The director of the new Netflix film Leave the World Behind, Sam Esmail, has heaped praise upon the film’s star, Julia Roberts, claiming that the icon actor is the “Michael Jordan of acting”.
The pair had first worked together on the psychological thriller Amazon series Homecoming, and having developed a professional relationship, Esmail decided to cast Roberts in his first feature film in nearly a decade.
“She’s the Michael Jordan of acting,” Esmail recently told The Messenger of Roberts. “She’s one of the best of the best, so it’s not hard to understand why I would want her to play the part.”
The director continued, “How flawed [Amanda] is and how prickly she can be, it’s even more reason why you need somebody who is not just at the top of their game in terms of the craft, but has an undeniable charisma, that kind of undefinable thing that Julia has, that’s going to let the audience be able to access this person and not just be so turned off by them from the first minute.”
“And what’s great about Julia and getting to know her over these last five years that we’ve been working together, I know she wants to challenge herself — and she actually craves it,” Esmail added. “And so I threw this book at her, and she loved the book as much as I did, and she was just up for the challenge.”
The film is adapted from Rumaan Alam’s 2020 novel Leave the World Behind and focuses on Amanda and Clay [Ethan Hawke] taking their children out of the city for a luxurious rental home vacation.
Check out the trailer for Leave the World Behind below.