NFS: You have a very interesting scene in a bathroom where Silas and Nia first discover human physical intimacy. It’s not a sex scene, but it’s very sexually-charged. How did you approach shooting that?
Doremus: That’s probably my favorite scene in the movie. Kristen and Nicholas hadn’t really touched at any point up to that scene. So it was an unhinged moment. We’d just do long 30-minute takes. I played music the entire time.That created a very cool tone and vibe—the music that’s in the film. We talked about the scene a lot, and then I just kind of let them go.
I’m more interested in watching what the actors do, and then changing things and guiding things, rather than telling them what to do. I’m more interested in not clouding their mind with all the things they have to remember to do. It’s about getting them not to think, and be completely out of body and to not try to do anything but just be in the moment, react, and respond genuinely to what’s going on.
NFS: What kind of simple things? Movements?
Doremus: For instance, for Nick: what does Kristen smell like in the scene? What’s going on with her eyebrows? Just focusing on little elements essentially will change him, and change how he reacts. Just getting them to focus on other things that are not themselves, either. Trying to get them to focus on each other as much as possible, to bring something out of each other.
What were you looking for the in the cast?
Nic is somebody I always wanted to work with, and we really essentially wrote Silas [his character] for him. He was really the only actor I ever wanted for the role. I met him about four and a half years ago, and that was the beginning of our relationship. Kristen and I met and it was super fascinating… [during the shoot] she let me push her for the character. Nobody’s harder on her than herself. She cares so much and she’s so passionate about her work. They have really amazing chemistry and it was really awesome to see them on set everyday.