Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Cherry Scene That Was Hard For Star Ciara Bravo To Watch With Her Family - Exclusive

Two years after directing the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero extravaganza Avengers: Endgame, brother filmmaking duo Joe and Anthony Russo are back with a decidedly different type of story than they've told over the past seven years: Cherry.

Starring the MCU's Spider-Man actor Tom Holland as the title character, Cherry follows a disenfranchised young man dealing with PTSD after serving in the Army in the Iraq War. To cope with his PTSD, Cherry turns to drugs, and to fuel his addiction, he resorts to robbing banks. Ciara Bravo stars opposite Holland as Cherry's wife, Emily, who, after trying unsuccessfully to help her husband confront and work through his trauma, turns to addiction herself.

In an exclusive interview with Looper to discuss Cherry, which is playing in select theaters and streaming on Apple TV+ now, Bravo said she experienced the full impact of the film when she watched it with her family — especially when viewing a pivotal scene in which Emily is hospitalized after she nearly overdoses on heroin.

"It was actually interesting watching it with my family. I think that's when it hit harder. Because when you're there shooting it, you know all of the Hollywood secrets and magic, the makeup that goes into making it look the way that it does. So, it is easier to step back," Bravo said. "It's harder, I should say, actually, to watch it as a viewer and experience Emily as a character and not as myself, until I'm sitting down with my family and I'm watching my family watch my character go through these things — or my mom's watching her daughter overdose in a movie, and watching the way that it affects them. That hits a lot harder for me."

While seeing their daughter depicted on screen as being on the cusp of death was chilling for Bravo's parents, the actor said she was personally affected by something else.

"If I were to place it in one scene in particular, I think it was just before the overdose, coming back from the park and you see Emily laying down in bed. I think that's [when Emily] looks like [she] was not breathing," Bravo said. "That's when it really hits hard."

What Ciara Bravo hopes viewers take away from Cherry

Based on the best-selling semi-autobiographical novel by Army veteran Nico Walker, Cherry naturally examines how PTSD and addiction affected one man and his wife. But in real life, Bravo told Looper, what happens to Cherry and Emily can happen to anyone — and she hopes that truth resonates with all viewers.

"I hope that it can have the same effect on everyone else who watches the movie. I know that, unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions around both PTSD and addiction," Bravo said. "[There's] this idea that it can only happen to one type of person, and that it can only happen to veterans coming back from war, and that it can only happen to people from a lower class or from unfortunate situations [and to those] who have been dealt a bad hand — but that's just not true at all."

Bravo continued, "Both of these things can happen to quite literally anyone. No one is safe from this really, truly troubling experience. So, I hope that in watching this film, we're able to open up our worldview and understand that there is so much more to both of these battles, and hopefully [it] can inspire some empathy for others in our lives that are going through something similar as these characters."

Cherry also highlights the effects PTSD has on soldiers' families

Cherry is unique in that it's one of rare films that not only tackles soldiers' plights with PTSD, but also shows how trauma on the battlefield affects soldier's families. (Director Clint Eastwood's 2014 Best Picture Oscar nominee American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, did the same.) As such, the film dives into the enormous impact Cherry's actions have on Emily when he returns from war, leading Bravo's character down her own dark path.

"It's really difficult because we don't talk about it a lot. We don't talk about the effects that it has on the soldiers or their families. And, unfortunately, of course, during that time, mental health wasn't as big of a conversation as it is today. It wasn't as openly talked about," Bravo told Looper. "I hope that we can continue [the conversation] in the right direction, so that people don't feel shame in reaching out to outside sources for help — especially the family members, because as much as you want to love somebody out of their pain and suffering, you can't do it alone."

Co-written by Angela Russo-Otstot and Jessica Goldberg, and co-starring Jack Reynor as Pills and CokeCherry is playing in select theaters and is available to stream on Apple TV+ now.