What would you do if you lived in a world where many people disappeared, only to leave ghost-like apparitions in their wake? This is what the novel Break My Heart 1,000 Times explored, and it’s what the film I Still See You explores as well.
In the movie, you have a kid named Kirk — the so-called “Ghost Boy” who is supposedly obsessed with these ghosts. Oftentimes, these ghosts are carrying out the same actions over and over again, but what if they’re more than that? Enter Bella Thorne’s Veronica, who thinks one “remnant” — as they’re called — that she thinks is more of the latter type of ghost.
LRM Online had a chance to speak with actor who plays Kirk in the film, Richard Harmon. In our discussions, we discuss his character, working with Bella Thorne, and the process of shooting sequences with these “ghosts.”
LRM Online: Thank you for having some time to discuss your role on I Still See You. I had a chance to check it out last night. You guys had me in suspense, I have to say.
Harmon: That’s good. I’m sure that was the desired effect.
LRM Online: Yes. It worked. It worked. So if you don’t mind can you tell me about Kirk? Introduce me, Kirk Lane.
Harmon: Absolutely yeah. Kirk’s a … he’s the new kid at school and with him coming to school kind of comes with a little bit of uncertainty around the exit from his old school. There’s a lot of rumors going around as to why he was asked to leave his old school, and not all of them are good. Most of them are dangerous, in fact.
He’s also kind of obsessed with the remnants that inhabit our world now after THE EVENT. It’s essentially sort of like video loops, ghost type creatures. So he’s obsessed with those. And then yeah. He’s a lot more interesting the more you get to know him and peel back, like an onion, peel back the layers and find out more about him. And he comes in heavily into Bella [Thorne]’s story line when she needs help with remnants. So she comes to him cause he’s probably the only one who might be able to help in a long shot.
LRM Online: Okay. And what was it about the role? What was it about, I’m gonna say your character in this case, that attracted you the most to wanna portray him?
Harmon: It wasn’t just the character, it was the whole film, that it was sort of the great thriller for sure. I was expecting to read a horror movie and I did receive one. However, there’s more to it then that. There’s sorta this very human sorta element to it of lost and grief that we’ve all felt in our lives at some point. All these characters are going through it and you’re seeing a bunch of different characters, not just my character, go through grief in a very different way than everyone else. And sorta when you combine all those things it’s a real interesting melting pot of grief.
LRM Online: Yeah. So how was it working with Bella Thorne? I mean, your character and her character were pretty much partnered up for most of the film.
Harmon: Yeah, pretty much. We’re these spooky investigation partners. It was amazing. We spent like three months of shooting this film and we’re two very different human beings, but that doesn’t necessarily prevent you from being close and we definitely did. Like I consider her a friend now at this point in my life. It’s kinda interesting because again we have two very different styles of working, like I’m a lot more shut off. I kinda like keep my headphones in my ears and sorta shut up, and she was able to kinda bring me out of that shell sometimes to talk to her about the scene; which was totally great. We were just to be nice, we would meet up because we lived in the same apartment building, so we would meet up and just run lines even though we were working at it for like fifteen hours straight. We’d go meet up in one of the apartments and run over our lines for tomorrow. It was great to become that close with her. She is just an unbelievable actor.
LRM Online: So, I did get a chance to speak to Dermot Mulroney earlier and mentioned that you guys were filming in Canada. Did you guys have a chance to do anything fun during your three months there?
Harmon: I mean I’m Canadian.
LRM Online: Oh you’re Canadian, so that was home. Home weather.
Harmon: Yeah. I’m a dual citizen in fact. I’m both American and Canadian, but I was raised in Canada. So yeah no. I’ve been to Winnipeg, which is where we shot it. It has become one of my favorite cities on the planet. I just shot another movie there called Homecoming, like two months ago. So its, I mean its become a like a second home for me seemingly. Winnipeg just keeps popping up in my life and I absolutely loved it. Great restaurant scene and all that. We had a ton of fun running around that city for three months.
LRM Online: Oh that’s great. So going back to the film, for the scene where you along with Bella Thorne’s character, you guys are going to the ground zero area and you’re walking within the remnants (rems). How is that filmed? I mean, I know you have this imagery of the rems disappearing but how was that? How was that coordinated?
Harmon: Right so we would first take, brilliant visual effects are a part of this movie by the way, it’s no questions. We would first take a shot of us going through a bunch of extras and trying to like work our way through them and then we would, I think if I recall how it was done is we would take another shot after that and all the extras would be gone and we would take the camera would have to remain in the exact same place. We had to like go through the exact same motions we went through and make it overlap it too and sorta create the extras that like dissipate in a way that rems do. That’s obviously a better question for someone who is a lot more knowing of how they did that of all the magic of filmmaking.
LRM Online: No, no, no. I completely understand. What would, of all the scenes which one would you say was a little more challenging? I mean you had all kinds like running, you had you know parts where you’re like on the snow scenes; which maybe you’re like so okay with it. What scene would you say was the most challenging for you?
Harmon: I mean running and all that’s easy, that’s just run and anyone can do it. I think the cold was definitely an issue shooting this movie. It was freezing cold it went like -30 out most days.
LRM Online: It looked like it for sure.
Harmon: Yeah it was freezing cold. So I think sometimes the challenge came with like trying to emote but your face won’t really move cause it was so cold. That became an issue at some points but probably the hardest emotional thing without giving anything away was a scene that we have in Bella’s character. Ronnie’s bedroom and it’s her opening up about the death of her father and then me subsequently also opening up about the death of mine and sorta becoming closer. Finally, as characters understanding each other after kinda like butting heads for a very long period of time.
LRM Online: Yes that scene definitely explained a lot about your character. So, I have to say though, one of my favorite scenes that you had was, and it did tear me. Like I don’t cry in movies, but my eyes did tear up when in the second scene, not to give much away, but you’re in the hole. And then you’re seeing the person that’s pretty much:
Harmon: In the hole?
LRM Online: Yeah you’re dugged up in a hole.
Harmon: Oh, yes. Of course.
LRM Online: I’m trying not to give to much away. And then there he is. There’s the other person:
Harmon: Yeah I see the person. Yeah. That was a hard one. That was the middle of the night, in like you said in the middle of a hole. It was, but that’s kinda the whole crutch of that character and it was really great to have them have that in there.
LRM Online: Yeah, that was definitely not anticipated and to realize that that person was there the whole time.
Harmon: The whole movie, which was such a good twist.
LRM Online: Yeah, it definitely. The movie had an awesome twist. The person who you think is, I mean you’re just surprised throughout the whole time, the whole film. So, you’ve been doing TV, you also do films. So what is it that you like of each? I mean I’m sure there’s differences but what do you like more about films? What do you like more about doing TV?
Harmon: I mean there’s great differences between both. They’re very different forms of the art I think. Film is great because it sorta allows you to have an act, you know exactly where you’re going the whole art. Like you know where you start, you know where you finish. An as an actor, you can sort of manipulate that and perfectly work out this art, this what you want to do, and where you want your character to go and how you want him to be. Where as TV, is I don’t even know, like they try tell me in advance what’s going on but let’s say I’m Hunter for example, it’s after each episode I’m getting this script being like okay. I have to make that now a real but that’s not where I thought the character was going but now he’s going that way so I gotta take him this way. As an actor, that’s a challenge and I really like that challenge a lot. So there’s different in those, like there’s a million other ways they’re different but I’d say that one is the main.
LRM Online: So is there anything you can share about upcoming projects besides mentioning Homecoming?
Harmon: … Yeah so yeah you can say Homecoming. Obviously, I Still See You comes out October 12th. There’s also a movie I did called Woodland, which is premiering at the Western Film Festival at the end of November and that will be doing a film festival run starting from that point onward. Also, a movie called Anderson Falls, that was the most recent movie I did. That was the movie I shot here with Shawn Ashmore and Gary Cole and Lin Shaye and a bunch of amazing people and we just finished that. But I think that will be probably next year I’m assuming.
LRM Online: Wow. Well, we definitely look forward to seeing you and more film. Thank you so much for the time and like I said definitely enjoyed your character and you brought watery eyes last night.
Harmon: Thank you.