely arc in her story.”
With no clear direction in her life, quirky and creative Lou works hard as a waitress in a small café in order to help her family make ends meet. “Louisa is a happy-go-lucky, very content girl,” observes Clarke of her character. “When we first meet her, she is working at The Buttered Bun Café, serving tea and scones. She’s very good at it, she loves the clientele, and we see she’s a sweet kind of caring girl who just wants to do well.”
But times are tough and Lou is let go. Knowing her income is as crucial as her skill set is minimal, she tells her local job placement agent that she’ll happily try anything. Her naturally cheery outlook is put to the test, however, when she faces her newest career challenge as caregiver and companion to Will Traynor. A once robust young man, he became wholly dependent on others due to an accident two years prior, and his whole world changed dramatically in the blink of an eye.
Director Thea Sharrock says, “Lou lives with her parents, her sister, her grandpa and her nephew in a very small house in a very small town. But her mum doesn’t have a job, Granddad doesn’t have a job, and Dad now doesn’t have a job, so her small income is a very big deal. Yet her outlook remains a sunny one.”
To find an actress who could play positive under pressure, the filmmakers cast a wide net. “We saw hundreds of girls, and I had Skyped with Emilia about the role, but I can honestly say that when she walked in to audition and did her first scene, it was literally like Lou was in the room,” Sharrock recalls. “There was no question. Her energy was exactly right; like Lou, she was just a breath of fresh air.”
Clarke had an easy rapport with the first-time feature director. “Thea is just the greatest, I love her. You’d never, ever, know that this was her first film,” she declares. “It’s a testimony to her intelligence, her integrity and her work ethic that working on this project, with its very tricky subject matter, felt almost effortless. She was so giving and always had a smile and a laugh to put us at ease, and that trickled down to everyone. I never felt like I was working.”
Based on the critically acclaimed, bestselling novel by Jojo Moyes, New Line Cinema’s and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ “Me Before You” stars Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”) and Sam Claflin (“The Hunger Games” movies), under the direction of renowned theatre director Thea Sharrock, making her feature film directorial debut.
Oftentimes you find love where you least expect it. Sometimes it takes you where you never expected to go…
When Louisa Clark—Lou, as she’s known—unexpectedly loses her waitressing job she must scramble to replace the income that her tight-knit family depends upon. Desperation drives her to take a job as a caregiver to Will Traynor, a man who used to be a wealthy banker with an adventurous soul, living life to the very fullest, but for whom those days are in the past. After a tragic accident, Will lost the desire to live and now keeps everyone at a distance with his caustic, overbearing attitude. But unlike his family, Lou refuses to tiptoe around him or cater to his moods. In fact, her sparkling personality and easy nature are hard for even Will to ignore, and soon enough each becomes exactly what the other needs.
Set for release across the Philippines on June 15, “Me Before You” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.
The film’s Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will be available to download/stream via digital stores starting June 3. Get the CD for only Php 459.00 at Astroplus/Astrovision stores starting June 10.