The period drama Redeeming Love is directed by D.J. Caruso and based on the best-selling novel written by Francine Rivers. The period drama is set during the California Gold Rush of 1850. It tells the story of forgiveness, Love, and the power of Love in an unforgiving world as it unfolds. In the beginning, Michael Hosea (Tom Lewis) was in Love with Angel (Abigail Cowen) from the moment he saw her, and he knew he wanted to live with her and establish a family with her.
However, Angel has hardened up after being sold into prostitution as a child. She has guarded her heart in a way that proves to be more difficult for Michael to win over than he ever dreamed. As part of a 1-on-1 interview he gave Collider, which you can watch and read, Lewis talked about how to balance light and darkness in this story, how to find the right balance between the two, the casting process that he was put through to get the role, what it was like to work with his co-star Cowen, and how he felt on his last day on set.
As well as mentioning his experience making Gentleman Jack, he also talked about the lessons he learned about acting. He also spoke about how he’d like to constantly be challenged by the roles he plays in the future. The following questions were asked during an interview with Tom Lewis and collider:
1. This movie is beautifully done, although it obviously has very dark subject matter.
The movie was my first time seeing the film on a big screen. I have to say. It brought home how dark and brutal some of the scenes are. It doesn’t shy away from it at all. It was obvious to me when we were filming, but seeing it on screen was a different experience. I’m so glad we could find the right balance between light and dark, as well as the other shades in the story. Having the opportunity to do that was a brilliant thing to do.
2. It’s impressive how it doesn’t leave you just feeling awful. It still manages to find a way to give you hope and inspire you, which I would imagine is a tricky balance to find.
There is no doubt that it is not an easy task to accomplish. All of it can be attributed to D.J. Caruso and Francine Rivers, and the incredible script that they were able to create. The evidence was there for all to see. It is clear from the text on the page that you got it. When I first read it, I immediately felt that mix of light and dark. I felt as if that was exactly what the film tried to portray in terms of light and dark. I had a wonderful time working on this project.
3. How did you come to this? What was your audition process like for this? Was it one of those crazy, drawn-out processes?
It was more so for Abbey [Cowen]. They searched for Michael for several months before casting me. I got the audition because they didn’t find anyone, so they came to the UK looking. I read the book before my audition, just to prepare for it. My favorite part was the ending. The book took me one sitting to read.
The material resonated with me because I love historical fiction. In order to get an audition with the casting director, I made my first tape. Then, a few days later, I received a call saying DJ is flying from L.A. to see you.”Francine loves you. Everything seems to be working well.”
When I met D.J., we were immediately fascinated by movies. Additionally, we agreed on how to make the movie and how it should look. We also discussed how to emulate the character. It’s a difficult character to portray. It is difficult to convey all the shades of the character in such a short description since he is the light at the end of the tunnel.
The actor possessed such a solid understanding of the character that playing him was a dream come true. It was gorgeous. And then, as soon as I met D.J., I flew to South Africa within a week for pre-production. It was amazing. We got a lot of time to prep there, so it was brilliant.
4. This film doesn’t work if the chemistry between Angel and Michell isn’t there and if the audience doesn’t care about them. It all relies on that.
Yeah, it’s significant. As soon as Abbey and I met, I could sense the producers and D.J. breathing a sigh of relief like, “Oh, thank goodness, they like each other. Thank goodness they get on.” You have to have chemistry, and we did from the moment we met. We’re such terrific mates now.
We’re such amazing friends. We just hung out and talked about the movie and our lives as soon as we met. I’m so thankful that it was my first movie. It’s also Abbey’s first significant lead in a film, so we were at the same level simultaneously, so we embarked on this journey there. It’s crazy that this is our first big thing, and we’re promoting it. It’s so exciting. We’re so proud of our work and what we created all that time ago. It was amazing.
5. Do you have a moment, before you go to South Africa, where you worried about what would happen if it did not match?
Yeah. We spoke a little before I got there, and I knew instantly that we would get on, so I wasn’t so worried. It only sometimes happens. You have to get the right chemistry, but luckily we did. Most of my scenes are with Angel, and that character relationship is so integral to the film that if you don’t believe it, it all falls apart. I’m thankful, having watched the movie, that it works and is brilliant.
6. How was it to have Abigail Cowen as a scene partner, especially with how they are so many things going on it want isn’t being said between them?
Especially in the earlier scenes when they’re first meeting. My favorite scene in the movie is when they first meet. He steps into the brothel and sees her for the first time, and she’s expecting another customer, like all the men she’s met before. There’s something different about this guy, and she feels it. There’s a chemistry between them that’s so beautiful to play with.
That was my favorite. That was what I auditioned for, that early scene. That was my very first audition. I loved playing that so much. It was love at first sight. It’s like teenage romance. You flirt when you don’t want to tell someone that you like them. She doesn’t want to admit that she likes a guy because her experience with men has been so horrendous. She can tell, though, that this guy is different and loves a lot. It was great.
7. Just by him being nice, she doesn’t know how to react to that or deal with it. His being genuine makes her uncomfortable
It’s interesting what you said about it being unsaid because there are these quiet moments you see in her eyes when she’s saying, “I like this guy, but I don’t want to admit it.” There is this instant where he’s ready to marry her as soon as he meets her and rushes in full blazing. There is no doubt in my mind that he has found the one. He’s happy to settle for the finest. In addition to that, she has to be able to trust him as well.
It’s all about finding common ground between them and finding out whether she is willing to trust anyone. There has never been a time when she can rely on a man. Can you think of a reason why she would do that? She has been treated horribly by all the men in her life so far. To be able to play that role and bring out that faith in her is a beautiful thing. It was an auspicious day for us.
8. What was it like to figure this guy out and figure out how you wanted to play him? He is somebody who is so patient and kind, and he just gives her room to really figure out what she wants. How hard is it to balance making him a good man, but still keeping him believable and genuine?
The question you ask is quite interesting. There was a lot of discussion between DJ and me about it at the audition. Michael shines in the movie and helps Angel find her way to self-love on the way to finding her path. To play it right, you can’t be too wishy-washy. There is no point in being too angelic about it.
For him to be successful, he must have depth. My understanding is that he is a guy who has tortured himself to the point of no return. There is something wrong with his life, and he is not happy with it. It is not clear to him why this is happening. Everything is going
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