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UPI Spotlight: Jason Sudeikis, Maisie Williams, Jessica Biel bring ‘Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’ to Tribeca

UPI Spotlight: Jason Sudeikis, Maisie Williams, Jessica Biel bring 'Devil and the Deep Blue Sea' to Tribeca
UPI

NEW YORK, April 15 (UPI) — Jason Sudeikis and Jessica Biel say they have a much different take than their young co-star Maisie Williams regarding why people enter our lives at certain times.

The trio stars in the movie The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, which follows nice-guy, New Orleans architect Henry as he finds new purpose by helping impoverished teen Millie build a raft so she can see the world after his pregnant wife Penny — a free-spirited artist — dies in a car crash.

The dramedy was screened at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival Thursday night, but
Sudeikis, Biel and Williams participated in a roundtable interview with reporters earlier in the day.

Asked by UPI if they believe we meet some people at exactly the right time we need them, Sudeikis was the first answer.

“Yeah. I would say, ‘yes,’” said the 40-year-old Saturday Night Live alum, who is engaged to actress Olivia Wilde. “Whether we know it at the time or not. I think you just have to be open to it. I think that’s one of the things, I think, that’s a theme of the film — allowing yourself to let your defenses down to be open to that coming in because very few people have the gumption to constantly knock on your door and to keep coming back. Some people do.”

“I don’t know. I feel like that’s definitely the message of the movie, but I like to think that it’s enough coincidentally. That’s enough for me, rather than any other meaning,” chimed in 19-year-old Williams, who is best known for her work on HBO’s Game of Thrones. “The world is kind of really cool like that and, coincidentally, things happen that work out really, really good and things work out that are really, really [expletive] too, but they are just coincidentally and I really believe in that and there is nothing more than that. And I think that alone is very, very cool.”

“I took mushrooms before this, so…” Sudeikis quipped.

“Well, maybe I took mushrooms, too, because I sort of connect the dots a little bit more like you do,” Biel told Sudeikis.

“There is this idea of having faith in something and, you know, that idea of like the world only provides you with what you can handle kind of a thing. I think we must come in and out of each other’s lives in the right moments. I don’t know who is coordinating that. I don’t know about that, but…” said the 34-year-old actress, who is married to musician Justin Timberlake.

The film’s co-writer and director Bill Purple said he falls “somewhere in between” Williams, and Sudeikis and Biel on the fate-belief spectrum.

“I love the sort of randomness of sometimes people do come into your life, situations happen and miracles happen and those are real, but they don’t always happen for everybody,” the filmmaker noted. “The great thing is that luck exists in the world, but, then, so does tragedy.”

Sudeikis, who is known primarily as a comedic actor, said he was flattered to be considered for the role of a widower trying to move on with his life after tragedy strikes.

“I’m not going about it doing anything differently than having smuggled drugs across the Mexican border [like in We Are the Millers] or trying to kill bosses [in Horrible Bosses.] I’m just trying to make it believable for me and then, by proxy, my scene partner,” Sudeikis said. “I feel like I can sniff out my own [expletive], but none of us can really tickle ourselves or punch ourselves as hard as our scene partner can.”

Williams said she had no trouble figuring out how to play Millie, a wise-beyond-her-years youth, who must fend for herself after her parents die, leaving her with a neglectful, alcoholic uncle.

“I play a lot of characters that are usually very alone,” she acknowledged. “So, it’s like a trait that I feel myself playing quite often. But I think what was very different about this was the comedy element, as well. I don’t know about what I did to get into character. I think just very much being in the setting, being a long way from home, I guess, I, at times, felt a little bit on my own. Not for anything you guys did, but I did decide to come on my own. I didn’t bring any friends with me. I didn’t bring my mom. I didn’t bring anyone and that definitely helps to be able to go away on this journey and do that for myself.”

So, did playing resourceful orphan Arya Stark on Game of Thrones also help her understand her latest character?

“Yeah, I guess so!” Williams laughed.

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