Re-creating a true story always adds an extra layer of difficulty for filmmakers who know they have to get it right. But for the cast and crew of "The Impossible," it became an effort of obsessive proportions. Director Juan Antonio Bayona understood the randomness of who survived and who perished during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
So, in the making of the film of one family's experience, where each actor stood when they re-created the giant wave became a matter of utmost importance. Bayona took the cast to the actual hotel in Khau Lak where the Alvarez Belon family, the real family the film was based on, was staying when the wave hit.
"It was a strange feeling to know that we were in the same place as the real family," Ewan McGregor, who stars with Naomi Watts, said during the Envelope Screening Series conversation.
McGregor and Watts spent a lot of time with local Thai crew members, many of whom had lost family members and friends in the tragic event. "So many of those strands wound up in how we played our parts," he added.