Sam Esmail’s psychological thriller, Leave the World Behind exudes star power. At the helm, Academy Award winners, Julia Roberts, and Mahershala Ali, not to mention Hollywood heavyweight, Ethan Hawke, team up for a re-telling of Rumaan Alam’s daring dystopian novel.
Ahead of the film’s release on December 8, acclaimed director, Sam Esmail, and supporting actress, Myha’la caught up with HELLO! for an exclusive chat at the UK premiere in Mayfair, London.
With Ms Julia Roberts just a stone’s throw away on the red carpet, both Sam and Myha’la couldn’t help but rave about their time on set with the actress.
“Julia and I worked on two things prior, I directed her in a TV show called Homecoming, and she also did another show for me, which I didn’t direct – I produced – called Gaslit,” explained Sam, 46.
“She’s a great partner and she’s also a good friend. You know, she’s a filmmaker. She loves to talk about story and character and theme and she brought all that to the table and also on set, she’s just a pleasure to be with. I mean, she just brings such great energy to the work every day.”
As for Myha’la, Leave the World Behind marks the star’s first collaboration with Julia. Without giving too much away, Myha’la, in particular, has some pretty intense scenes with the actress, as their characters, Ruth, and Amanda, struggle to find common ground.
Going head-to-head with Julia was an intimidating prospect at first, but the Pretty Woman star quickly made Myha’la feel at ease.
“Of course, there’s an element of like, ‘Oh gosh, I’m up against the OG but the truth is, she’s so welcoming and once you get to set, you just go [for it], explained Myha’la. “We were just right here with each other and you forget all the rest in order to do the work.”
Julia – a proud mom to daughter Hazel, and sons Phinnaeus and Henry – continuously looked out for Myha’la, and even offered a tip or two on set. Smiling as she recalled a sweet memory, the 27-year-old explained that on one occasion, when she was feeling under the weather, Julia worked her magic.
“I had a headache and she like massaged my hand here, that was a good tip. There’s like a pressure point here. You massage it. It’s good for a headache!” she said.
It’s a matter of days until Leave the World Behind officially lands on Netflix, but in the meantime, fans can check out the trailer below.