‘Boys in the Boat’: Tearing Down Walls and Building a Team

‘Boys in the Boat’: Tearing Down Walls and Building a Team December 19, 2023

In ‘The Boys in the Boat,’ releasing Friday in theaters from Amazon MGM Studios, Callum Turner (“Fantastic Beasts”) and Hadley Robinson (“Little Women”) play Joe Rantz and Joyce Simdars, who come together as a couple while Joe becomes part of a history-making rowing team at the University of Washington. While the film, which focuses mainly on the team dynamic of young men, Joyce’s unwavering devotion to Joe is a heartwarming side story, adding to an already feel-good film.

Callum Turner and Hadley Robinson star in ‘The Boys in the Boat.’ Image courtesy of Amazon MGM Studios.

Turner and Robinson recently spoke to Reel Faith’s DeWayne Hamby about their respective roles and what the film says about moving past hurts and laying down differences to work together toward a goal.


Callum, Joe is one piece of a very unified team. And for a moment, he forgets that but quickly realizes he’s better with this team than he is by himself. Have there been a point in your life when you realize that is that is that something you could draw on for this role?

Callum Turner  —Yeah, what I get to do with acting and working in films as being part of a team. And I’m very lucky that I get to do that. I understand that I’m a cog in a system. I’ve never had a moment where I’ve wanted to throw away like Joe. But Joe’s experience in that moment was that he’d just seen his dad who abandoned him when he was 13 years old for the first time. And it through him emotionally. Joe was someone that put the walls up and closed the blinds and locked the door and didn’t let anyone in. And through the boat and with Joyce, he allowed himself to live again and feel again and trust again. And he felt like in that moment that that he’d been betrayed, you know, he was he was, I guess, triggered by something. And he’s very lucky that Ulbrickson lets him back in the boat because he wasn’t performing.


Hadley, Joyce is just so adorable and unwavering in her dedication to Joe. Is that what you read on the script or did you add more of your own personality into her character?

Hadley Robinson—I think I think that was on the page. I sort of just leaned into it. I always like to find foils in characters. And I think Joe did have walls up and locked the doors. He’s quite shy. I think that sort of allowed Joyce to maybe be his antithesis in the sense that she had room to sort of fill up the space with confidence and somebody had to . . .

Callum Turner—It wasn’t going to be Joe!

Hadley Robinson—It wasn’t going to be Joe! (laughs). She’s a very sweet woman in real life. She’s a good person. And that’s in the book. But she also has a little need and desire for adventure and freedom and fun. So, I wanted to lean into that.


At one point, Callum, Joe comes into conflict with a guy. And the way that he they kind of understand each other is that both of them are more similar than they are dissimilar. He says, ‘Hey, I’m just like you.’ And I think that sends an important message to viewers. Would you agree with that?

Callum Turner—Yeah, I would. And you know, the thing about rowing that’s so beautiful is it is about surrendering the surrendering the individuality of, of of yourself and committing to other people and learning to trust and, and bonding. We did it for real and Terry O’Neill, who trained us brought his friends down that he made when he was 12 years old, and they’re all in their 70s now, and he said, “Me and my mates been friends for 60 years, and this is what you guys are gonna’ have” and we did. We built that. I do think it’s an important message we can achieve a lot together. And when we set aside our differences, we’re all the same, really.


“The Boys in the Boat,” directed by George Clooney and starring Joel Edgerton, Callum Turner, and Hadley Robinson, releases in theaters on Christmas day from Amazon MGM Studios.

Watch an exclusive video interview with Callum, Hadley, and DeWayne Hamby below.

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