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There are moments in the film Philomena where the audience can laugh out loud. It's simple, with Dame Judi Dench at her cheekiest and Steve Coogan at his most bumbling. But, the more poignant offerings from the movie are the subtle instances of sadness, where Philomena's loss quietly permeates the film. It isn't just a story of Philomena searching for her stolen son, but it's also a story of overcoming shame — both her unknown son's and Philomena's own, being an unwed mother in '50s Ireland. It was Sophie Kennedy Clark, who played the younger version of Judi Dench's Philomena that gave life to the fragile girl who sets the story in motion.
"My friends are under the belief that I don’t have tear ducts in my normal life because I’m very rational about everything. But, I completely fell apart when I watched this film," Clark explains about her role. "I have to totally be in the most selfless, vulnerable state to be able to do Philomena justice and what she went through." The film is based on a true story of a woman who went to a convent after she discovered she was pregnant, only to have her child adopted out from under her. It was up to Clark to depict that panic and desperation.
Besides Philomena, Clark will also appear in Lars Von Trier's much-talked about film Nymphomaniac, in which, she reveals, she didn't actually have to have sex on screen. Well, kind of...
Philomena is currently in theaters.
Photographed by Sunny Shokrae.