When creating the intimate romance story of “Wander Darkly,” writer-director Tara Miele and stars Sienna Miller and Diego Luna found a wealth of inspiration from their life experiences.
The film, which takes a close look at mortality and life and death, was inspired by Miele’s experience surviving a severe car crash seven years ago. Surviving a black out, a severe concussion and an extended recovery phase, Miele said she found a deeper appreciation for the small joys in life.
“We were at my parents’ for Thanksgiving, and they were fighting over the turkey and my kids were screaming,” she said during a Variety Streaming Room presented by Lionsgate. “And I just was so grateful to be there and so aware of how lucky we were to still be living these delicate little lives. That was the moment where I knew I wanted to bottle that and give it to as many people as I could.”
When introduced to the role of Matteo, Luna was immediately drawn to the complexity of the character and his story that “challenges the intelligence of audiences.” “The film was very risky,” he recalled. “It’s a film you could read again and suddenly realize it was about something else too, and I think we should keep doing that kind of cinema.”
Meanwhile, Miller said her own experience as a parent allowed her to create a more authentic version of her character, Adrienne. She drew from the challenges she faced when giving birth, like losing 24 hours of sleep a week.
“It is a film about a couple who are struggling in the beginnings of parenthood, and I think that’s a story that is often not looked at and not discussed,” she said. “I think that from my own experience as a parent, my heart was reshaped in a way that allowed more accessibility to emotion.”