Brian Tyree Henry on the self-reflection process of ‘Causeway’ and “The Baptism” with co-star Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence took time out Monday night to shine the spotlight on her Oscar-nominated co-star Brian Tyree Henry and his work on their Apple/A24 film. path, Dives deep into his process. The Best Supporting Actor nominee sat down with the actress for a Q&A after a screening of the film at the London Hotel in Los Angeles.

The two play as unlikely individuals, both suffering from trauma, as they find and support each other in New Orleans. Lawrence plays Lynsey, an Afghanistan war vet suffering from body and brain injuries. Henry is James, a mechanic who lost his leg and a nephew in a car accident. Henry was drawn to the project after meeting director Lila Neugebauer (making her feature directorial debut here) at Yale Drama School.

The film began shooting during Covid, but had to be stopped while the actors worked on the script with Neuzebauer as they created greater resonance from the material, especially against the changing environment. Was there another aspect of trauma, especially with Covid, that affected everyone’s lives? After all, the play was never ‘boy meets girl’ for both the actors.

“We’ve all questioned who we are and what humanity means and seen what we’ve done,” Henry said. The Silver Linings Playbook Best Actress Oscar Winner.

“There’s something else for these people, especially Lynsey and James,” Henry said.

Henry’s window into James was tapping into his own humanity, but, in doing so, the actor faced some self-truths.

“I judged James: why is he in the same place? He lost a lot in a car accident. Why is he alone? Why is he still drinking? I realized I was asking a lot of questions about myself and doing the same thing. I’m using James as a mirror and I’m facing my own shit. Film gives you a lot of room to do that,” Henry said.

Laurence points out how he called Henry Causeway, which was a 2 1/2 year project for them “a baptism”. Lawrence produced the movie with his Excellent Cadaver producing partner Justin Ciarrocchi.

Lawrence mentioned a swimming pool scene the two had together where the characters really connected and synced with their vibe.

Speaking about that moment, Henry explained, “We wanted to be whole again, we wanted all the pain and all the things that we’d suppressed and resurfaced…the filling falls, the hammer comes out…there’s no way we can come up with that water. Just the way we came from. It seemed that life gave us the opportunity to turn the lens on ourselves.”

“Our characters had a complicated relationship,” Lawrence told Henry.

While the two characters were identified as disabled, in their friendship they felt a glimmer of hope in their lives.

“The two of us weren’t that label anymore,” Henry explains of their arcs, “You didn’t laugh until I came.”

“Linsey — all the obstacles she’s faced with, everything telling her she can’t do something and she shouldn’t do something,” he added, “for a minute she has a glimpse of not being disabled, her glimpse of who she was. Coming back closer. We’ve both served as a reflection of who we are.”

Henry continued about how the characters complemented each other: “They graced each other and I realized how rare it is to see a black man and a white woman, especially in a movie; There’s always some kind of trope that we defy.”

“We exist in this place and time, that this friendship is possible, and it looks like this,” he added, “These two people have suffered a lot, so why not give each other a chance to find some friendship? And hope in each other? ”

To which Lawrence replied, “Hell, yeah.”

Henry is also up for the Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Performance. Causeway Available for viewing on Apple TV+.

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