It's not often we get to see Julia Roberts in a movie these days, but when she does decide to choose a role her commitment is unwavering. Such is the case in her new film, Secret In Their Eyes.
Julia plays Jess, a detective who is dealing with the most unimaginable tragedy a parent can fear. Along with her partner and FBI investigator Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and their District Attorney supervisor Claire (Nicole Kidman) the close-knit team is suddenly torn apart when they discover that Jess’s teenage daughter has been brutally and inexplicably murdered.
Now, thirteen years later, after obsessively searching everyday for the elusive killer, Ray finally uncovers a new lead that he’s certain can permanently resolve the case, nail the vicious murderer, and bring long-desired closure to his team. No one is prepared, however, for the shocking, unspeakable secret that will reveal the enduring, destructive effects of personal vengeance on the human soul.
Interweaving past and present, this deeply layered mystery explores the murky boundaries between justice and revenge, and asks the question: how far would you go to right an unfathomable wrong?
Julia is almost unrecognizable. She wears little to no makeup, her look is rundown and her exhaustion and grief is plastered all over her face. The 48-year old Oscar winner's skin is pale, her lips are dry and her hair looks as if she cut it herself. Roberts has said that although it took it’s toll playing Jess it was completely freeing playing a character like this. She didn’t have to worry about hair, makeup and wardrobe but it was important to show how empty the character was.
The film is an English-language remake of the Argentine crime thriller, which won the Academy Award for best-foreign-language film in 2010. writer and director Billy Ray was taken by the story and wanted to change it up for North American audiences. Originally written with a male lead, Ray rewrote the role for a female and cast Julia Roberts in the lead.
I spoke with Julia Roberts and writer/director Billy Ray in Santa Monica about working on the film and the places you have to go to project such grief.
Secret In Their Eyes opens nationwide on November 20th.