By Amber Gristak
I may not be best friends with Kate Winslet but I have worked with her. And, I can tell you that, from the three months that I spent as her photo-double and stand-in on “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” she is the perfect person to narrative a film dealing with this rapidly growing neurological disorder.
The Sunshine Boy, directed by Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, chronicles film producer Margaret Dagmar Ericsdottir as she struggles to understand Keli, her severely autistic son. Kate agreed to do the narration, for what is expected to be a highly acclaimed film, after watching footage the director sent to her.
The Sunshine Boy is expected to receive rave reviews as it debuts in major markets but why is Kate so great? In my experience around Kate, she proved to be very a humble woman. With her genuinely pleasant attitude, she treated everyone on set very cordially. She was even pleasant during the outdoor scenes.
In the cold winter months on set, she made jokes about keeping each others space warm as we would switch on and off of our designated marks. In conversation, her strong soul was undeniable. She was unimpressed by the pretentious crowds that seem to come with filmmaking.
However, the thing that really spoke to me when I heard she would be the narrator of The Sunshine Boy is how I had seen her care for her children, Joe, 6, and Mia, 9,. Her children were very small at the time but she remained very involved in their days.
At one point, one of her children became ill. I watched as she took on the world while in between scenes. It makes me smile to think how bright her dedication to her family shined. She made a million phone calls and connected every dot.
The Sunshine Boy will debut on September 12th, as part of the “Real to Reel” section of the Toronto International Film Festival. There are special soundtrack contributions by Bjork and Sigur Ros.