There are countless theories as to what ghosts could be, but one theory surrounding them in particular postulates that ghosts are not actively living, but remnants that carry out the same actions again and again. Basically, they are carrying events so impactful, emotional, and traumatic, that they leave an actual imprint on the world.
The novel Break My Heart 1,000 Times runs with that concept, and the new film I Still See You realizes that vision to the big screen.
Below is the official synopsis for I Still See You:
“A cataclysmic event has torn the barrier between our world and the next, leaving ‘ Remnants,’ ghost-like essences of the deceased, part of everyday life. After years of quiet coexistence, a Remnant sends a threatening message to a young girl, propelling her on a mission with consequences that will forever change the course of her life.”
LRM Online had a chance to sit down with one of the film’s actors Dermot Mulroney. You may recognize him from such films as August: Osage County or TV shows like New Girl, Friends, and Arrested Development. Given his normal cache of films, this darker one was certainly a departure, and one he really seemed to enjoy.
LRM Online: So it was fascinating to see your role in this film.
Mulroney: So you were able to see the movie. I’m glad. What do you, well tell me what are you curious about? I’m very pleased with the movie myself. I saw it with a friend’s fourteen-year-old son who loves it so I thought, Okay! (laughs)
LRM Online: Well I did and not to mention your role, I mean, you are one of my favorites and when it comes to some of my chick flicks so this one was definitely a major twist type of film.
LRM Online: I loved it. It’s different.
Mulroney: Yeah, it’s a lot of things but the part that’s hardest to report on of course is how amazing the plot twists are. See if you talk about them, then they look for them and then you’re complicit and ruining it for people.
LRM Online: You’re right. You’re right. Let’s skip that part.
Mulroney: It’s difficult to write about.
LRM Online: But listen. Tell us, tell us about your character Mr. Bittner in the film?
Mulroney: Yeah, Mr. Bittner initially is seen as a sort of mild-mannered high school teacher for a civics class. He his helping his students come to grips with the sort of apocalyptic event that happened about ten years prior, I think, in our story. It’s called THE EVENT and it was some sort of experiment gone wrong that caused so many people to just evaporate and yet they are reappearing, everyday living as ghost in the real world. So I still see it as a ghost story, it’s a mystery, it’s a supernatural thriller all in one. I play one of the characters who is dealing with the loss of his family members and how to cope in a new world.
Mulroney: How’s that for not giving it away?
LRM Online: That’s actually pretty good.
Mulroney: That’s pretty crafty.
It’s so cool when they come around and you see that he’s in that science fiction laboratory. I love it.
LRM Online: Yes. Yes. That was shocking. Where was the filming done?
Mulroney: It was shot in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canda. So all that cold you see it is real cold. Real plains. Open, flat plains. Cold. And it plays well for so many things in the movie. Sort of mid-western environment. But also, Winnipeg has real authentic downtown areas from 150 years ago. Built big, like big bank buildings and stuff that look dated now but were really created great. Atmosphere and mood in the film used so skillfully by Scott Speer, the director and the production when we were shooting. Then they built an enormous indoor, of course, enormous water tank for all those sequences.
LRM Online: Yes, that’s what I was going to ask you about.
Mulroney: Underwater, in those sort of horror sequences, so most of that photography is us doing it. We trained, underwater, safety and stuff like that to shoot those sequences up there in a soundstage with 20 feet deep pool of water in this tank.
LRM Online: Uh huh, Yes I was actually going to ask you about that scene where you’re underwater. How long did it take to film that, and now obviously I know it was in a tank that it was filmed.
Mulroney: Yeah, I felt they put it together so amazingly well, so you know here to, maybe it gives some away, but I’ll tell you, of course, some of it is done outside at night on actual ice that they created. So they make an outdoor ice rink basically up against these trees so you set the scene that way. Then there’s footage shot once I approach her in that snow storm. All of that is indoors lit for the lightning and the snow and all that. And then there are two rigs to get through the ice and into the water and then that whole tank sequence, I think it took us four days, four nights really to shoot all the different pieces in that climactic sequence. But also there are other bits used throughout the film I think at different times. But I was so impressed with how the production made that and I never worked in water that way before. So it was an exciting experience in that way too.
LRM Online: So it was worth being cold?
Mulroney: Well they had the water at just the right temperature. So I ended up staying in the water rather than get out and get cold. So I would end up floating on like a regular pool floatie instead of getting out of the water I was in the water 3 or 4 hours straight. Much more comfortable. I would sleep in there.
LRM Online: Gotcha. Gotcha. What about the scene that there is like a brief fighting scene in the film that takes place in Ronnie’s house? How’s the training for that? I mean I’m sure you had to get some coordination practice and so forth?
Mulroney: Yes, so you mean…
LRM Online: I’m trying not to give anything away.
Mulroney: In her house when I’m chasing her basically when coming up from, yeah that was tough. There is a stunt or two in there obviously, Bella [Thorne] is a tough kid, but she, yeah she was covered for the grabbing and throwing to the ground. But no those things are very difficult to be safe and controlled. It was highly choreographed and beautifully edited is what does the trick when they put it together that way. So its not as dangerous as it looks but it is by no means something that anyone takes lightly when you’re shooting with close physicality like that.
LRM Online: Right. So were you familiar with the novel of Break My Heart 1,000 Times?
Mulroney: No. I read it in the first week or two of filming. So I got that novel just as I arrived to shoot. So it was very interesting. Did you read the book also? Its very popular.
LRM Online: Unfortunately I did not have a chance to.
Mulroney: It’s not exactly the same. It’s out there its called Break My Heart 1,000 Times, is the name of the novel that it’s based on. Break My Heart 1,000 Times. But the film isn’t exactly the same story as the novel. Same concept and characters are similar but much of the story got shifted to make it a movie story.
LRM Online: Yeah, I was surprised. I had no clue that it was this movie was based on you know had kinda like the idea from the novel. We have been seeing you on TV and you know films you know like I said your one of my favorite ones for some of my favorite chick flicks, what are the perks? What do you like about doing films? Like the perk that maybe you don’t get to maybe on TV?
Mulroney: Yeah, one of the great things about a movie is that it’s one whole story conversely one of the great things about television is that the story keeps unfolding and you never know what your next script is going to bring so I like them both but it’s a great question. How is it, I guess the question would have to be revised to how is it. Is it still different working on films than television, cause much of the TV I do winds up being done at that same quality, and you know, with the exception, I don’t mean in terms of quality, but the type of show, amazingly fun for me to join New Girl, LA to Vegas in a sitcom format and let’s see Arrested Development, the second half of the season this about to drop so look for that. I have an ongoing role in that fabled television show. So, I love the difference and embrace those. And in the case, if I still see you, I loved helping the filmmakers create this world where a ghost story can still really work and be believable and to tell you a really gripping tale like we did.
LRM Online: Okay. Well, thank you so much for your time. I know we are going to have audiences really like excited to seeing this and seeing…they are going to be shocked with your character. So. Just like I was.
Mulroney: Great. Well, Thank you so much for helping get the word out there on this movie. I really think folks are going to love it.