Going behind-the-scenes of any movie is a thrilling experience, but today in an exclusive look at new movie The Mercy, fans can hear from Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) and Rachel Weisz (The Light Between Oceans) as they discuss their roles in the film. Allowing viewers in on how the experience of creating the flick - which is based on the real-life story of Donald Crowhurst – truly affected them, the video is a fantastic little glimpse into the creative and thought process behind The Mercy. You can check it out below:
Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Marsh (The Theory of Everything), The Mercy tells the story of one amateur sailor who put himself forward for the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, in a bid to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe without stopping, and make history as the first man to ever do so.
Putting absolutely everything on the line in his bid for glory, and to save his failing business, Crowhurst had to wave goodbye to his wife, Claire (Weisz) and their children, as well as giving up the rights to his house in order to compete in the race.
Boarding The Teignmouth Electron, Crowhurst is somebody who had every faith in being able to play the system and trick those who had organised the competition into thinking he had done the impossible, making it across the globe in record time.
Despite not following the race’s instructions, Crowhurst quickly comes up against dangerous waters on his voyage, and struggles that would eventually lead to one of the most compelling mysteries of recent decades.
Speaking about Crowhurst's journey, Firth says: "There are a lot of random elements. It’s a whole other discussion when you look at what makes somebody want to take on something so extraordinarily difficult and dangerous. I reflected on the main differences between me and Donald Crowhurst, his virtues and his strengths. I wouldn’t dare do what he did. I wouldn’t have the ability to apply myself to a task like that. I wouldn’t be able to design that boat, I wouldn’t have the mathematical skill, I wouldn’t have the sailing skill, and I wouldn’t have the knowledge of astronomy and navigation. All the other things could be me and the problems could be ones any of us encounter. I just wouldn’t have the resources that he had to get as far as he did and do what he did. It was a most extraordinary thing. "
Weisz adds of her character's role in Donald's story: "I think Donald had a lot of madcap ideas which often didn’t get carried out, so at first when Clare hears he’s going to enter this race, it’s such a preposterous idea to her, because he’s not a professional sailor, he’s just pottered around. I don’t think she believed he would actually do it. Slowly but surely it dawns on her that he’s getting closer and closer to actually going and there’s a moment where she asks him ‘Are you really going to go?’ and he says ‘yes’".
David Thewlis (The Theory of Everything) and Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentleman) also star in the film as Rodney Hallworth and Ronald Hall respectively, with Scott Z. Burn (Side Effects) writing the movie’s screenplay.
For those who are familiar with Crowhurst’s story, the ending we imagine will be included in the movie won’t come as a surprise. For others however, it’s worth noting that (and there are potential spoilers ahead!) there isn’t a happy and positive conclusion to this story. Crowhurst is thought to have died on his journey and, evidence found following his disappearance suggests that the sailor suffered from possible insanity before ultimately killing himself. Crowhurst’s boat, Teignmouth Electron was found abandoned and adrift on July 10, 1969.
Of course, what actually happened to Crowhurst isn’t something anybody will ever know for sure. So, to see which direction the film goes down now it’s made its cinematic debut will be very interesting indeed.
The Mercy is out in cinemas across the UK now.