In the middle of the night, along the cliffs of the northern California coast, we worked around a blazing campfire preparing to shoot one of the final scenes of THE LOVE EFFECT film. The ocean rolled below us and chilling winds whispered through the fire as we all stood and watched Ari in silence as his character finally admits heart wrenching feelings of shame, inferiority and pain.
The entire LOVE EFFECT team was tired, freezing and still — they hung on every single word Ari said, fighting their own tears. After only two takes of this, I called “cut,” I went to Ari… and I hugged him right there on the floor. All I could say, fighting through my own awe and emotion was:
“Ari. You did it.”
Ari Blinder is one of the most dedicated, passionate and talented actors I have ever seen in my entire life. In The Love Effect film he completely dedicated his heart and spirit to the role of a man painfully dealing with depression and suicide. Ari was fearless — from connecting to the material personally in his own life, to researching, interviewing survivors and exploring the depths of hardship of those wrestling with the disease. But Ari doesn’t care about glamour. He cares about integrity.
All that he wanted to do with this film was to portray some truth for others struggling with depression and suicide. From rewriting the script, to deep research and investigation, to many tears and triumphs, he fought to get it right every day, even until the last day of shooting. His work here is an accomplishment and I'm not the only one who has said it.
But Ari has done so much more than he knows. More than get it right, he has shed light on depression and suicide in a positive, hopeful way. His portrayal of this character is powerful, complex and completely endearing. I believe he's shown hope and perseverance and so much more that we can all relate to, and I can’t wait for you to see it for yourself.