Puzzle star Liv Hewson wants you to call your mom and make sure 'she feels actualized'
'Puzzle' narrates the story of suburban mother Agnes, who after years of being taken for granted, makes a random choice to start puzzling with a partner and that changes her life
It's a story we feel like we have heard before, one of an unassuming unhappy wife, who finds her life’s purpose in something she never knew she was good at. However, it has never been told in the way 'Puzzle' narrates it – without falling into the traps of stereotypes, refusing to let there be an 'aha' moment of hidden genius define her journey and allowing her to be the quiet brave woman she has been all her life, even beyond the point of conflict.
'Puzzle' narrates the story of suburban mother Agnes, portrayed brilliantly by Kelly Macdonald, who after years of being taken for granted, makes a random choice to start puzzling with a partner (Irrfan Khan’s Robert) and that changes her life as a whole.
While her family, especially her husband Louie (David Denman), fails to appreciate or even understand her new-found inclination for puzzling, it is her younger son Gabe’s (Austin Abrams) girlfriend Nicki that helps Agnes navigate the new realms of her identity.
Liv Hewson takes on the role of Nicki for 'Puzzle' so beautifully, striking the perfect balance between self-absorbed and wise beyond the character’s ages. She offers an outsider's perspective to Agnes' protagonist and her views often disrupt or, in the least, question the family dynamics.
Liv tells Meaww about the character, "I really liked that Nicki sort of comes in and all of the wisdom she is imparting is really the mission statement of the film... She's spouting all of these ideas that are helpful to Agnes." More importantly, Nicki’s statements are relatable to fans, and that makes this character all more enjoyable.
"I think that she is such a fun, bright person. She's from another world when compared to this family. So, coming in and playing with that was great," says Liv, who sent in a self-tape to audition for the role as Nicki, a role which she had a delightful experience portraying.
"I was really attracted to the script because I loved the idea of the story about the kind of woman, we don't normally get to see in movies made about. Someone who is quiet and unassuming, who is in her world just as rich and just as complicated as the kind of movie heroes we are used to seeing. I was really interested in being part of a project that explored someone like Agnes' inner life," explains Liv, who hopes that everyone comes out of the movie and calls their mothers immediately. She wants the viewers to ensure that their respective mums are "feeling actualized".
The movie is about this mother, whose existence is validated by her family by the lovingly prepared meals and making sure everything in the household is in order, even as her husband – who in his own way is trapped in the monotony of marital and domestic bliss – brings home the bacon. It challenges gender norms in a way that has not been done before, and it should be on everyone’s watchlist.
'Puzzle' had its DVD and digital release on November 13.