Solzy at the Movies had the privilege of being on the red carpet for the world premiere of Lucy in the Sky last month during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.
Lucy in the Sky serves as Noah Hawley’s feature directorial debut. The debut for Hawley comes following his work on both Fargo and Legion.
Natalie Portman–who still dreams of being an astronaut in real life–and Jon Hamm lead a cast that also includes Zazie Beetz, Dan Stevens, Colman Domingo, Ellen Burstyn, Nick Offerman, Tig Notaro, Pearl Amanda Dickson, and Jeffrey Donovan.
The film’s synopsis: In LUCY IN THE SKY, Natalie Portman plays Lucy Cola, a strong woman whose determination and drive as an astronaut take her to space, where she’s deeply moved by the transcendent experience of seeing her life from afar. Back home as Lucy’s world suddenly feels too small, her connection with reality slowly unravels.
Fox Searchlight Pictures will open the film in theaters on Friday.
Noah Hawley on working with Natalie Portman:
She’s so precise but so human and warm. I’m not a believer that we have to suffer to make great art. I want to create a working environment for actors where we do our best work and we go home to our kids because that’s what I want to do. I think Natalie appreciated that I wasn’t asking her to go through to some ordeal just to make the movie. The work that goes on screen—that’s the craft of acting. You don’t need to torture your actors to get them to act tortured.
While the other red carpet interviews were grouped, I spoke individually with Lucy in the Sky screenwriters Brian C. Brown and Elliott DiGuiseppi.
Can you talk about the process of writing the film?
Brian C. Brown: We sat in a fast food booth at a fast food restaurant in Los Angeles and just sort of talked about everything—about the part of Central Florida where we grew up, about astronauts. We found a list of songs that families had sent to their family members who were on space missions going back forever and found that on this particular mission, they’d sent Smash Mouth’s All Star and it was this real realization that astronauts who are sort of considered superheroes or look like action figures are just people with the same taste in music as the people where we’re from. And it was about trying to get all of that into the movie.
Elliott DiGuiseppi: I think for us an early part of the process is making sure that we have the characters right knowing who they are knowing what their backgrounds are and knowing how they behave in a situation like this and just staying honest to that and checking in is just part of the process as well.
Were there any space movies that served as an influence?
Elliott DiGuiseppi: I watched Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Blue a lot, which is not a space movie. I don’t think so. I think for us—it’s a space movie in a lot of ways. I think what our great hope is is that people will watch it and see a lot of themselves in Natalie’s character and realize that this is just about empathy. It’s about finding that person who understands what it is that you’re going through and the value of something like that.
How honored are you to premiere the film in Toronto?
Elliott DiGuiseppi: Incredibly honored. It is a dream come true.
Brian C. Brown: This has been the best week. We’ve been here, seen so many movies, and had just the best time. T his festival is amazing and we’re thrilled to be premiering here.