My Little Eye Cast Members Interview
We spoke exclusively to Laura Reagan, Jennifer Sky and Kris Lemche, three of the stars of this new low budget horror tale.
Q: How much did the dynamic of you the actors reflect on your characters?
Laura Regan: My character and Kris's character were always butting heads but outside the movie he would throw fruit onto my dressing room and I would get really mad at him! So there was something similar there because I was all bitchy like Emma is in the movie.
Kris Lemche: Everybody got cast similar to the type of character they had to play, and they would try to match that stereotypical archetype of every reality TV show with the different people; you have the good looking 'jock' guy, the virgin etc... Everything that happened in the movie was dramatised to an extreme degree, but I think we're all a lot like the people we're playing.
Jennifer Sky: Six months and those people would have been like... They're very different people and under the circumstances they got along great.
Q: What was it like filming in Canada?
LR: Jennifer and her boyfriend are both very much LA people. We were in this blizzarding snowstorm in a very tiny town called Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia and I'd just gone to have lunch somewhere; they were walking through the snowdrifts to get to this one restaurant in the town and it was the best picture! They were bundled up and they were so happy – they were hiding in the place, they'd walk through the snow and eat and then go back in hide in the bed & breakfast, so I don't think she hated it all the time.
JS: It was after the third month of being there and I was like 'I can't take anymore!' I'd just been in New York which is a cold place in my mind and it was like springtime! The birds were singing, the little grass was sprouting up through the leaves and then it was back into Halifax and we were flying in this scary propeller plane once again, and it was snowing and I'm like "why!?" But at first it was really fun. We had snow fight and made snow men; we took a lot of pictures.
Q: I understand from talking to Marc Evans (the director) that the first cut of the film ran for four hours.
LR: There's a lot that's missing. When I saw the movie I was shocked; there were a few scenes that I was really keen to see how they turned out and none of those were there. The morning the movie was finished I woke up and said where's that scene? It seems like if a certain scene got cut from the first half of the movie that gave a certain kind of information, two further scenes would have to be cut, because you didn't get the information the other scenes weren't relevant either. It's way better pared down, it's tighter, and it'd be a totally different movie if it had all this long dramatic character development.
KL: Plus actors being the complete attention whores that we are, and Marc being a director who completely allows us to do what we wanted, [it] was great! The scenes would grow exponentially. A scene would start as a short scene, and I'd be "I think I should be doing this" and it'd work.
Q: Do you get self–conscious of the cameras?
LR: You're an actor and if you're on the stage you're not sure which member of the audience are watching or not, you just do your thing. For me you have to do your thing and not be thinking of the cameras, the camera guys can worry about that, I don't really care – until someone yells cut I don't worry about were there any cameras!
KL: I'd say the complete opposite of that, it's certainly valid, but for me it's more like it got to be so intrusive, the stuff that Marc wanted us to do. My first day, he wanted me to wipe my ass on camera and just sit on a toilet all day and take a sh*t! I found myself doing these incredibly personal things that made me so nervous to be doing them. From an acting point–of–view it's simple; I sat on a toilet and pulled my pants down, it's not complicated but it's terrifying! I would just sit there with my pants around my ankles thinking this is an incredibly private moment, or it should be, and they're filming me doing it. So the whole movie is about trying to find the most exploitive thing they can find you to do, so I was extra, extra aware of the cameras doing this.
JS: I come from a TV background of very quick "Ok, so this is the wide shot, this is the medium shot and this is the establishing shot." For me it was very much like doing a framed sort of theatre piece because we'd go into a room and do this scene as we would do it, not like "OK, this is your close up, read this line and this line" We'd set it up very organically and it was supposed to be very realistic. It was intrusive and it made us all uncomfortable and that was the point. I had never been topless in anything before and probably never will be again, but I'm really glad that experience happened, to know what it's like.
KL: As am I!
Q: Are you fans of reality TV shows?
KL: I'm not a huge fan and never have been. I kind of resent the trend, I miss TV being physical.
LR: If you do that what's going to happen to actors? It's kind of depressing.
JS: By the way, we're actors playing as if we're not, so that whole what's going to happen to actors thing...
KL: But you're always an actor playing somebody who's not an actor, unless it's a movie about actors...
Q: Did starting with that intense acting set the mood for the whole seven week shoot?
KL: The panic that started off the movie for me led towards being so frightened of having a shot that was so locked off and so static that if you were 'acting' in that shot it would be so apparent. If you're an actor you do actory things, because normally you can have nice camera tricks and it's lit well and you can get away with being an 'actor.' But sometimes it's demanding, and this is what made me so frightened. If we were going to be 'actory' it would look ridiculous! So it was a challenge for all of us to cut down and make it as lean and mean as possible. Maybe it was a good thing, the fear made you so afraid to not f**k it up that it hopefully brought something a little more real to it.
JS: I came at it from a different point of view. I came at it saying this is going to be fun and once it was done I was literally vomiting on the plane home – but that was heavy partying the night before! With nine weeks of being in the snow, my leaves had withered!
Q: Was there any novelty for you in working for two Brits?
KL: For me it was the best sort of experience: working with people who are so interested in the creative output rather than whatever the hell else people are interested in making a movie about. Usually when making a movie people have a type of cast and mould of a movie that's been made a million times; it's made money and they want to duplicate that mould. Marc and Jon were two people that I'd come to set with things I'd written down on paper...
LR: You wrote a whole new ending to the movie one night! You and Steven stayed up...
KL: Yeah, that was great but they'd try to make it happen. I don't know if it's these two guys or if it's an exception to the rule, but if the rest of British filmmaking or European filmmaking is like this, I would love to spend the rest of my career working in Britain because it was just great!