Actor-turned-director Joey Klein has spoken to Monsters and Critics about working with real-life couple Tatiana Maslany and Tom Cullen on his first film The Other Half.
The pair star in together in the movie which tells the story of bipolor Emily (Maslany) and grief-stricken Nickie (Cullen), who is mourning the disappearance of his younger brother, as they fall for each other and attempt to forge a simple life together.
Klein told Monsters and Critics how working with the pair was a joy thanks to their off-screen relationship. He said: “I never ever worried about ‘could they do it’, and would there be that, you know, chemistry.”
But he added that Orphan Black star Maslany and Downton Abbey star Cullen in real life were very different to their on-screen characters.
He said: “They were so generous with themselves as artists, that I thought it was very important to protect them as people — so none of them is in the movie.
“They’re characters. They’re not Nickie and Emily…they’re just world-class artists who give everything.”
Klein also praised his director of photography on the film, Bobby Shore, saying: “What Bobby did to help me, you can’t put it into words.”
And he told how Emily’s character developed out of his own experiences of losing someone he loved when he was young.
He said: “I would rather have no reason to tell this film but it’s a very personal movie. It’s not autobiographical but I did lose someone when I was really young who I loved more than anyone, and so it started out for me wanting to write about grief, and do it in a way I felt was truthful because all these tropes, especially in Hollywood, of ‘time heals all wounds’…it’s just not true.”
He added: “It wasn’t a love story originally, Emily wasn’t in the first iterations, and then Emily kind of came out of me, out of my own darkest days. I’m not bipolar, but I had a breakdown when I was about 17 that I think was a reaction to the loss.”
Watch our full interview with Joey Klein below.
The Other Half is out now in Toronto and Vancouver.
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