‘I didn’t practise
in front of the mirror’

If surviving hypothermia and a mountain lion wasn’t traumatising enough, Adrien Brody had to throw a worm down his gullet for his role in Wrecked. No wonder he thinks acting is about being dedicated and fearless


Silvia Radan

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Published: Sat 23 Oct 2010, 9:59 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:53 AM

“Making films is dangerous,” declares Oscar Award winner Adrien Brody, who was thrown into a fast flowing ice-cold river thrice while shooting Wrecked, which screened at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) as part of the first or second time film directors, a new competition section in the festival.

Something between Blair Witch Project and Robert Zemeckis’s Cast Away, Wrecked is a psychological thriller, a one-man show for Brody, who does the job brilliantly.

Not only that he had to catch a rope with his frozen hand to save himself out of hypothermia that any more time in the river could have cost him, but he also had to face a mountain lion only a few meters away and even eat a worm!

“Uniqueness is valuable and this is a very unique movie,” said the New York actor.

In deep and remote forest country, at a bottom at a steep cliff, Brody wakes up to find himself injured, trapped in a broken car, with a couple of dead bodies laying around and with no memory of what had happened or who he was. The only things that seemed to remain undamaged by the accident are his wristwatch and the car’s radio.

There is no food around, but there is a bag of money and a gun and, as Brody crawls his way out of the forest he becomes more and more convinced that he is guilty of a terrible crime.

In most parts, the movie is quite slow, with not much intensity, only a couple of short dialogues and a very few, even shorter, monologues, but it has its moments, which are not without humour. In one of them he is eating a worm.

“I was sitting by a pool of water, watching this worm trying to get out of it. In a way, we seem to have the same story – I was trying desperately to get out of the forest and he to get out of the water, which became clear that it was never going to succeed,” explainedBrody.

“So I kept trying to convince Michael to film the worm, but he kept saying no and then I said, ok, I’ll eat it, and he replied ‘Really?

You will eat it?’ and I did!”

“It’s about dedication. I try to be fearless, especially in my work,” added Brody.

First time fiction filmmaker Michael Greenspan was not wrong to choose Brody for this film.

“When I received the first script draft five years ago, I thought of Adrien Brody. We made the entire project with him in mind,” revealed Greenspan.

When he first received the script, Brody gave it to his father, who, after reading it, told the actor to leave everything else and do this movie. After reading the script himself Brody agreed, even though it was clear this was not going to be a blockbuster movie, nor was it tagged with famed names.

“I try as much as I can not to let financial and box office sales influence me. Yes, every now and then is good to get yourself noticed and stay at the top, as this allows you to pick and choose the kind of movie you want to make,” said Brody.

The final reward for him playing this character was that he got the rare opportunity to be cast in a one-role movie, where he could showcase his full strength as an actor.

“I didn’t practice in front of the mirror,” revealed Brody.

“I do not like to be self-aware of becoming grotesque, thorn and haunted. I would hate to look in the mirror and hate to see how I look because it reminds me of myself and I do not play myself.”

Brody, who is now for the second time at ADFF, in both occasions accompanied by his mother, finds both the city and the festival “incredibly hospitable”.


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