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Clayton Beresford, Jr. (Hayden Christensen) seems to have it all - A beautiful fiancee, Samantha Lockwood (Jessica Alba), a thriving family business he runs with his adoring mother Lilith (Lena Olin), and all the money a young man could ever want. But even though Clay seems to be leading a charmed life, things are far from perfect. Jack Harper (Terrence Howard) is one of Clays closest friends and also his cardiologist.

The curve life throws at Clay is a bad heart and a necessary heart transplant lies in his future as he awaits his turn on the donar list. When Clay falls in love and marries Sam after a year of secret courtship, their lives suddenly change as Clay finally gets the call that a heart is available.

Every year 21 million people are put under general anesthesia. 1 in 700 remain awake, suffering from what is called "anesthesia awareness" where they have complete or varying levels of awareness during a surgical procedure.

Awake is the story of of a man's failed anesthesia during heart surgery where he must find some way to cope with the horrifying experience of "anesthesia awareness" and the disturbing things he overhears in the operating room. Clay is awake and aware during surgery but his body is completely paralyzed and he is unable to alert the doctors. While Clay is undergoing surgery, his new wife Samantha must deal with her own drama and some tense circumstances surrounding the young couple.

A Film from The Weinstein Company and Greenstreet Films

Release: November 30, 2007
Director: Joby Harold
Written by: Joby Harold
Produced by: Jason Kilot, John Penotti, Joana Vicente, Russell Carpenter
Cast: Hayden Christensen, Jessica Alba, Terrence Howard, Lena Olin, Sam Robards, Fisher Stevens, Christopher McDonald

What scares you?

November 1, 2007
Author: Barbara
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The first time I was ever put under general anesthesia as an adult for a relatively routine procedure, the anesthesiologists came in and introduced themselves to me as Burt and Ernie. Well, I just found that hilarious and the pre-op drugs only made it harder for me to stop joking around with Burt and Ernie until one totally serious nurse finally told me I was going to have to be quiet now and go to sleep. That was that. I was out like a light. I woke up in the recovery room with a nice warm blanket, feeling all fuzzy and cozy and with no pain.

Well, Awake is not going to be a medical documentary but it's also not going to be a warm and cozy movie about surgery either. In light of an actual surgery occurence called "anesthesia awareness", this movie sounds like it is going to be pretty intense. But this is Hollywood, afterall, and it's still entertainment so you can be sure the medical facts will be mixed with large doses of all the elements of a psychological thriller with dramatic license and suspension of disbelief. Still, it will make people aware of a serious surgical problem and that can't be all bad for those advocates who are trying to educate the public.

Awake is a movie that plays on some of our worst fears. What are you afraid of? Horror authors and movies of the past have always played up some of our basic fears by dealing with things like: fear of pain, being helpless at the hands of a monster, being buried alive, being afraid of the dark, what's hiding in the closet or under the bed or in the woods. Swimming is supposed to be innocent fun except when there's a 20 foot shark lurking out of sight just below the water's surface. Awake plays on those fears of pain, being helpless and what is lurking and what is unexpected. After looking at the trailer, I'm reminded of movies like Coma, Ghost or The Sixth Sense. In any case, Awake looks creepy, a little surreal and very interesting.

The movie, Awake, opens in theaters nationwide November 30, 2007 and is rated R. Bring a friend to drive you home, go on an empty stomach. Remember you shouldn't eat anything after midnight the day of surgery or you could have a pepperoni pizza induced nightmare.

Articles, Interviews and News

First Look: Awake
By the third time Hayden Christensen runs screaming down the same stretch of orange hallway at New York's Bellevue Hospital Center for the rolling cameras, his bright blue hospital scrubs are darkened with sweat and he looks ready to be committed.

In his nightmare thriller Awake, first-time writer-director Joby Harold takes audiences on an abstract journey through the consciousness of Clay (Christensen), a heart transplant patient who is paralyzed yet able to sense pain while under the knife. "It's called anesthetic awareness," says Harold, leaning over a monitor. "Here, he's experiencing being cut, and he's running to different places inside his mind, trying to find a place to deal with the pain."

Satisfied with the take, Harold calls for the next scene, which offers Christensen the respite of lying on a stretcher. Jessica Alba, who plays Clay's wife, leans over to whisper words of comfort before he's wheeled away to the operating table. "He's looking for a happy place, and the place he goes is back to where we fell in love," says Alba. Looks like the operation won't be the first time the poor guy lost his heart.


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Hayden Christensen, Jessica Alba and Terrence Howard star in Awake due in theaters November 30, 2007.
Click to enlarge picture.

Awake Trivia

Awake was filmed at locations around New York City including Lincoln Center, Bellevue Hospital and on the campus of Fordham University.

During filming Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba visited Bellevue Hospital's children's ward for the holidays to hand out gifts.

Hayden had two movies scheduled to film back to back in the fall and winter of 2005. They were Awake with Jessica Alba and Factory Girl with Sienna Miller.

Audience response to Awake in test screenings have been good and some of those people have written very positive reviews about the film. You can find some of those reviews on IMDB.

The Anesthesia Awareness Campaign founded by Carol Weihrer did some consulting for the movie giving the benefit of real life experience with "intra-operative awareness". You can find out more at


Jessica about Hayden: We realized we hated each other......
Hayden: Cardiatic Myopathy of undetermined etiology
Hayden and Jessica on

Hayden: Like being buried alive.....
Good Day Sacramento

Awake Clip: Wife...
Jessica Alba on Live with Regis and Kelly
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Hayden: Not the best clip to walk out to
Hayden on The View

Clay: Move something Clay....
Awake Clip

Dr. Jack (Terrence Howard): Clay, these are the facts
The Facts

Are you still Awake Hayden?
Hayden on ET Canada (Awake, with Jessica Alba)

Dr. Matt (tongue in cheek): do you feel having a name like Christensen is pushing religion on people...
Carpet Bagging At The Premiere of Awake

BBC Interview with director Joby Harold
Joby Harold on Awake


Yahoo Movies - Official trailer, movie stills and synopsis from Yahoo Movies.
IMDB - Internet Movie Database information and message board for Awake
YOU TUBE - The Latest search results for Hayden and Awake videos.

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