Brie Larson: ‘Room spoke to my soul’

Brie Larson knew “in her marrow” that she needed to be involved with Room after realising the director wouldn’t make it about “torture and gratuitous drama”.

The actress is already generating Oscars buzz thanks to her portrayal of Ma in the movie, about a woman who is imprisoned in a room with her five-year-old son Jack, whose father is her captor. Director Lenny Abrahamson was certain Brie was perfect for the role, with the actress determined to win it after a lengthy discussion with him.

“It was supposed to be a 30-minute coffee meeting,” she told Deadline. “It turned into a four-hour-long talk. We just immediately went so deep into our families. We were talking about mythology and our favourite films, about complication and contemporary society – all of these things that the allegory in this movie had a great opportunity to explore, and how much deeper we could explore it. I left that meeting feeling like it was in my marrow that I needed to do it. I felt comfortable that Lenny would come from a place of love and not from a place of torture and gratuitous drama.”

Also pivotal was the casting of Ma’s son Jack, with the role eventually going to Jacob Tremblay. He was playing a boy three years younger than his true age but has been praised for his portrayal, although Jacob doesn’t see what the big deal is.

“I thought about when I was a little kid that was five,” he explained. “I’d jump on the couch and run laps. I just remembered jumping around and getting bruises by accident.”

The film was a hard one to get made as much of it takes place in the small room the characters are imprisoned in. It is based on the book of the same name by Emma Donoghue, who also penned the screenplay and began working on it even before she’d scored a deal with a studio, borrowing books from her local library to help her with the process.

Although it’s not been released yet, the film has been widely praised by critics as it’s been screened at various film festivals – something Lenny is still getting used to.

“I saw grown agents crying,” he marvelled. “Somebody said, ‘Have they not had their tear ducts surgically removed?’ No. If you, as a viewer, feel like you’re discovering it yourself, then it feels like a part of you, it’s personal. I think that’s why the film has so much power.”

– Cover Media

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