Sienna Miller's new film, Wander Darkly, is a difficult yet captivating watch.
Described by writer/director Tara Miele as an "existential romantic thriller," the plot sees Miller as Adrienne, a young mother and wife grappling with the heartbreaking aftermath of a serious car crash.
The viewer follows Adrienne on a gut-wrenching emotional rollercoaster ride as she struggles to determine the real from the surreal, the living from the dead.
Not only does Wander Darkly challenge the viewer, but it was also challenging to make, as Miller told Yahoo Lifestyle in an exclusive chat with Miele ahead of the film's digital release on May 12.
"As a piece on the page it was so clear and so beautiful and poetic to read... everything you'd want to make a film," the 39-year-old Brit actor says of Miele's script.
"But then it was really technical and complicated to shoot because it switches between time zones and flashbacks and dreamlike sequences," she adds.
Miller candidly admits that she had moments where she felt she had no idea what she was doing "every single day".
"I like to be in control of what I'm doing and have it mapped out and I just could not, no matter where I turned, get a handle on what this was and where we were.
"I really fought that for a few weeks [...] and then I was able to surrender and I think it actually was perfect for who I was [portraying]."
The Alfie star describes the quick, 24-day shoot, which took place in Los Angeles back in 2018, as a "torturous experience" for much of the time for a few reasons.
"It required such faith and there was such gymnastics and acrobatics and emotion," she explains.
"We were under pressure with the schedule and the budget and there were times where we, you know, we were falling apart and Tara would have to keep everyone together and she really did a great job!"
'Reshapes your heart'
For Miele, Wander Darkly is her 'baby' in more ways than one. After mainly working on short films and TV shows such as Batwoman and Arrow, this is her first major feature film and it's also based on her own life.
Miele and her husband survived a car accident some years ago, and the process of sharing such a personal experience made her feel "incredibly vulnerable".
But it also gave Miller and her co-star, Star Wars' Diego Luna, an unparalleled source of advice and authenticity.
"These amazing performances would pour out of them and it was just jaw-dropping," Miele says of her stars.
"You should have seen the crew; nobody was on their phones during this movie, everybody was watching these people evolve in this story."
Miller was also able to draw on her experiences as a parent to her eight-year-old daughter, Marlowe, who she shares with fellow actor Tom Sturridge.
"When you become a parent it reshapes your heart in a million different ways.
"I used to struggle to cry in films then I had a kid and [...] for me I was emotionally unlocked by that experience," she says.
Wander Darkly is available on all major digital platforms from May 12.
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