Ever since the first “Me Before You” trailer was released, the film has been getting a lot of buzz. Largely due to the fact that it’s a novel-turned-movie, and also due its stellar cast – Emilia Clarke (of “Game of Thrones” fame) and Sam Claflin (of “The Hunger Games” fame).
Now that we’re just about a week away from its release, we dug deep on the interwebs to bring you some fun facts you probably never knew about “Me Before You”.
The official synopsis is as follows:
“Young and quirky Louisa “Lou” Clark (played by Emilia Clarke) moves from one job to the next to help her family make ends meet. Her cheerful attitude is put to the test when she becomes a caregiver for Will Traynor (played by Sam Claflin), a wealthy young banker left paralysed from an accident two years earlier. Will’s cynical outlook starts to change when Louisa shows him that life is worth living. As their bond deepens, their lives and hearts change in ways neither one could have imagined.”
So, before you arm yourself with some Kleenex and waterproof mascara for the tearjerker, here’s what else you need to know about “Me Before You”:
1. The film is based on a popular novel of the same name
“Me Before You”, a romantic novel written by Jojo Moyes, was first published in January 2012 in the United Kingdom. A sequel entitled “After You” was released on 29th September 2015 through Pamela Dorman Books. Reception for “Me Before You” has been positive and the book was placed on the Richard and Judy Book Club. USA Today and the New York Times both praised the work, with the New York Times reviewer commenting, “When I finished this novel, I didn’t want to review it; I wanted to reread it.”
2. “Me Before You” was supposed to be released last year
In 2014, MGM announced their intention to create a feature film based on the novel, which would be directed by Thea Sharrock and released via Warner Bros. Along with the announcement, it was also revealed that the film would be released on 21st August 2015. Production for “Me Before You” began in April 2015 and wrapped up by June 2015. However, in May 2015, the film’s release date was moved to 3rd June 2016. Then, in November 2015, Warner Bros decided to move the release date up to 4th March 2016, before moving it back to its previous 3rd June 2016 date again in January 2016. Phew, luckily they made it without a hitch this time!
3. This is director Thea Sharrock’s feature film debut
Once the youngest artistic director in British theatre (when she was only 24 years old!), Thea Sharrock is no stranger to the theatre scene. She’s no stranger to TV either as she first dabbled with TV in 2012 when she directed Tom Hiddleston in Henry V as part of the BBC’s miniseries, “The Hollow Crown”, before deciding to “go big”. “Me Before You” will mark the first time she’s directing a film. In speaking about why she decided to take on the job, Thea said, “Obviously I loved the novel, and obviously the fact that it’s set in Britain, these are characters I know very well. Will Traynor (Sam Claflin) especially. If I wasn’t at school with him, I was at university with him. I recognise these families.”
4. Fun and games on the set of a tearjerker
The cast members, particularly Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin, shared some lighthearted moments on the set of “Me Before You” and truly breathed life into an otherwise emotionally overwhelming film. Emilia Clarke took to Twitter on Friday (21st May) to answer questions about the movie and revealed that they pulled pranks on set: “Continuously! We are pranksterzzz!” while Sam Claflin, who happens to be a big fan of “Game of Thrones”, admitted that he was constantly trying to get spoilers out of Emilia. Oh those two!
5. Emilia Clarke was determined to play Louisa “Lou” Clark
It’s true. Before even landing the role, Emilia was determined that she should play Lou. The actress revealed that as soon as she read Jojo Moyes’ novel (she reportedly “devoured” the novel on the set of “Terminator Genisys” with bombs exploding around her), she was moved to tears and immediately knew that she absolutely had to convince Thea Sharrock to give her the role in the film. She told USA Today, “Actors cannot invest too much in auditions. It’s too heartbreaking if you don’t get it. But this one, I was like, ‘I’m doing it’. I was madly into it. Every fiber of me felt like someone had written me down.” And when she knew that she was casted, she left an “Emilia-shaped hole” in her ceiling from jumping so high. Perhaps it’s meant to be? :)
6. Sam Claflin makes doing nothing look effortless
English actor Sam Claflin is talented, handsome, and best known for portraying Finnick Odair in the “The Hunger Games” film series, Philip Swift in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”, and William in “Snow White and the Huntsman and The Huntsman: Winter’s War”. In those films, he was out and about a lot. But “Me Before You” is probably his first role that required him to do nothing at all by doing a lot i.e. playing a character that is completely paralysed from the neck down. According to director Thea Sharrock, Sam pulled it off without a hitch. “Sam literally plays the part with no movement below the neck. All he had really was facial movements. That was a challenge,” Thea said.
7. The most challenging thing about Emilia Clarke’s role
We’re so accustomed to seeing Emilia Clarke in fantasy drama TV series “Game of Thrones” as “Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, the Unburnt, Mother of Dragons, khaleesi to Drogo’s riders, and queen of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros”. But even the Mother of Dragons has her own set of challenges. Case in point, playing Lou. Believe it or not, Emilia confessed that the most challenging thing about playing Lou was “trying not to look ugly when honestly crying.” Not sure how that went down with Sam Claflin, who said that he cries when she cries :D We feel you, sista!
BONUS: When asked by a fan about how many boxes of tissues to bring to the cinema, Sam Claflin said, “Seven big ones.“ Well, you heard the man ;)
Watch the trailer below:
Directed by Thea Sharrock, “Me Before You” also stars Jenna Coleman, Matthew Lewis, and Brendan Coyle, among others. The film will be released in cinemas nationwide on 2nd June 2016.