Wild (2014) Poster

(I) (2014)


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The young Cheryl is portrayed by the actual Cheryl Strayed's daughter.
Jean-Marc Vallée would not let Reese Witherspoon read the instruction manual to the tent, or the stove. All of the frustration showed on screen was genuine.
The real Cheryl Strayed makes a cameo in the film as the woman who drops off the main character at the beginning of the film and wishes her good luck.
Jean-Marc Vallée covered all mirrors so Reese Witherspoon could not see herself during the shoot.
Reese Witherspoon famously said that this film was the most difficult and intense in her career, considering the mood and the sex sequences she had to do.
This was originally planned as Reese Witherspoon's next movie after Gone Girl (2014), but it was fast-tracked when Witherspoon decided just to produce that film, having dropped the intention of playing its lead role of Amy.
Reese Witherspoon dropped out of Big Eyes (2014) to do this movie.
Reese Witherspoon saw an advanced copy of the book in October 2011, 5 months before its release. The galley-form book was mailed personally by Cheryl Strayed herself, believing that if there is an actress who could portray her, it is Witherspoon and no one else. Witherspoon saw potential in that, immediately acquired the rights as it was a perfect launchpad for her production label. The book became much hyped when it listed as a select book for the Oprah Book Club after its release.
The production team had access to 25 pairs of custom made Danner hiking boots to show the progressive aging of the boots. These boots were made local to where the movie was filmed in Portland, OR.
There is a scene where Cheryl is reading Gone Girl. This is because Reese Witherspoon is one of the producers in the movie Gone Girl.
Cheryl Strayed told the Times she made efforts to locate her half-sister and half-brother over the years with no success. When her half-sister started reading Wild, she "knew just enough about me and my siblings that she put it together. She read the rest of the book and then she wrote to me. She was stunned. I was, too, and yet I always knew our paths would cross. Life is like that. There's always more, always a reveal."
Laura Dern, who plays Cheryl's mother Bobbi in the film, is only nine years older than Reese Witherspoon in real life. This is partly because in many of Bobbi's scenes with Cheryl, Cheryl is played by a much younger (child) actress.
Art Alexakis, lead singer of rock band Everclear, has a cameo appearance as the tattoo artist giving Cheryl and Paul matching tattoos.
Shot almost completely with natural light.
When Cheryl Strayed walked the trail, she was 26 years old. When this movie was released, Reese Witherspoon was 38 years old.
Reese Witherspoon was picked by the author to portray her in this film.
The backpack that Cheryl carries in the film was actually filled with old newspapers to make the hiking sequences look real.
Cheryl Strayed about the meaning of her journey (from her book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail): "The thing about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the thing that was so profound to me that summer-and yet also, like most things, so very simple-was how few choices I had and how often I had to do the thing I least wanted to do. How there was no escape or denial. No numbing it down with a martini or covering it up with a roll in the hay. As I clung to the chaparral that day, attempting to patch up my bleeding finger, terrified by every sound that the bull was coming back, I considered my options. There were only two and they were essentially the same. I could go back in the direction I had come from, or I could go forward in the direction I intended to go".
Jean Marc Vallée was offered the directing job during post-production of Dallas Buyers Club. Producer Bruna Papandrea is a fan of his films and had seen the first cut of the film before formally approaching him with the offer.
There are multiple news reports saying this was Reese Witherspoon's first film performing nude scenes; however, she appeared topless in Twilight (1998).
Jean-Marc Valée also directed Dallas Buyers Club (2013) which was nominated for (and won) best actor (Matthew McConaughey) and supporting actor (Jared Leto) similar to this film but different gender, because this film was nominated for best actress (Reese Witherspoon) and supporting actress (Laura Dern).
Swedish sibling duo First Aid Kit made a contribution to the soundtrack covering the R.E.M. song Walk Unafraid.
Lisa Cholodenko was previously set to direct but dropped out.
Art Alexakis (lead singer for the band Everclear), who portrays the tattoo artist in this movie, used to reside in Portland, Oregon, where parts of this movie were filmed. He was chosen for the part by Cheryl's real-life husband, and film maker, Brian Lindstrom, as he and Art are good friends.
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Cheryl Strayed has actually a sister and a stepfather that are not portrayed in the movie.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

During a talk at Concordia University, Cheryl Strayed stated that although the film is very accurate, the sex scene in the alley way never occurred (although she admits to being quite promiscuous during this period in her life).
Chris Kesting from Camas, Washington found the boot that Reese Witherspoon threw off the cliff, while hiking with a friend near Mt. Hood Skibowl in March 2015. He hopes to have it signed by Reese and it is currently on display in his living room.
The film crew violated the #1 rule of the US National Forests, "Leave No Trace", by abandoning the hiking boot thrown in the opening scene.

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