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Owen Wilson & Salma Hayek Tackle Real-World Themes in Sci-Fi Drama Bliss

Owen Wilson & Salma Hayek Tackle Real-World Issues in Sci-Fi 'Bliss'

Owen Wilson & Salma Hayek Tackle Real-World Issues in Sci-Fi 'Bliss'

PRIDE talks to lead actress Salma Hayek and writer-director Mike Cahill about the sci-fi thriller's timely, real-life messages about addiction.

byraffy

Amazon Studios' latest sci-fi drama Bliss is finally hitting the Prime Video streaming service this weekend!

Screen legends Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek (who is set to star in Marvel Studios' upcoming, queer-inclusive ensemble superhero flick The Eternals later this year) team up with writer-director Mike Cahill at the helm to tell the story of a buttoned-down, white-collar salaryman named Greg Wittle who is on the verge of hitting rock bottom. Freshly-divorced and about to lose his job because he's been incredibly distracted as of late, Greg meets a strange but beautiful stranger named Isabel (Hayek) who convinces him he's actually living in a simulation and that the world as he knows it — including his loving daughter Emily (Nesta Cooper) — is fake, and that the only thing that is real is the world where Isabel and Greg live happily together in a coastal paradise. But the only way to get to the "real" world is these magic blue pills that are hard to come by, and while watching Bliss, viewers start to realize that besides the mystical, sci-fi elements, the film is an allegory about the struggles of dealing with and overcoming substance abuse and addiction, a very real-world topic that many still want to see de-stigmatized and explored on screen.

PRIDE got to sit down with lead star Salma Hayek and creator Mike Cahill to talk more about the timely, real-life themes featured in Bliss, including the need to be more open and honest when it comes to discussions of addiction. 

"I think that in that aspect, if we talk about the addiction, you got to go through the experience of an addict without judgment, in a way," Hayek said. "Their struggle, and how they really can go into a parallel reality. And it's beyond them, it's beyond what they can do and how hard it is. To me, it created more empathy."

"I lived in Venice Beach for a long time, and one of the things about Venice Beach is there's a very large homeless community wrestling with mental health and addiction issues there," Cahill told PRIDE. "I remember every day, a lot of people treat it almost like it's an invisibility thing, like it's invisible when you go about your day."

He continued:

"I just felt motivated and moved by the idea of someone reaching over and knowing that that version of reality may be different, but the idea of reaching across and connecting, to me is something that's noble and beautiful about our nature. And if I can tell a story from the point of view of the person who's seeing two different worlds, I felt like it was important to shine a light on those ideas, but do it in a way, obliquely, that doesn't use the baggage so much and does it in a way where you feel the emotions of it first and foremost."

Bliss is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video

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Raffy Ermac

Digital Director, Out.com

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and digital director of Out Magazine. The former editor-in-chief of PRIDE, he is also a die-hard Rihanna and Sailor Moon stan who loves to write about all things pop culture, entertainment, and identities. Follow him on Instagram (@raffyermac) and Twitter (@byraffy), and subscribe to his YouTube channel

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and digital director of Out Magazine. The former editor-in-chief of PRIDE, he is also a die-hard Rihanna and Sailor Moon stan who loves to write about all things pop culture, entertainment, and identities. Follow him on Instagram (@raffyermac) and Twitter (@byraffy), and subscribe to his YouTube channel