I had a chance to speak with actor Jan Broberg to discuss her new film Behind You. In our discussions, we talk about how she looks differently at mirrors after starring in a film where mirrors are a window into the horror. We also discuss the concept of fear and dive into a personal paranormal experience she had in her life.
Below is the official synopsis for Behind You:
“Two young sisters, sent to live with their estranged Aunt, find that all the mirrors in her house are covered or hidden. When one of the sisters happens upon a mirror in the basement, she unknowingly releases a malicious demon that had haunted her mother and aunt years ago.”
Behind You is out on VOD now!
Jan Broberg: Hey, how are you?
Nancy Tapia: Good. How are you doing?
Jan Broberg: Well, we’re doing okay. Just so you know, lots of working from home. I had a wonderful dental appointment that killed me off last couple of days.
Nancy Tapia: Oh, why? So sorry to hear. Especially right now.
Jan Broberg: Had to have some extractions. Oh, my goodness so sore. So if I sound a little funny today, but that’s why.
Nancy Tapia: Well, good thing you’re working from home. There’s a pro of all this.
Jan Broberg: Yeah, there are some pros. Among all the concerts there are some good pros.
Nancy Tapia: I know. We’ll be ready for those in no time.
Jan Broberg: That’s right, of course.
Nancy Tapia: Well, I mean thank you for this time to discuss, Behind You. So after the film, did you see mirrors the same way?
Jan Broberg: You know, it’s so funny is that I love mirrors and I have a ton of mirror throughout my house because I love how he if you put up there on the opposite wall of your window then you reflect all the greenery back into your room from both sides. So I have a lot of mirrors. I even have big mirrors. My son is like, mom this is so terrible. This is terrible. You have these huge mirrors in our bathroom that have windows to the outside world. I mean, they could look in the window and just see the mirror and see you sitting on the toilet. I am like, no they don’t. But that’s how I am. I love mirrors. So it is funny, I thought about all the different mirrors throughout my house. Like I have them going up by my staircase, because again I like the lights that they reflect. And I thought, mirrors yeah they look a little different to me now.
Nancy Tapia: Plus, they make the rooms look bigger.
Jan Broberg: They do. I don’t know I always just always loved mirrors and I love to collect different ones. Like I have one from Mexico that has the little blue flowers on the white ceramic background. Like stuff like that. I like to find really unique frames. I really do have kind of a little collection of mirrors that I really like. I have one that’s encased in bamboo and I have one that’s got this really cool wood pattern of dark woods and light woods that goes around it.
Nancy Tapia: Well let’s put it out there. Anyone that wants to give you a gift, a mirror is not a bad idea.
Jan Broberg: That’s right, exactly.
Nancy Tapia: So Jan, how did you get involved in Behind You?
Broberg: You know, I’ve been an actress for a long time. In my career, I’ve met some wonderful people, producers, directors and I had a friend who was actually one of the producers on the film. He just called me and I was living in Los Angeles at the time. He told me about the project and I was like, oh sounds wonderful and interesting. And luckily the director and everybody else that got to see me liked me too. I got involved with wonderful, personal connections that you sometimes have on a project like this. Especially with independent film making where sometimes you’re not going through all of the regular channels because you’re trying to put that perfect group together. You’re trying to do it on a budget. So it was really nice to get a phone call like that from somebody that liked my work and liked me enough to consider me and asked if I’d be interested. So it was great.
Nancy Tapia: So you’ve been acting for a while, but what is it about horror films that make it a little fun or maybe more challenging for you?
Jan Broberg: You know, it’s interesting because I remember one of the first horror films that I did was with Elijah Wood. He was playing the serial killer. Anyway, he ends up scalping me and I’m this real hoity-toity that’s the art agent. That’s the character in the film. Very different from the character I played in this film. And, one day we were talking about the horror genre. And he said, you know I think it’s the common experience that we all no matter what your fear is, that’s part of being human. Is to experience that fear that’s just gonna be there, whether it’s founded or unfounded.
So I thought a lot about that conversation and I thought, you know, the great thing about the horror genre as far as collectively for human beings is that we get to get scared and we get to survive it. We get to the end of the film, but we didn’t die. We actually get to kind of go through and kind of face the feelings of fear and get scared and then laugh it off. Then hide our faces. But after a couple of hours, you actually lived through it. I think there’s something to that. But human beings need to realize that fear is not a death sentence. It is something that we walk through and that we get to the other side. One of my favorite books that I ever read was called, Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway. So, I think there is something about that, that’s very important that we experience those feelings and know that we get on the other side of it.
LRM Online: That is true. So how was it working with the cast? It was a small cast but very involved. Working with the young girls. Elizabeth Birkner who plays Claire was on point with her character.
Jan Broberg: Yeah, it was great. We really did have a very good cast and a very good crew. And I felt why those those two young girls did such such a marvelous job and really nailed it. Really nailed it. For her being so young. Claire had kind of a naturalism to her and being able to be so raw. And she exposed those emotions and those kinds of feelings and is a big deal. But I could relate to her because I’ve been acting since I was seven and I have also that ability to kind of open up and let it all be exposed. All my emotions show. Some of that I don’t think you can really teach. I think people have to sort of be willing. That sort of who they are, their personality, the transparent. More transparent and they’re okay with that. And so I thought they were both very good and extraordinary in their willingness to just show all those different emotions, the gamut.
Nancy Tapia: For the film, what scene would you say was the most challenging for you?
Jan Broberg: Well certainly, you know the physicality of that final thing for me. I mean, I don’t want to give it all away, but that final kind of showdowns with the poltergeist or the whatever not sure what words they would want me to say in the interview. Cause I don’t want to give anything away. But you know, there was some real physical challenges about getting that just right. The intensity, the emotion and stuff that was going on. That was, that was a lot to dry off. I was in costume. I remember that.
Nancy Tapia: Have you had any paranormal events happen to you in the past?
Jan Broberg: You know, I’ve had a couple of events that I would call on that level. I had a step daughter that passed away in a car accident.
Nancy Tapia: Sorry to hear…
Jan Broberg: Yeah, she was 18. Yeah, she was a darling girl. She had just graduated from high school and it was a car accident. I remember literally when I walked into the funeral home. Went with her younger sisters and my son to do her hair and makeup. You know, it was a very tender experience. I was also the first one to walk in to that room and I literally heard her voice and her words. What she said was so perfectly her that I was like, I didn’t make that up. I literally like looked up into the corner of the room. My head turned and I looked to where that voice came from. Up at the corner of the room and she was laying in this little stretcher thing that rolls around.
She talked to me from up there even though she was down here. Her body was there she just said, ‘mom, my hair looks ridiculous. Please pull my hair down around my face.’ I hadn’t even really looked at her. It was like I walked into the room and I heard her voice. I looked up and then I looked down at her and sure enough her hair is all feathered out on the pillow. Like a fan instead of underneath her ears and down. She had long brown hair. As soon as I heard her and then I looked at her, I thought, well course. And in that moment I was like, oh yeah, I think people really are close by and there are spirits among us. It was a very distinct, very powerful experience for me. Not that paranormal, but it was definitely something that was kind of a spiritual experience for me.
Nancy Tapia: Wow!
Jan Broberg: Not sure that was the kind of experience you wanted to know about, but that was. But I was like, oh yeah, I’ll see her again someday. Yeah, she’s somewhere.
Nancy Tapia: Yeah, indeed. Thank you for sharing that. I got goosebumps. I’m listening and my palms are sweaty.
Jan Broberg: Oh, wow!
Nancy Tapia: Well, thank you so much for sharing that. And you know what, that probably gave you that fuzzy feeling like, she’s going to be okay.
Jan Broberg: Yeah, I just knew she was because I knew she was still her out there somewhere. In some other form or format or whatever. That was truly was one of those times where, you know, I’ve always kind of grown up with that there would be life after death and that we would know each other. And that we’d kind of be our same selfs in a more perfected state or whatever. But you know, I don’t know anything. I just believe certain things.I knew she was still herself as she was still worried about her hair. That was exactly her, cute girl. Yeah.
Nancy Tapia: Thank you so much Jan for sharing in this time. Stay safe and I’m sure this film will be a success. Very convenient. We are thankful for new content coming out.
Jan Broberg: Oh, thank you. Well, I hope so and I’m looking forward to hopefully be a success too. I think it has a great story, which a lot of times horror films don’t have that greatest stories and I like this one, haha. I like that it has a good story. A lot of times they get to the end of a really compelling, interesting horror film. Then I’m like, wait a minute where is that good compelling ending?
Nancy Tapia: This one definitely had it.
Jan Broberg: It does and I love that about us. So thank you. I hope it all works too. I appreciate your time as well. Thank you so much.
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