My nerve wrecking experience continues on the set of SILENT HILL (read part 1 HERE). After the infamous nurse scene was done being shot, the rest of the journalists and I all headed down to the cafeteria to eat lunch. Unfortunately, I only enjoyed half of my meal because two of the zombie nurses (still dressed up in their costumes) from the movie, sat right across from me at my table. Having veiny, dead looking heaving breasts in my face did NOT increase my appetite! So, after my disappointing lunch, the rest of the other journalists and I headed to the room which held the press conference. This was a fun experience and a lot of cool information came from the listening to the actors and producers. Hereís all you need to know!
Note: These interviews took place in July of 2005.
PRESS CONFERENCE SPEAKERS:
Radha Mitchell (Rose DaSilva), Sean Bean (Christopher DaSilva), Laurie Holden (Cybil), Jodelle Ferland (Sharon DaSilva), as well as Samuel Hadida (Producer), Don Carmody (Producer) and Andrew Mason (Executive Producer)
|Radha Mitchell||Sean Bean|
|Laurie Holden||Jodelle Ferland|
Radha, what was the attraction of doing this film and what are the challenges of playing a character in a video game?
Radha: I think the major attraction to me was The Brotherhood of the Wolf, which was directed by Christophe. I saw that film and I was intrigued and fascinated because I thought it was a beautiful and exciting and strange and bizarre movie. And so then I met Christophe and I was charmed, obviously by him. And I guess thatís what it was. And then, since weíve been making the film, we see the vision and the script come alive. And itís a very visual piece so when you read it, you wonít necessarily understand what it is. But, since weíve been working on the film, every day has just been an assault on the senses. And I guess today was just a sample of that. And the challenges, I guess I mean Iíve got to run around and call out ďSharonĒ and do that in 50 different ways. So thereís that aspect. And I think Christophe has a really interesting take on the concept of the video game.
Deborah, we know who all the other actors are playing, but who are you playing?
Deborah: Iím playing Dahlia. Dahliaís been extraordinary because I think, to Christopheís credit, and certainly the entire crew and special effects and design, heís really, really captured the essence of her and then extended her into the psychological nightmare that would capture the imaginations of the gaming fans. So it was a much deeper exploration than I anticipated. Because Iím a big lurker on all the sites. And I love the varying competing analysis on all the different characters. With Dahlia, itís been an extraordinary psychological journey for me, as an actor, to embrace this walker between worlds, and as a mad and slightly cryptic prophet akin to obviously the essence of the game, this has been just a delight to play Dahlia.
This is actually a question for Laurie and Sean. Can you talk a little bit about your characters?
Laurie: Cybil is a woman who grew up in Brahams which is a small town outside of Silent Hill. Sheís a bit of a lone wolf, in the sense that her mom died when she was thirteen and there was never really a father around. It was a very religious community, Brams, so I think that because my mother was such a woman of faith and she passed away in a really painful way, it really scarred Cybil. And sheís really denounced any sort of religion just because of what happened to her mom. Because of that I think that sheís been a bit of an outsider who doesnít have a lot of friends. But thatís okay for Cybil because sheís found her calling and that is to serve and protect. And, really, she wants to save children. There are different things that have happened in her life and that made her not have a conventional life with marriage and kids. She wants to be kind of like the mother of saving the children. So thatís Cybil.
Radha: Itís interesting the way the relationships are constructed in the film. Say, even the relationship between our characters, is not stereotypical. Theyíre buddies and theyíre on the journey together. But, itís interesting tension between the two characters. Ultimately, you knowÖI canít give away the plot, but all the characters are quite sort of fleshed out and mysterious.
Deborah: Theyíre also all psychologically and metaphorically interwoven beautifully. What Christophe has done has been really quite inspirational for all of us as actors and the crew as well. Visually, for the crew, theyíve had a blast.
Sean, could you talk about your character?
Sean: I play Chris Dasilva, and heís sort of quite a successful businessman. They live in a nice house. Things seem to be going well, apart from the child, and I spend most of the time chasing around...trying to get on different playing levels, different time levels. But heís a good guy, a regular sort of guy with money who wears nice clothes and drives a BMV. (laughs) Itís all materialistic.
Radha: It has the same nostalgia; their relationship does, as is in the game in that theyíre sort of separated in different dimensions. And theyíre kind of passing each other by often in the movie. They donít actually connect. So itís kind of, I guess, like the average relationshipÖ(laughs)
Is there anything new you guys are bringing in terms of horror?
Radha: If youíre into horror I would say this is the movie to watch because itís elegant horror. Thatís my understanding of it.
Laurie: I think of this as a nightmare fairytale. It is elegant and I think of this as kind of a cross between Alice and the Wonderland meets Danteís Inferno. Itís very high art and frightening and violent and sexy and elegant all at the same time. Which I think is, Christopheís genius.
My question is for Jodelle. I was just curious to know how you and Christophe have worked together to differentiate the two characters you play?
Radha: (looks over at Jodelle) How much are you allowed to say?
Andrew: A different look. I mean, the two characters are both clearly Jodelle, but they look very different.
How hard is it to get to the same level of bloodiness the same everyday so that it matches and then how bloodied up do the rest of you get?
Radha: This is just the beginning. (Points at herself; Sheís still in her bloody costume) And yeah, thereís an art and a science to it. How long does it take? It took longer in the beginning. I think it can be done in about forty minutes now, the whole look. Itís great because I donít have to wash my hair.
Sean: I donít get any blood on me at all, I donít think.
Laurie: I get pretty bloody. The crew has been amazing. Hair and makeup has been unbelievable on this journey because the continuity that they have to keep up with us through the varying degrees of gore and dirt, itís astounding. But, also the set designers and location managers, we have the most amazing sets. I think Silent Hill fans are going to be knocked out because, visually, our sets looks so much like the video game, and it makes our job so easy because we just show up and we are in Silent Hill. We are in that world and we are just so blessed to be surrounded by such great artists.
Radha: Thereís like a new set every sixty seconds or something. The sets are constantly changing and theyíre huge.
Are you working on a lot of scene sets in different ways?
Laurie: Iím not sure how much I can say without giving it away, but the sets are definitely characters in the film. They have emotional states in that they change and youíll see the same set and youíll see it from a completely different perspective. So itís sort of a hallucination a lot of it. Youíll recognize the sets as you get more involved in the story.
How CGI driven is the film, if at all?
Andrew: Itís not really CGI driven. Thereís a huge effort to build as much as possible in terms of environments. Itís easier to keep the characters real. For most situations itís better to have something real for the cast to respond to and thatís kind of what weíve done. Weíre using CGI to kind of enhance and not to completely create. Itís just easier for people to have something going on and something to look at, but I think itís safe to say that CGI enhances this whole world that weíre dealing with at the various level of that physical world.
Were you guys aware of Christopheís work before you signed on?
Deborah: Yeah. Thatís what made it even more exciting. Heís so amazing. Heís such a visual director.
I was wondering since the video games have sequels, would this movie spawn any sequel of its own?
Samuel: I think that it will have someÖfurther in the future.
Don: You always hope youíve been successful enough to contemplate a sequel.
Laurie, whatís your favourite part of your characterís back story?
Laurie: I love Cybilís back story because Cybil has a very aggressive way of presenting herself and a very aggressive approach in the world. I like the fact that it is revealed in the script the reason why she is hyper-vigilant and the reason why she responds so quickly to things, and that is because she had an experience where a little boy was abducted and taken up to Silent Hill and dropped into a mine vent. Cybil went and hugged him and kept him warm for three days until help came. Sheíll make sure that justice is done, because she made a vow that nothing like that is going to happen again. So I like that my back story has been integrated because it really explains and defines what makes this lady tick.
Is the movie a lot gorier than you thought it would be?
Laurie: Itís terrifying because itís so deeply rooted in psychological truths. Itís not random, and thereís no cheese factor. Itís actually quite terrifying because itís so deep.
Sean: But at the same time, Christophe doesnít pull punches when it comes to the gore factor. If something bad is happening, you can bet itís messy.
Laurie: And he goes for the truth. Itís not like I guess when youíd imagine in a normal horror film or itís like something comes in, ďAH!Ē I have been scared out of my mind many, many times on this film. Oh, and thatís all good. Thatís all good and right for the film.
There have been some really bad horror movies made from video games. Were there any reservations of doing this?
Deborah: To me, no. Not with Christophe. Heís fantastic. I was excited. My fingers are crossed of course, but no, not with him.
STAY TUNED FOR OUR INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR CHRISTOPHE GANS