The goal of a performer is often to bring to life compelling characters while also grounding them in reality, no matter how far-fetched a film’s plot might be, though crafting a character for a harrowing narrative is sometimes easier said than done. Chris Messina and Amy Seimetz star in the new film The Secrets We Keep from director Yuval Adler, which required them to plumb intense emotional depths. The pair recently discussed how getting to convey such disturbing subject matter can often serve as a catharsis for real-world feelings, while the line between a performer’s actual emotions and a character’s emotions can often be blurred.
“Well, the darkness is always there, and I do find it cathartic to exercise it, for sure,” Messina shared with ComicBook.com about shooting the film. “I usually play a host of good guys, which is also interesting, but after a while it gets tedious. So it’s nice to dive into the darker stuff.”
The film is described, “In post-WWII America, a woman (Noomi Rapace), rebuilding her life in the suburbs with her husband (Messina), kidnaps her neighbor (Joel Kinnaman) and seeks vengeance for the heinous war crimes she believes he committed against her.”
Seimetz plays Kinnaman’s wife, who is oblivious to her husband’s past and is curious about why he went missing.
“I mean, that’s the thing is, it’s the idea of turning off as an artist in your daily life,” the actress detailed. “I don’t know what that means, because we’re just human beings, and half the reason that we’re attracted to some of the darker stuff is because of who we are as human beings in real life. So, there is a catharsis in mining [that darkness], because you’re on set and you’re talking to, like as a director but then also as an actor, you’re talking to other people and verbalizing a feeling and discussing other feelings and works, like the book and the script and everything.”
Unfortunately, purging that darkness is easier said than done, as she joked, “So there is a level of a shared catharsis, but in terms of exorcising the demons, wouldn’t it be that easy if we could do one movie and get rid of all of that sh-t, you know?”
The Secrets We Keep hits select theaters on September 16th and lands on VOD on October 16th.
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