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The Lovely Bones Parents

Published December 14, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of DreamWorks
The Lovely Bones is a tough story for parents to watch, let alone perform. The death of a child is a parent’s worst fear. As Jack and Abigail Salmon, Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz spend the entire film mourning the loss of their murdered daughter. Weisz has the skills to disassociate from the material.

The Lovely Bones' Parents


“As an actor you have to imagine all sorts of things,” Weisz said. “I imagined I was a young woman in the 1970s, I imagined I was an American. Neither of those are bad things. You imagine beautiful things, you imagine lovely things, that’s my job. I don’t think in that way that something’s too dark or problematic to go to. I don’t know why, but I just don’t think that way. I mean, I immerse myself in something, but I’ve learned to come out of it. I’m a mother in real life so I can’t go home to my kids in a state of despair and tears. So it’s a skill you learn, like one might learn to juggle, but you learn to turn things on and off, and I sort of have to do that.”

Wahlberg admitted he doesn’t have that skill. “I’m still learning to juggle,” he said. “I would go home and just grab my daughter and hold her and I would start crying and she’d be like, ‘Daddy, what’s wrong with you?’ because she just wanted to play. I would try to talk to her about taking care of herself and not talk to strangers. She was three at the time but thankfully I had another movie to go into that was completely different and so I was able to kind of shake it after a while.”


The Lovely Bones Poster The Lovely Bones


The Lovely Bones Poster The Lovely Bones

As for the subject matter, the film allows Susie to have a life beyond the living realm. Weisz doesn’t have a problem with films dealing with potentially tragic subjects. “Since the beginning of time, bad things happened in stories,” she said. “I mean, Oedipus kills his dad and has sex with his mom. Bad stuff has happened in stories since the beginning of time, and I think it’s not a new thing to be a storyteller and be in a story where there are bad things. Also there are very beautiful, uplifting things about this film and the book, and I knew that going into it, so I didn’t have a hesitation of the sort that you mean. I guess the uplifting theme of the book and the film which is to me that life is a treasure and precious and a miracle, and I guess the thing that made me feel as if I wanted to go hug my son tighter when I got home, you know, it’s hard to remember that life is a miracle. We’re just living it and we forget that, so it gave me a kind of positive feeling rather than a depressed one.”

Even though it was tough for him, Wahlberg was willing to face these themes for the sake of art. “My biggest reason for wanting to be a part of this was Peter Jackson,” Wahlberg said. “I’m a huge fan of Peter’s. Because of the way I approach work, I wasn’t all that thrilled about the subject matter because I have a beautiful little girl and two beautiful boys. I don’t have the God given talent that Rachel has to just snap into it and have these floods of emotion coming out and then turn it all off. So I basically had to live in that headspace for the entire time. I just thought it would be a beautiful movie and it was too good to pass up the opportunity to be a part of it.”

The Lovely Bones is out in theaters now.

For the trailers, poster, stills, review and more movie info, go to The Lovely Bones Movie Page.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of DreamWorks
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