Joe Sharkey, the author of Above Suspicion posted a blog about the filming of the movie that just wrapped up last Sunday. He talks about how it was a joy to see Emilia play the role of Susan Smith and more. There are also 2 photos of him with Emilia looking beautiful on the set that have been added to the gallery!
JOESHARKEY.COM – I’ve just come back from an interesting trip to the location shoot in isolated Harlan, Ky., for the movie adaptation of my 1993 book, “Above Suspicion.” The working title for the movie was unaccountably changed on location to “Blood Mountain,” and more on that in a minute.
The movie stars Emilia Clarke, famously of “Game of Thrones,” and Jack Huston, who will be seen in the leading role of the $200 million remark of the biblical epic “Ben-Hur” to be in the theaters in mid-August.
It was a real joy to be on the set and watch Emilia dig bravely and energetically into the challenging role of Susan Smith, a smart, sassy, dysfunctional coal-miner’s daughter in impoverished southern Appalachia who foolishly ties her impossible dreams to a young, dashing FBI agent who employs her as his high-producing criminal informant. But then he kills her when she threatens to ruin his marriage and his FBI career by exposing the furtive, desperate sexual affair she has enticed him into. Jack Huston plays that FBI agent with uncanny verisimilitude. Sophie Lowe plays his wife; Thora Birch plays the dead girl’s sister; and Austin Hebert and Johnny Knoxville play the agent’s local police pal and the dead girl’s ne’er-do-well ex-husband as hard-charging good ol’ boys from eastern Kentucky. It is a terrific young cast.
The shoot was a tough one, given the remote locale in Harlan, population 1,800. Harlan is incidentally also the regional locale for the gritty and popular FX cable series “Justified,” about a U.S. marshal working the same crime-ridden mountain towns.
“Above Suspicion” wrapped last Sunday, by which time cast and crew had bonded so well that the wrap was more like the end of summer camp, with hugs, email exchanges, and photos. Not all movie shoots end like that.
I’d never spent any time on a movie shoot before, and I went to Harlan anticipating that I would be politely received and then expected to stay out of the way. Instead, as a consultant for the movie, I was welcomed graciously by cast and crew, and invited to remain on the set — even to the point where Phillip Noyce, the director, asked me to sit beside him as he directed key scenes, including the poignant final scene played by a radiant Emilia. I am confident that that last scene of hers will send audiences out of theaters with tears in their eyes, once the movie is released in 2017.
106.3 THE GROOVE – Joe Sharkey wrote his true-crime book ‘Above Suspicion’ nearly 25 years ago. And in a year’s time, he’ll see it come alive on the big screen.
“It’s a tragic and sad story,” said Sharkey. “Now why would anyone want to make a movie out of that, let alone a book? I mean my question was why? But it’s so sad and it’s so human and it’s complex and it’s so psychologically intricate that it interested me.”
Sharkey is an adjunct instructor in the University of Arizona School of Journalism. He wrote the book in one year after heavily researching and interviewing people from the incident.
The book follows the true story of FBI Agent Mark Putnam played by Jack Huston, who moved to a small Kentucky town after finishing at the academy.
He begins an affair with an informant named Susan Smith played by Emilia Clarke from Game of Thrones. Their relationship turns deadly when Putnam strangles Smith in an argument and dumps her body down a mountain. Putnam is sentenced to 16 years in prison and became the first FBI agent convicted of murder.
“When they finally said ‘we’re making the movie’ I was very skeptical,” said Sharkey.
Sharkey spent the last few months in Kentucky consulting on the set of the movie. He said the film’s director Phillip Noyce set up a director’s chair for him and had him watch every scene. He also helped edit the screenplay to bring the story back to the human characters rather than an action-packed drama.
He says the movie did what he couldn’t in the book; bring the tragic character of Susan Smith to life.
“It’s been 25 years, I think about this girl that I never knew a lot because something about her just gripped me,” he said. “Just interested me how sad and tragic she really was. You would have liked her if you know what I mean.”
He said he became close friends with the cast and crew and that he was impressed with how well the actors brought the movie to life. He said Emilia Clarke completely owned the role of Susan Smith.
“That was an adventure and I thought ‘wow that was unexpected,'” said Sharkey. “I was delighted that I had gone.”
He says the movie is set to hit theaters some time in 2017. (source)
5 new production stills from Me Before You have just been added to the gallery! Be sure to check them out.
The movie is NOW in cinemas in the UK! Soon to be released in other countries as well! And be sure to enter the merchandise competition HERE, only 3 days left before it ends!
SCENE NETWORK – Scene Network TV Host Jeff Conway interviews actress Emilia Clarke & author/screenwriter Jojo Moyes, while they were in Chicago promoting their new best-selling book turned film, ME BEFORE YOU, in theaters now.
REDEYECHICAGO – RedEye’s Lauren Chval interviews Emilia Clarke and author Jojo Moyes about “Me Before You” and comparisons between main character Louisa Clark and Daenarys Targaryen of “Game of Thrones.”
LOS ANGELES TIMES – “Sometimes, I just come here and stare at all the pretty boys,” says Emilia Clarke. She’s standing in the middle of Gjusta, a bakery-slash-deli-slash-juice-bar in Venice that may also secretly serve as the national headquarters for Jesus impersonators.
“OK, truth be told, this is, like, a poser-y kind of place to go, I think,” she says, looking around at all the well-coiffed beards and Birkenstocks. “Everyone’s pretty, and everyone’s looking at each other, but the food is so good that I just cannot help it.”
Everyone is looking at each other, and especially at Clarke, even though they’re trying not to make it obvious. She insists that without the blond wig she wears as Daenerys Targaryen/Khaleesi/the Mother of Dragons on “Game of Thrones,” fans barely recognize her. But as she waits by the counter for a salad made of four zillion types of lettuce, it seems most of the patrons know who she is.
Maybe it’s all the ads that have been running on television lately for her new film, “Me Before You,” which is out this weekend. In the movie, based on Jojo Moyes’ bestselling novel, the actress plays Louisa Clark, a small-town girl in desperate search of a job to help support her working-class family. The only gig she can find is one no one wants: working as a caretaker for a wealthy young man who was recently paralyzed after being hit by a car.
Though Louisa has an, uh, eccentric wardrobe — she’s obsessed with floral-patterned high heels and bumble-bee-striped tights — she looks a lot more like Clarke than Daenerys does. For one, the character is a brunet, as the 29-year-old is off-screen. And she certainly would never stand stark naked in front of a crowd of onlookers as a building burned to the ground behind her.
Indeed, the filmmakers initially had trouble envisioning Clarke as anyone other than the fearless queen she plays on “Game of Thrones.” She’d only appeared in one major studio release prior to “Me Before You”: “Terminator Genisys,” last year’s reboot of the Arnold Schwarzenegger franchise, in which she starred as Sarah Connor.
“Frankly, I was a little bit skeptical,” admits Moyes, who helped director Thea Sharrock sift through more than 300 actresses for the part. “Like, the Mother of Dragons? How is that gonna work?”
But during her audition, Clarke took off her coat and accidentally knocked over a bottle of water — behavior that seemed totally in line with the clumsy Louisa.
“She got down on all fours and started apologizing profusely, embodying Louisa’s klutzy nature,” recalls Sharrock. “It’s amazing that she’s had the part of ‘Game of Thrones’ for so long, but I think fans of the show are going to be really surprised by her range in this movie. It feels like when people first saw ‘Pretty Woman,’ when Julia Roberts just popped and came to life and you went, ‘God, where did she come from?’”