Natasha Richardson, wife of Irish actor Liam Neeson, took the role of Everest climber George Mallory’s wife, Ruth, very seriously and even halted filming on one occasion when the reality of the story became too much for her to bear.
Richardson, who died tragically in a skiing accident six weeks after completing her role in the movie about the Everest explorer who died on the mountain, told movie director she needed to stop filming on one occasion because it got too upsetting.
While playing the role of Ruth Richardson, she was forced to read out the telegram Mallory’s wife received to notify her of his death in Everest.
Natasha’s emotions halted production.
“I'm sorry, I'm sorry,” she told director Anthony Geffen, who rushed over to find out why she was upset.
“But if it was bad news about my husband, or about me, I just couldn't bear what it would mean for my children.”
Geffen understood at once.
He often heard Richardson speak lovingly about her sons Micheal, 14 and Daniel, 13.
Neeson was the narrator of the movie. It was he who recommended Natasha for the role of Ruth.
It was the last time the husband and wife team worked together.
Mallory died on the summit in 1924.
Says Geffen: "She was as engrossed in the whole Mallory story as Liam and I were. It was very difficult and challenging for Liam to hear her voice when he watched the film, but I know she would have been proud because she was passionate about Ruth Mallory and really related to her."
“The Wildest Dream” is on release from September 24.