Tom Hanks and Halle Berry have revealed all about leading a large cast in Cloud Atlas – an ambitious epic that cross-cuts between six different stories, with all the actors playing different roles in each of the stories, using makeup to switch ethnicity and even gender.
The movie tackles many big ideas – including reincarnation, philosophy and the power of art.
The lead actors say the most important message they took away was the power of connection, uniting humanity.
Hanks said: "It's about how your acts reverberate through eternity.
“If your acts are one of cruelty, well then that's going to hold a lot of sway for a very long time. And if you make a decision that is based on kindness and love – a highfaluting version of it – that too reverberates.”
Berry added: "I always have felt that way. I think we have to all come from somewhere.
"I really believe that one of the messages our movie presents is that we're all connected womb to the tomb – somehow we're all related. And wouldn't that be a great thought to embrace?"
The actors involved say they were thrilled at the challenge of playing characters across different time periods, ethnicities and genders.
"It was just so disorienting seeing myself as a man that was totally unrecognizable, even though I didn't have to do much as that man," said Susan Sarandon. "People really did not know it was me. My dog recognized me, but that was it."
In the 1970s story, Korean actress Doona Bae plays a Hispanic woman. "It was amazing to look totally different and get some fat," she said. "Can you recognize me? You couldn't right? Haha! It was amazing!"
The film is "overwhelming in every area," James D'Arcy said. "It's so unlike anything that you've ever seen or experienced, that honestly the only thing that one could do in the filming of it – and I feel probably in terms of watching it as well – is just to kind of throw your arms in the air, relax, enjoy it.
“The ride will take you where it's supposed to take you and it will all work out in the end.”
- Cloud Atlas is set to be released in the UK on February 22.
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