Avatar star Zoe Saldana, who has first time worked with Ben Affleck in Live By Night, said the actor-director specifically wanted her to play Graciela in the movie. Directed by Affleck, 44, the crime drama centres around a group of individuals and their dealings in the world of organised crime.
Starring Affleck as Joe Coughlin, the film also includes Elle Fanning, Saldana, Brendan Gleeson, Robert Glenister, Matthew Maher, Saldana in main roles. The 38-year-old actress, who is playing Joe Coughlin’s (Affleck) love interest in the movie, praised the Argo star, saying he was so certain about casting her in the movie that she could not say no to it.
“Ben Affleck is a great filmmaker, so when he called asking to meet with me, I agreed, even though I was pregnant and the timing didn’t seem to work. “But Ben was confident we could work that out, and told me, ‘Graciela is a great character for you and, quite frankly, there’s just no other actress I want for the role’,” Saldana said in a statement.
Describing how Affleck helped her understand the role of Graciela, Saldana said, “When I read the script, I thought there was a real integrity to the way Ben chose to tell this story. “Ben and I talked a lot about Graciela – who she was and the things that are important to her. If I am going to play someone’s love interest, as I do in ‘Live by Night’, then it must be a meaningful and strong character, and he promised me that together we’d strengthen the role – that we’d rehearse it and do whatever it took to make her come alive. I really appreciated that openness.” The Warner Bros film is in Indian theatres from today.