Although Alfonso Cuarón’s sci-fi thriller “Gravity” takes place in outer space, the Mexican director said the movie starring Oscar winner Sandra Bullock, is about a woman’s inner emotional journey.
“It’s a film about a woman that is drifting into the void, it’s a women that’s a victim of her own inertia.” Cuarón added, “The adversities [she faces] just bring her further and further away from human connection.”
“Gravity,” which hits theaters Oct. 4th, centers around Bullock’s character, Dr. Ryan Stone, who is a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission. While up in space, her shuttle is destroyed leaving her and another veteran astronaut played by George Clooney stranded in Space and forced to fend for themselves.
During a press conference in Los Angeles this week, Cuarón said he decided to collaborate with his oldest son Jonas Cuarón in writing the script for “Gravity” after being impressed with “Desierto,” a script the 32-year-old wrote about two immigrants stranded in the Desert.
“When I read ‘Desierto’ I told him [Jonás] I don’t have any notes for you but I want to help you to write something like that,” said Cuarón. “Something that you are at the edge of your seat, that is really intense, suspenseful.”
And that is how the seed for “Gravity” was planted.
Jonás Cuarón enjoyed teaming up with his three-time Oscar nominated father. “Working with him was a great experience,” said Jonás, “because it is a big challenge to have nonstop action and be able to juggle themes.”
He said the biggest challenge he faced was engaging the audience in an emotional level in a movie that also has heart-pounding action. “I learned a lot from my dad and also a lot from George [Clooney] and Sandra [Bullock] because that’s when I really figured out how a character can come to life.”
Bullock was impressed by the father-son duo particularly because of how they wrote her lead character. “The fact that Jonás and Alfonso wrote this specifically as a woman, it wasn’t an afterthought it was an integral part of the story,” she said.
The Oscar winning actress even dared to call the movie a game-changer. “It’s revolutionary the fact that a studio in blind faith would fund something as unreal as this,” she said. “It’s revolutionary! So to be the person so to be able to do it, it would beyond unreal."
Although Bullock said she and her director sometimes had disagreements on how to portray the stranded astronaut, she admitted that on set there was always a sense of calm, and a level of kindness. Bullock even played homage to Cuarón’s Mexican heritage, by changing a line in the movie to say ‘no hablo Chino’ from the movie’s original line ‘I don’t speak Chinese.’
It has been seven years since Alfonso Cuarón’s latest movie, “Children of Men” which earned three Oscar nominations. ut Cuarón admitted that during the process of writing “Gravity” he was going through his own personal journey, and the experience of writing about a character that overcomes adversities was cathartic.
“I was clinging to the film in the hopes that there was going to be an end of those adversities and a re-birth, and by re-birth I mean new knowledge.”
Naibe Reynoso is a freelance reporter from Los Angeles, California. Follow her @naibereynoso