Interview: Ron Howard, Colin Farrell, Viggo Mortensen and more talk Thirteen Lives

In 2018, a group of twelve boys and their coach almost lost their lives trapped in a flooded cave. It was an incredible story that made headlines around the world. News led to a number of helpful souls trying to lend a hand to save these Thirteen lives. It is an inspiring story that is ripe for a feature film. And the man who was the perfect voice for it happened to be filmmaker Ron Howard. The director assembled an impressive cast and has given us a powerful cinematic retelling of this awe-inspiring tale. The cast he assembled includes Colin Farrell, Viggo Mortensen, Joel Edgerton and Tom Bateman as the British divers who give up their time to help. It also features wonderful performances from Sahajak Boonthankit, Teeradon Supapunpinyo, Weir Sukollawat Kanaros and Pattrakorn Tungsupakul.

There are certain junkets where it’s easy to get even more excited about the film from the stories the talent shares. Thirteen lives is one of them. First we spoke to the amazing Ron Howard and co-producer Raymond Phathanavirangoon. Immediately, received some love from Mr. Howard. Needless to say, it’s a huge honor. Both Ron and Raymond opened up about tackling this story and working with this amazing collection of actors. Sir. Howard also talked about the choice to let these fine gentlemen do the diving themselves. Trust me when I say that you can clearly see Farrell, Edgerton, Mortensen and Bateman dealing with the underwater sequences, it makes it all the more intense.

Next we spoke to both Weir Sukollawat Kanaros and Pattrakorn Tungsupakul. The two are sublime here, adding a wonderful reality to the roles they take on. With the help of a translator, the two talked about playing their perspective characters. One of the most impressive things about the film is the cast that surrounds the main players. Each of the performances, with Kanaros as “Saman” and Tungsupakul as one of the boy’s mothers, helped bring heart to this powerful feature.

It’s always a pleasure to talk to Joel Edgerton and Viggo Mortensen. One thing that really impressed me is that Viggo made sure to give his co-star Teeradon Supapunpinyo who plays “Coach” plenty of time to talk. I was thrilled he did because the young actor was excellent here and I loved what he had to say about taking on the role. As for both Mortensen and Edgerton, the two opened up about working with Howard and the many elements that went into the roles, including the diving skills they used. All three actors are fantastic in this.

Finally, it was a great pleasure to see Mr. Colin Farrell again. Not only is the man one of my favorite actors working today, he’s also one of the kindest people you’re likely to meet. After a quick reunion, we jumped into a conversation that included Farrell, Tom Bateman and Sahajak Boonthankit. The three opened up about playing the real-life characters and getting some personal time with them. Although Boonthankit has not met Governor Naronsak in person, he did an excellent job of bringing his image to the screen. And yes, all three men were simply incredible. Not only was it an honor not only to talk to these people, but it was especially satisfying because it’s such a moving feature film – you can see my review here.

Thirteen lives is currently in limited release and premieres today on Prime Video. If you’d like to find some hope in humanity, I highly recommend checking it out Thirteen lives.

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