After celebrating a successful world premiere at the Sydney Film Festival, Hearts and Bones made its way over to the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. The movie marks the fiction feature debut for director Ben Lawrence after his award-winning debut feature documentary, Ghosthunter. Hearts and Bones puts the spotlight on Dan (Hugo Weaving), a photojournalist who’s spent years covering war zones. During a break between assignments at home in Sydney, Dan crosses paths with a South Sudanese refugee named Sebastian (Andrew Luri) who admires his work but insists that Dan remove a specific photo from his upcoming exhibition.
We were lucky enough to get a little time with the team behind Hearts and Bones in Toronto. Lawrence, Weaving, Luri and Bolude Watson who plays Sebastian’s wife all swung by the Collider Lounge to talk about making the film, what makes Lawrence a standout actor’s director, Luri’s experience making his very first movie, how Watson’s audition changed the script, and loads more. You can catch the full chat in the video interview at the top of this article.
We also need to send a big thank you to our presenting sponsor Nordstrom Canada and supporting partners Marriott Bonvoy and Ciroc Vodka for supporting the Collider Lounge at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and helping to make these interviews happen.
You can find a full breakdown of the interview and the official TIFF synopsis for Hearts and Bones below.
Ben Lawrence, Andrew Luri, Bolude Watson, Hugo Weaving:
- 00:15 – What is Hearts and Bones about?
- 00:45 – Why Lawrence chose to make Hearts and Bones his first scripted feature.
- 01:32 – Weaving first read the script a while ago but didn’t commit until a new version came his way years later.
- 02:06 – Luri talks about making his very first film.
- 02:33 – The cast shares the burning questions they had for Lawrence.
- 04:27 – What it’s like working with Lawrence as an actor’s director with a documentary background.
- 07:52 – The thing that surprised Luri most about making a movie.
- 08:38 – Why Watson’s character was pregnant in the film.
- 11:17 – Music is very important to the characters in Hearts and Bones. What does the team behind the film turn to for positivity and comfort?
Sydney-based photojournalist Dan Fisher (Hugo Weaving) has spent decades documenting war zones — and ignoring the effect his work has had on his psyche. Returning home from his latest assignment to prepare for an exhibition, Dan is blindsided by two surprises. The first is the news that, years after the couple lost their child, Dan’s wife Josie (Hayley McElhinney) is pregnant. The second is the arrival of Sebastian (Andrew Luri), a South Sudanese refugee who’s heard about Dan’s work. Like Dan, Sebastian doesn’t speak to his wife (Bolude Watson) about the horrors he’s experienced. He wants to bury the past — and the evidence. Sebastian petitions Dan to withdraw his photos of South Sudan from the exhibition. Dan is compelled to comply, but closer examination of these images raises questions about what it is exactly that Sebastian is trying to forget.