We’re giddy with excitement about Me Before You, which takes to the screens on Friday 3rd June so to really get to know the characters, we had a quick chat with Emilia Clarke (Lou Clark) and Sam Claflin (Will Traynor) about their experiences with this heartwarming love story.
Emilia plays Lou so naturally in the movie it’s hard to believe she’s also the dragon-taming Daenarys Targaryen in Game of Thrones. We wanted to know what drew her to the role of Lou, and whether she felt comfortable with the character. Apparently they couldn’t have been more suited as Emilia tells us:
“It was more that I got sent it and thought, ‘There’s not a world where I’m not doing this part. There’s not a world where I’m not fighting tooth-and-nail to play Lou.’ So, it wasn’t so much that I was looking for it, but it found me. And it was just so joyful. It’s funny. Everything I’m known for on-screen is so different from who I am, but with Me Before You, in between takes, I would be no different off-camera. Everything just bled into it, so it was effortless and brilliant.”
Emilia was in tune with Lou on so many different levels (not to mention having the same surname), from being part of an extremely tight-knit family herself, to instantly falling in love with Lou’s wardrobe. So much so, that we’d heard rumours the director was constantly losing her in the costume department. We asked her if this was true…
“Oh my God! Every single day, for a month, we would have four hours a day of costumes, just trying to figure them all out. I had 70 at one point, but then it got whittled down to 52. We never used the same outfit twice. I loved her wardrobe! She only lives in a little box-room…she can’t fit all those clothes in there. So her shoes, she hung them on the walls with a bit of skirting board. Just boards hammered up. I was so over the moon when I walked into Lou’s room.”
Emilia and Lou sound like a match made in heaven, and the serendipitous nature of this casting didn’t stop there. It turns out Emilia and Sam met about five years ago when they were doing a photo shoot and hit it off from the get-go. Already knowing each other, along with the respect they have for each other’s experience, meant that working together felt very, very easy.
This dynamic blossoms throughout the movie as we get to know Will through Lou’s eyes, which made us wonder how Sam found his way into this complex character. He says “I really felt obliged to put my heart and soul into portraying him truthfully. I became fully invested. It was very important for me personally to really knuckle down and do him justice.”
Whilst Sam’s roles in previous films such as The Hunger Games were extremely physical, this one was quite the opposite. He tells us “The physical side of the role was a real challenge. There were so many restrictions to my body and movements. Will’s mind is very, very much alive, but the physical restraints are something that have been quite challenging, which is what bothers him so much. Being constantly aware of my body and the stillness of my body has been a new and insightful experience.”
Both Emilia and Sam spent a lot of time with both director Thea Sharrock and author and screenwriter Jojo Moyes, investing their energy into the emotional landscape of this sensational love story. Having moved millions of readers to tears all over the world, the movie has a lot to live up to, but Sam assured us that author Jojo was regularly telling them that everything was going the way she imagined it, and he believes that it’s a love story that will sweep up audiences on the big screen too. Me Before You is out nationwide from June 3rd.