“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible,” says Will Traynor in “Me Before You.” His advice is directed at his effervescent yet seemingly settling caregiver Louisa “Lou” Clark, 26, who claims to be happy in the quaint English town in which they both grew up. But Will, only 31 himself, knows whereof he speaks…perhaps better than most.
“At its most basic, this is a story about the power of love and how it transforms you,” says director Thea Sharrock. “These are two characters who, but for their very different and difficult circumstances, should never have met…but here they are. And that’s where the fairytale begins.”
Lou and Will’s uniquely romantic tale was crafted for the screen by Jojo Moyes, based on her own bestselling novel. “It’s a simple and complicated story all at once,” Sharrock continues. “Both in the script and in her book, Jojo managed to find a way to make the most emotionally difficult situations incredibly accessible through the unfolding of these two characters’ getting to know each other along this transformative journey they take.”
“It’s a bit of a dream for me, the idea that this story is going beyond the book to the screen,” Moyes offers. “Having watched what it’s become through the actors’ performances and Thea’s wonderful direction, I can say that people who see the movie will get the same story and characters, but also get something quite different out of it. Audiences bring their own experiences, hopes and fears, and I think they will truly be taken out of themselves and into Lou and Will’s world.”
Sharrock adds, “Jojo has carried these characters, Lou in particular, with her for a long time, so it was especially important to me that we get it right.”