Jessica Biel on the Challenges of Shooting at Night
Actress talks to THR from Canada, where she is filming the mystery thriller 'The Tall Man.'
Jessica Biel is shooting her latest movie, The Tall Man, in British Columbia until Nov. 18, while SND Groupe 6 shops the mystery thriller, a Canadian-French co-production, at the American Film Market. Etan Vlessing caught up with Biel, whose film shoots mostly at night while U.S. and other foreign buyers are pursued by day in Santa Monica.
The Hollywood Reporter: The Tall Man is being shopped at the American Film Market this week to get buyers interested. Do you miss not being on hand to market the film?
Jessical Biel: Unfortunately, we're making the film while AFM is on. If I was available, I'd be going and selling this film together, because I'm the kind of actor that wants to be involved in more than just the acting part of the film. I'm interested in being involved in the market and producing and the rewriting of everything we're doing. It's very much a collaborative effort. So, if I was available, I would be there.
THR: You're shooting The Tall Man in northern British Columbia, and you were in Vancouver last year with a role in The A-Team. What's it like working in Canada?
Biel: I love Canada. I enjoy cities that offer you an opportunity to enjoy city life but also have an element of nature and kind of a country experience. So you can get out of the city a little bit. And besides, it kind of feels like you're still at home. It's amazing to speak the same language and have a similar culture.
THR: Canada likes to market its varied locations. That worked on The A-Team and now on The Tall Man?
Biel: There's so many types of topography everywhere. For A-Team, we were in Canada for the Middle East, we used it for Mexico, for America. There are so many possibilities here with the land and space. You can go to so many countries and never leave this country.
THR: Shooting on The Tall Man is mostly at night. What's that like?
Biel: Mainly a production at night is pretty exhausting. You have to turn your body clock around and sleep during the day and work challenging hours at night. It never seems like your body has turned around, so you're always struggling against the schedule. But it creates a very kind of foreboding scary type of atmosphere on set. It's helpful for this type of movie. What's challenging is getting the emotion that we need for this movie: the heightened sort of experience, the fear, the worry, the concern, the sadness of what's happening in this story. It's hard to get that going at 2 in the morning, or 3 or 4 in the morning.
THR: Tell us about your lead role in The Tall Man.
Biel: I play a nurse in a small town where there's not a lot of possibilities; it's a very simple place. And the children are being taken from this town, and we don't know why. We don't know if it's an otherworldly being, or a person, that's taking the children. Then my child gets taken, and I actually see this being taking the child, and I spend the rest of the movie chasing this ghost-like creature that has taken my child. It's a story about a mother in distress, who will do anything to get her child back.
THR: What's your next film?
Biel: I don't actually have a next film in the pipeline. I'm still looking for material that's inspiring, that I feel motivated to be part of, and I can challenge myself with.
THR: You do have a pile of scripts in front of you?
Biel: Yes, I'm always reading and looking and meeting with writers and directors and up-and-comers. I'm just trying to find the right fit.