The movie — which premiered on Hulu in March 2022 — brought the pageturner to life. The literary thriller takes place in the quiet, small town of Little Wesley, where readers meet married couple Vic and Melinda Van Allen, who are stuck in an unhappy marriage. The Tender Bar star and the No Time to Die actress portray Vic and Melinda, respectively.
Their characters’ “loveless marriage is held together only by a precarious arrangement whereby, in order to avoid the messiness of divorce, Melinda is allowed to take any number of lovers as long as she does not desert her family,” according to the novel’s summary. “Eventually, Vic can no longer suppress his jealousy and tries to win back his wife by asserting himself through a tall tale of murder — one that soon comes true.” Per the book description, Highsmith examined “the chilling reality behind the idyllic facade of American suburban life.”
While their real-life romance didn’t play out like their characters’, Us Weekly confirmed in March 2020 that the costars had started dating amid production.
A source told Us at the time that the Gone Girl star was “very supportive” of his then-girlfriend, noting, “Ana’s friends are constantly telling her how lucky she is to have Ben and think he is so charming, cool and fun. They’re so happy for her.” (The pair’s romance fizzled by January 2021, several months before Affleck reconnected with former fiancée Jennifer Lopez that May.)
“A movie that I’ve just shot, Deep Water, it’s a strange story based on the book by Patricia Highsmith, a marvelous writer who also did The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers on a Train among other books,” the Fatal Attraction director told Forbes in April 2020. “She had a kind of a bleak outlook on life. It’s interesting to me.”
Lyne continued at the time: “I’ve always wanted to do, or I like doing movies, about you or me, where you can put your feet in the shoes of the actors, live through them vicariously. I think that if you can achieve that, you’ve got the audience, and they won’t have forgotten about your movie by the time they’ve left the theater and headed out for dinner. If you can make the audience recognize themselves in the characters in some way, that’s a big part of it. I don’t think there’s a formula. I’m not an intellectual by any standards, so I guess my instincts are fairly good.”
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