ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese talks thirteen lives Colin Farrell, Tom Bateman, and the innate ‘Poo’ Boonthankit stars about working with Ron Howard and how they set out to portray the real-life heroes that the film follows. The film’s Prime Video premiere will take place on Friday, August 5.
,thirteen lives Recalls the incredible true story of the tremendous global effort to save a Thai football team that was trapped in the Tham Luang cave during an unexpected rainstorm,” the summary says. “Facing tough odds, a team of the world’s most skilled and experienced divers – uniquely able to navigate a maze of flooded, narrow cave tunnels – joins the Thai military and more than 10,000 volunteers, including twelve boys and their instructors. With impossibly high stakes and the whole world watching, the group embarks on its most challenging dive ever, showcasing the limitlessness of the human spirit in the process.”
Tyler Trees: Colin, I was really curious, were you able to meet John? [Volanthen, the diver that Farrell plays] Or what was your preparation for portraying this real-life hero?
Colin Farrell: Tyler, I’ve never met John until now, but, he was incredibly generous with his time and energy in producing the film. I got his points, probably, and reached out to him about two months before I traveled to Australia. And then we just arranged a few times to talk on FaceTime. We were all living in the FaceTime world at the time, anyway… the FaceTime/Zoom world. The goods of social distancing and lockdown were here in the midst of the epidemic. So yes, it felt more natural than it could have been, but that was great. He was so generous and so forthcoming with his experience during this time, the 17 days of rescue, and his life in general as well. He was very open with me.
he is [a] Somewhat reserved, very polite man. [He] Made me feel like a perfectly decent human being – that was the thing I spent more time talking to, than spending time talking to her. I mean, I had a bunch of questions to ask him about certain events and facts and things, but his complete decency was something that stayed with me, you know? And being a part of his humility, of which he belonged… to be humble as he was. I mean, the premiere happened last night in Los Angeles, right? And they must have paid for John to come, and he is nowhere to be found. I think he was washing his hair or something or he had a barbecue to go to. I don’t know, but he’s not so interested in it. He somehow avoids all this. Unfortunately, I didn’t go to London to meet him, I would have liked, but it was an absolute honor to represent him as a man in this film.
Tom, how does your perspective as an actor change when you’re portraying a real-life figure instead of a character?
Tom Bateman: I’ve played a few real-life roles, but none of them survive, and the story was so recent. It’s only been about four years now, isn’t it? So it didn’t really change my point of view to read and eat whatever I can to inform as much as I can about the person I’m playing. I can It was just made easier for me because Chris was, like Colin said about John, he’s very generous with his time. A few days after I got the job, I had about five, six hours of Zoom with him, and I watched all the stuff on his YouTube channel. Chris Jewell [has] Got this amazing YouTube channel where you can see his pov through the caves he’s doing on his own.
So I could really understand who this guy was, and we just exchanged numbers. I would just whatsapp him anytime, day or night, he would help me. I could ask him, “What were you doing this morning?” Because a lot of this movie, life was happening between the lines. The lines on the page weren’t necessarily about the view. We had to fill in a lot of that and find the colors in the scene, and what would we do while this scene was happening. These people were constantly busy. They were checking their oxygen supply, they were checking the batteries on their torches, they were repairing their gear, they were fixing their hands, they were balming their hands. So it was a real pleasure and a privilege to have Chris there to say, “This is what I was doing that morning. That’s what I was thinking. That’s what I was going through.” This made my job a lot easier.
Poo, Ron Howard is such a talented director. What was special about working with him?
Spontaneous “Poo” Boothunkit: very nice. How would you feel working with Ron Howard? honoured. It is astonishingly amazing. I don’t know what other adjectives I can use. I’ve always wanted to work with him and now I know it was really worth it and I will do it again and again. He is such a kind director and I will do it again.