, even under expert supervision. It didn’t help that Farrell, by his own admission, “can’t really swim.”
“It’s a different world beneath the surface of the water,” the Irish actor said. “Water’s wet, no matter how much control you have or don’t have.”
The spectacular rescue is already the subject of the 2021 National Geographic documentary “The Rescue,” which featured some never-before-seen footage obtained from the Thai military after two years of tough negotiations.
Howard attempted to delve even more into the personal drama, and highlight the work of those who volunteered to help, at risk of their own lives.
“It was this ongoing process of... creating the environment and the effort, and then attaching the humanity to it,” the director said. “There are all kinds of, many brands of heroism that are demonstrated through the movie.”
He also emphasized the need to accurately depict the local population in Thailand’s northern province of Chiang Rai -- the teens in the film are played by actors from the area, so that the language spoken is authentic.
“It’s not just an accent -- it’s also phrasing,” said Howard, who worked with the film’s co-producer Vorakorn “Billy” Ruetaivanichkul, to help the boys understand the mindset of those who were trapped.
“I asked them... imagine that you are in a tight space and imagine that you have a lack of food and water for a few days already, and you are unlikely to get out very soon,” Ruetaivanichkul said.
Mortensen highlighted the “team-oriented effort” of making the film, noting that it mirrored the relationships between the real-life rescuers the actors were playing. For his part, Farrell spoke about the “responsibility to honor the lives that were passed and not just the spirit of those who survived the rescue,” recalling that two people associated with the cave extraction died. “It was a burden but an honor, and we were really aware of it,” he said. “Thirteen Lives” will be available in August for streaming via Amazon Prime after its cinematic release.