Blake Lively feels her way around All I See Is You
Blake Lively acts blind, sings and does nudity for All I See Is You
In order to play a blind person in her new movie All I See Is You, Blake Lively drew inspiration from one of her "dearest friends", who is visually impaired.
At the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills, the 30-year-old US actress said: "He experiences things on a much deeper level than I do. He is so much more in tune with other things that I do not even think about, because I am taking everything at face value.
"There is something incredibly valuable about experiences that you have without just relying on your eyes to tell you the truth."
In the psychological thriller directed by Marc Forster (World War Z, Quantum Of Solace), which opens here tomorrow, Lively's character Gina has an almost perfect marriage with husband James (Jason Clarke) even though she has been blind since childhood due to a car crash.
The couple live in Bangkok, where she recovers her sight with a corneal transplant.
But a joyful thing like that turns into something more sinister, as James becomes threatened by the loss of Gina's dependence on him.
To prepare for All I See Is You, Lively - who has two daughters, James, two, and Ines, one, with Canadian actor-husband Ryan Reynolds - had to wear custom-made contact lenses that "took away" her sight.
She said: "What was crazy was that I had to keep upping the level, because even though they created complete blindness, my eyes would adapt through it and fight through, and we would have to create thicker and thicker lenses.
"Because of that, you have to be so much more aware of textures and sounds.
"When speaking with someone, what you do is take social cues. You hear someone's voice and adjust your face there rather than putting your ear there.
"So there are all of these little nuances that were really important for me to get.
"But it is hard acting in a scene when you cannot look your co-star in the eyes because it is such an emotional thing when you are in a scene with someone."
How do you pick your roles?
It usually is me reading a script and saying: "Oh, I cannot do this, this is too hard." So I have to do it. I normally like to find a character that challenges me and something that I have never done before. I look for nice people too, because sometimes that is more rare than you think.
With this film, it was four months after I gave birth to my (first) daughter, and Jason had a baby with the same name, a boy who was born two weeks after. So he was so understanding and caring, and it was nice to have that.
What appealed to you about All I See Is You?
I cannot sing to save my life, and I sang in this movie. I was blind in this movie.
And I did nudity for the first time, and so it was all of these firsts for me.
It was stepping out of my comfort zone in so many ways because I think it is important to challenge yourself.
How did you deal with the nudity?
The people I work with almost did not send me the script because they said: "We know you would not do that." I said just send it to me because I can just talk him (Forster) out of the nudity part (laughs).
So I read it and I loved it. When Marc described it, he said this is a woman who, when she lost her sight, was not developed in any way. She gets her sight back and suddenly her body is that of a woman. The last time she could see, she was a little girl. Her husband has been able to see this, and now it is time for her to see it and to enjoy and appreciate it.
It is a movie about seeing something for the first time, so you have to see it (the nudity).
What was interesting to me is that in the first scene, they are making love and we are seeing something on her - as an audience - that she has never seen. There is something that feels both beautiful and (yet) gets you in your gut a little bit... that was powerful to me.
What are your thoughts on the sexual assault allegations that are roiling Hollywood right now?
I think that power gaming is in every industry and I think that is something that is important to acknowledge. There is awareness and there is conversation now. It does not matter if you are working in a grocery store or starring in a movie - there is really despicable behaviour that happens.
As a woman, it is something you often think: "Oh, that is just what happens and I am not going to report that, because that is just the way that it is." Something very small, like cupping your butt or making some comment. Unless it is on a greater scale.
But as a mother of two daughters, I am so happy that there is been such an awakening and people are finally speaking out.