Another topic that plays a role in the film is infertility. One of the interviewer asked Hedges, “The film handles the struggles around infertility so beautifully. How did you go about capturing that element of poignancy?”
Thank you that you feel that way. I have in my family and in my closest friendships are couples who have tried and tried and tried to have children. And when they couldn’t—in some cases they went nearly bankrupt trying every procedure—in instances people were able to adopt, in others they were so emotionally fraught and destroyed from the process that they couldn’t even go to that point. One of the hard points of the marketing of the film is they can’t tell you everything, of course. There are people I’ve read who say, “How can they…?” “What about…?” They’re making a certain assumption about the film that we don’t address this in a very constructive and real way. It looks like: Oh, they can’t have a kid; they get a magical kid; life’s happily ever after. I’ve tried working really closely with marketing to try to tone down some of that message, because I don’t think that’s what the movie’s doing. It’s hard to say everything that the movie does. When Ahmet [Zappa] told me his idea and then I kind of ran with it, I thought if I get this wrong—if you don’t feel palpably that ache…. That’s why that scene, it’s a very subtle scene I think but very important, that right after they get the news and they get in the elevator and this woman with a little kid gets on and they’re trapped in an elevator with a kid, and that’s all people who can’t have children see. They see children in the way that dentists just see teeth. So that was very important to me to get that right. It was very much a conscious choice for you to see the Disney castle and then for fifteen minutes there not to be any laughter, to start with a wallop.
Edgerton was asked if he had done any research into parents going through infertility issues to prepare for the role.
No, but I have done in the past. I have quite a few friends who have actually gone through IVF programs so my research has been a lot of kind of hearing about that stuff at dinner parties. Previous to this I’ve strangely done a movie that sounds like the same movie until you start talking about the garden. A small Australian movie that we shot in India called The Waiting City about a couple who were going collect their adopted child in India. I love kind of talking to couples about that. It’s really nice when you make a movie about a particular subject and it’s reflected back to you that it struck a chord with people, because you’re always nervous, you know.