We Spoke With the Cast of All My Life About the Heartbreaking True Story
All My Life tells the real-life story Solomon Chau (Harry Shum Jr.) and Jennifer Carter (Jessica Rothe) and their love, despite a tragic bit of news that came to the couple.
**Spoilers for All My Life and the lives of Solomon Chau and Jennifer Carter.**
The movie is a beautiful look at love and loss and how we cope with news that we don’t know the outcome of. When Jennifer met Solomon, they fell quickly in love and wanted to start their lives together. But right after they got engaged, Solomon discovered that he had cancer, and the two had to change their lives to center around Solomon and his illness.
But what makes All My Life beautiful is the dedication that Sol and Jenn’s friends have to them and their struggle.
Talking with Jay Pharaoh, Keala Settle, Chrissie Fit, Ever Carradine, Kyle Allen, and Jessica Rothe, one thing is clear: This story hit all of them and brought them closer together as a cast.
I asked all the actors (via phone interviews) who played friends to Solomon and Jenn about their different reactions as their characters (mainly in regards to finding out about Solomon’s illness), and it was beautiful to see how each reacted.
JAY PHARAOH: You know, it’s art imitating life. I’ve had some friends who’ve done stuff like that, who do hear bad news and they kind of close up and just hermit because they can’t deal with it. You know? Or they don’t want to go to the funeral of a person because they don’t want to deal with that because that’s just not their stick. You know? And I can say with Kyle’s character and just seeing people that it is so true and it resonates so well because everybody knows somebody like that in their circle.
KEALA SETTLE: Every single person has their own way of dealing with it, whether they even do it on their own or they do it on their own in front of everyone else or they pick at least one person to be able to go “Hey, this is crappy, right?” so now that I felt that, I can at least be on board with this but someone else has to be the leader because I can’t do this. Do you know what I mean? But I’ll be there. That is so interesting to see because that definitely exists.
CHRISSIE FIT: I hope that they (audiences) see a real true love story, how powerful love is, how important a sense of community is, and how…you know, we’re so disconnected right now and to see a movie that just shows us how important it is to have people that you love and that support you no matter what it’s just really-I hope that’s what they get.
EVER CARRADINE: Life and love and friendship is all very sort of complicated. And messy but I think that it feels very true in this movie, it feels like we’ve done a very good job of trying to show the truth, you know?
KYLE ALLEN: It came really quickly. I think, as an actor, when you get material you really quickly decide like there’s a lot of ways to do the character. But there’s usually only one way you want to do it. And that was really easy to align myself with. It was just great writing and a phenomenal story. It spoke to me as someone as…kind of an everyman who has lost his father and doesn’t know how to deal with it. Like there’s no book on it. How do you specifically deal with loss? And you, unfortunately, have to end up writing that book.
Jessica Rothe, who plays Solomon’s wife Jennifer, had a lot on her shoulders throughout this movie, just as Jenn did in real life. But when I talked about the cast and the way this family, of sorts, came across onscreen, she couldn’t help but share her love for them and the little bit of life we got to see from Jennifer and Sol on screen.
JESSICA ROTHE: It truly isn’t just a slice of Jenn and Sol’s lives but it’s a slice of their relationship and the things that were important to them at the time when they fell in love and at the time when Sol became sick. And the aspect of their lives when they were present and vital and so I love that that came across in that way and we were just so lucky that our entire cast was filled with the most talented, like insanely talented, but diverse and different and weird and quirky and just eccentric human beings and it made every single day on set such a joy.
All My Life is currently in theaters. Bring the tissues.
(image: Universal Pictures)
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