Golden Globe-winner Keri Russell after appearing in a number of made-for-television films and series during the mid-1990s rose to stardom playing Felicity Porter on the series Felicity.
Russell has since appeared in several films, including We Were Soldiers, The Upside of Anger, Mission: Impossible III , and Waitress . In her latest film August Rush, the actress once again unites with her M: I III co-actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
Together they play parents of August Rush (Freddie Highmore) who get separated from each other due to circumstances only to unite through music. Here she talks about her co-stars, music and balancing work and home as a mum
What was your reaction when you first heard the script of August Rush?
I just loved the whole idea of Freddie’s character August having this unwavering faith that: ‘I know my parents are out there and I know they want me’. As soon as I read that, I wanted to do it.
It’s about hope, and believing that things are going to be okay. The movie is truly, unapologetically sincere.
Music plays an important element in the film. How important has it been in your life?
I love music. I have been a dancer, so music obviously has an important role in my life. It helps me through bad times, it helps me through good times, and especially in a movie like this, it’s something that brings us all together. You don’t have to speak a certain language, everyone understands a beautiful sad song.
You had to learn how to play the cello, how was that?
I would call it homework, four hours a day. I also had to play solo in front of the New York Philharmonic, the actual New York Philharmonic, so that was slightly frightening and no easy feat. Being up on stage at Carnegie Hall, but it was all cool.
You do not get to act with Freddie Highmore in this film, but you did get to hang out a little bit with him…
I need to come up with a better word, because every good word is just not good enough, he’s just special. He doesn’t have the thing that most kid actors unfortunately get, which is like this creepy fake adultness. He’s still this wonderful, glowing kid who’s sensitive and smart and I just genuinely like the guy.
And how was Jonathan Rhys Meyers?
Jonathan was just so wonderful to watch in this movie. We had just finished Mission: Impossible III together, which is so funny, because the last time I was literally being rescued from a burning building and he was the helicopter pilot! That was the last time we saw each other and now we’re lovers meeting on a rooftop in New York City under the moon. And hearing him sing all those songs… I was just blown away.
Is picking scripts a hard thing, especially now that you’re a mum?
Just logistically it does become hard. I mean, you have to consider, where the shooting is. Also I don’t want to take the baby away from dad, so it does become tough at times.
Did you watch the film with your family…
Oh yes. And I was just crying and I looked at my husband and he was crying too. When you have a child, it just changes everything and you see things in such a different light.