The film consists of six interrelated and interwoven stories spanning different time periods: an 1849 diary of an ocean voyage across the Pacific; letters from a composer to his friend in the 1930s; a thriller about a murder at a nuclear power plant set in the 1970s; a farce about a publisher in a nursing home in the present day; a rebellious clone in a futuristic Korea; and the tale of a tribe living in a post-apocalyptic Hawaii, far in the future.
A number of members of the cast played multiple characters. Doona Bae appeared in three segments: playing a radically different character in each: ‘The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing’ as Tilda Ewing, a supporting character; ’Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery’ as a Mexican woman in a brief cameo; and ‘An Orison of Sonmi-451’ as Sonmi-451 & other fabricants.
The middle-aged Mexican woman is a lookout at a sweatshop where illegal aliens make stuffed toys. Luisa Rey and Joe Napier flee into the building to escape Bill Smoke who kills the woman’s dog and calls her a ‘wetback’. Bad move: while he is chasing Luisa and Joe, the woman sneaks up behind him and beats him to death with a wrench, commenting, ‘Yo amaba ese perro’ (I loved that dog) and ‘Don’t call me a wetback’.
In one of the press interviews Doona Bae said:
I loved it! I loved trying on the different looks. I wore that fat suit for the Mexican woman, and it took five or six hours to put the prosthetics on all over my face. It was amazing though, I loved it. After all these years I’m kind of sick of my face (laughs), so it was a great experience (laughs).
Jeremy Woodhead & Daniel Parker were the hair makeup designers; Kuno Schlegelmilch was credited for makeup concept; Siân Richards was Doona Bae’s personal makeup artist. An army of makeup effects artists & studios worked on sculpting, making & applying the various character prosthetics in the movie including: Filmefex, Animated Extras, Valentina Visintin, Barney Nikolic, Göran Lundström of (EffektStudion), Creatures Inc, Floris Schuller, Pepe Mora …
One artist was offered work on the movie by three different FX companies in different countries.