Eiza Gonzalez knows the importance of having a solid group of women to help and uplift others.
That is what she found on the set of Welcome to Marwen, a film based on the true story of Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell), a man who lost his memory after he was brutally attacked, and as a way to cope with the memory loss, finds a unique and beautiful therapeutic outlet — a make-believe world where he can be the hero — to help him through his recovery process.
ET’s Courtney Tezeno sat down with Gonzalez, 28, at the film’s junket in Los Angeles, where she opened up about the inspiring story and the incredible women who were a part of it.
“This is the film I wish I would have watched growing up because this is the story of a man, as you get to know the story of why he gets beaten up, is someone so relatable,” the actress explained. “It’s so important nowadays to let people have their own personalities and love them [for it]. For me, the fact that all these women unite to be a moral support is very important. You hear it, ‘Behind every great man is a great woman.’ That’s sort of what Mark’s view on it is.”
“He goes to the women of Marwen, who have built him and made him,” she explained. “You have all these women who unite [together], which is also a very important message to be sent to society. Women can be from different backgrounds. All these women, Janelle, Gwendoline, Diane, we’re all from different places, different countries, different colors, different languages, but we all can be one and we can all unite. It’s not necessarily that we have to have the same way of thinking, but we can all be human.”
Gonzalez was more than moved by the incredible survival story, and hopes that it helps people be kinder to one another.
“This movie is just something else for me. It moved me when I watched the documentary the first time,” Gonzalez expressed. “Mark is just such an inspiring human being. The way he sees life is through different eyes. That’s what I feel we need as people nowadays. He just has such imagination and we kind of forget about that. I feel like the world that we live in it’s so fast-paced. [With] social media, we get to be so mean to each other. We hide behind computers, cell phones and we sort of do this destructive criticism consistently and we don’t really realize how deeply rooted that could be for a human being.”
“Mark is a person who within the norm of humanity, his flaws are something negative. But to me he has no flaws, they’re virtues,” Gonzalez relayed. “The message of that film is to embrace differences, to embrace someone’s different way of thinking, different way of living. Who am I to judge you? I only want to be humane and support each other.”
While Gonzalez was elated to work with such a dynamic group of women on the film, working with Carell was equally as special for her.
“I’ll tell you something incredible about working with Steve,” she began. “You can tell that he has a background in comedy, and the thing about comedy that a lot of people don’t know is that the more you give your partner, the better the scene happens, because the more you bounce off each other, the comedy heightens. Usually, it’s hard because as a performer you really get into yourself because you’re trying to control what you’re going to do, what you’re going to say and Steve is all outwards.”
“He’s giving [so much to] you and all he cares is that you shine,” she continued. “As an actor on a set with someone like that, you just feel confident. That is something I’m so grateful about Steve, and I will always admire about him. That is why he keeps on working the way that he works. He gets the success that he does because he’s one of these actors that deserves it. He is so sharing, and so loving, and at the same time such a perfectionist and wants to do his best job possible and satisfy the director. He’s wonderful and he deserves all the success in the world.”
Welcome to Marwen arrives in theaters on Dec. 21. Watch the trailer in the video below.
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