Silent Hill Cast Q&A
July 18, 2005
Silent Hill - Interviews from the set
From Staci Wilson,Your Guide to Horror
Books and Movies.
Set Visit / Mini Press Conference
Interviews from the July 18, 2005 set
visit in Toronto, Canada.
Andrew Mason (executive Producer)
Don Carmody (producer)
Samuel Hadida (producer)
When Rose (Radha Mitchell) finds out her daughter (Jodelle Ferland)
is dying from a fatal disease, she refuses to believe there is
nothing left to be done. Against her husband's (Sean Bean) wishes,
she takes her daughter to a faith healer but on the way there
she is forced to stop in a deserted town called Silent Hill.
To make matters worse, her daughter
mysteriously vanishes. Wandering the empty streets, Rose is left
searching for her daughter, but hidden in the darkness are unknown
creatures watching her every move.
Based on the best-selling survival video
Q: Radha, what was the attraction
of doing this film and what are the challenges of playing a character
in a video game?
RADHA: I think the major attraction
to me is because of Brotherhood of the Wolf, directed by Christophe.
I saw that film and I was intrigued and fascinated because I
thought it was a beautiful and exciting and strange and bizarre
movie. And so then I met Christophe and I was charmed, obviously,
by him. And I guess thats what it was. And then, since
weve been making the film, we see the vision and the script
comes alive. And its a very visual piece so when you read
it you wont necessarily understand what it is. But, since
weve been working on the film, every day has just been
an assault on the senses. And I guess today was just a sample
And the challenges, I guess, I mean
Ive got to run around and call out Sharon!
And do that in 50 different ways. So theres that aspect.
And I think Christophe has a really interesting take on the concept
of the video game. And you do have a sense of what it must feel
like to be sort of stuck in this chase. And I guess thats
the main challenge making the variety and keeping that
Its interesting working because
a lot of the time were reacting to things that are not
necessarily in front of us and the things that were imagining
and weve got to, you know, imagine them at the same time.
So weve constantly encouraged the first AD to make loud
noises for us so we can all, you know... and be scary. And so
everybodys had to become an actor on this movie, including
Q: What about the strange use of
motion in the film?
RADHA: Oh, yeah. Yeah, movements. The
thing about movements. And that is an interesting question because,
especially actors like Alice, I guess, whos not here right
now, theres a whole sort of way that she moves. And I think
Christophe is very specific in the way that he cast the film.
He wanted actors who had sort of some sense of movement. And
thats definitely part of the performances. I dont
know so much with my character cause Im playing a
more, you know, sort of human character -- everybody else is
a little bit more But I think that was definitely part
of the choices that people made as actors was to move in a particular
way. And youll see that when you see the film.
Q: How many of you played the videogame
of Silent Hill before you were cast?
RADHA: Im not a very good player,
to be honest. Ive tried to play the game and especially
to get familiar with the characters better. I mean, its
really an amazing game, having just a limited sort of knowledge
of it that I have. And its got a real sense of sort of
poetry and melancholy and things you dont expect in a video
game. And then I guess thats whats attractive to
me about it. But, in relation to actually getting through the
game... <laughs> Im always stuck on the fence. I
cant get off the fence. But I mean, Im sure everybody
has a different experience. And Christophe, I think hes
been known to spend like two to three days straight in his room,
playing the game without leaving, without even going to the bathroom.
DEBORAH: Laurie and I both get stuck
by the same store, which is really annoying. And I hear
cause I often hear footsteps now and, of course, the sound
of destroying the monsters. I like to destroy. I am impressed
by the people that get stones and aliens. I mean, who are they?
RADHA: I havent got that far.
SEAN: Ive not seen the game. Ive
seen a picture. Ive seen the front cover, but thats
RADHA: But they showed you a photograph
of a picture of your character for the game.
SEAN: Did they?
RADHA: Because they wanted the same
coloring as the character.
SEAN: I do? Yeah?
SEAN: Ill have to have a look
RADHA: And its interesting because
Laurie is playing Cybil and she looks exactly like Cybil in the
LAURIE: Well, I do now.
DEBORAH: She does now.
LAURIE: I had hair before this movie.
They chopped it all off for Cybil.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about
LAURIE: Cybil is a woman who grew up
in a small town outside of Silent Hill. Shes a bit of a
lone wolf, in the sense that her mom died when she was thirteen
and there was never really a father around. It was a very religious
community, so I think that because my mother was such a woman
of faith and she passed away in a really painful way, it really
scarred Cybil. And shes really kind of denounced any sort
of religion just because of what happened to her mom. Because
of that I think that shes been a bit of an outsider, doesnt
have a lot of friends. But thats okay for Cybil because
shes found her calling and that is to serve and protect.
And, really, she wants to save children. She wants to be kind
of like the mother of saving the children. So thats Cybil.
RADHA: Its interesting the way
the relationships are constructed in the film. Say, even the
relationship between our characters, is not stereotypical. Theyre
buddies and, you know, theyre on the journey together.
But its interesting tension between the two characters.
And, ultimately, you know I cant give way the plot.
<laughs> But, all the characters are quite sort of fleshed
out and mysterious.
DEBORAH: Theyre also all psychologically
and metaphorically interwoven beautifully. What Christophe has
done has been really quite inspirational for all of us as actors
and the crew as well. Visually, for the crew, theyve had
Q: Who do you play, Sean?
SEAN: I play Chris DaSilva. And hes
a sort of quite a successful businessman. They live in a nice
house. Things seem to be going well, apart from the child. And
I spend most of the time chasing around trying to get on different
playing levels, different time levels. But hes a good guy,
a regular sort of guy with bit of money, wears nice clothes and
drives a BMW. <laughs> Its all materialistic.
RADHA: Their relationship [shows] theyre
sort of separating in different dimensions. And theyre
kind of passing each other by often in the movie. They dont
actually connect. So its kind of, I guess, like the average
Q: How you feel about contributing
to the genre, and is there was anything in particular that you
guys are bringing to the table in terms of this new respect horror
seems to have?
RADHA: Well, its a masochistic
pursuit, especially in this film. <laughs> I mean, and
I think theres something very elegant about the way that
Christophe is directing horror. And, you know, his inspiration
is, you know, coming from a very highbrow kind of level in art.
And sort of, I guess, bondage. <laughs> If youre
into horror I would say this is the movie to watch because its
elegant horror. Thats my understanding of it.
LAURIE: I think of this ore as a nightmare
fairytale. It is elegant and I think of this as kind of a cross
between Alice in Wonderland meets Dantes Inferno. Its
very high art and frightening and violent and sexy and elegant
all at the same time. Which I think is, you know, Christophes
Q: Your turn, Jodelle. What do you
JODELLE: Im thinking of what to
ANDREW: Its scary stuff to face
most days youre on set, really.
JODELLE: No. Its not scary for
me, though. <laughs>
ANDREW: Its scary for us wholl
be seeing it.
JODELLE: <laughs> Yeah. But, its
because I know how they do everything.
LAURIE: Jodelle has more experience
than all of us put together.
ANDREW: Youre very calm and very
sort of under control on set.
JODELLE: Thank you. <laughs>
RADHA: Its amazing working with
Jodelle because she has a sort of adult concentration and patience
and yet, obviously, the charming innocence of a little girl.
So its been fun playing your mom.
JODELLE: Oh. <laughs>
Q: Are you performing with American
accents or just using your own voices?
RADHA: We do it in Chinese ...
SEAN: I think its just a general
American accent that were doing. Just something neutral.
Q: What about the physical aspects
of your roles?
LAURIE: We have a wonderful stunt coordinator,
Steve, who has been my left hand as Radhas been my right.
And he has helped me tremendously learn baton fighting and everything.
How to use my gun properly and just, you name it, hes done
it and its really helped beat off whatever is out there
to help protect us as a character.
Q: How does Radha help you, Laurie?
LAURIE: Visualization. We work really
closely together, Radha and I, I think, in terms of what do you
see and how big is it? And is it coming and...?
RADHA: And, specifically I think, Christophe
has made sort of clear decisions to make sure its not cheesy.
So theres none of that kind of, you know, action
movie kind of stuff weve seen in a lot of American films.
LAURIE: We actually work together with
our imagination. We have to use our imagination all the time
because, you know, we see things that we havent really
seen before. So, in working together, we create this wonderful
thing through our imagination that helps create this world around
us and hopefully makes it believable. But it is interesting.
RADHA: as opposed to having a
gun and so on and, basically, as I say, its not your typical
movie where everybodys killing the monsters. And, I mean,
theres some of that, but it feels very real. And theres
been a clear decision to make us, in the situations where were
facing these incredible like you saw today -- that as
if were really there, its really straight. Theres
no inside humor in the film like winking at the audience.
Its very serious. So its as if it really happened.
Q: Are there lots of rehearsals?
RADHA: Do we rehearse a lot? We do.
We rehearse on weekends and theres a lot of discussion
about what were doing before we do it.
LAURIE: But then, Christophe likes to
throw us curve balls and, you know Sometimes wonderful
things come out of spontaneous terror.
Q: What were you looking for in your
lead actresses when casting?
SAMUEL: [We were looking for good actors]
having a big talent to have an upscale horror genre movie. We
are creating a world and we have, you know, actresses that audience
would identify with. [Radha is great.]
DON: And Cybil, shes obviously
tough, shes a cop. But, shes also got to have a certain
vulnerability and a passion for other people to stick with this.
And, you know, with Sean, he's just dogged, resolute. Hes
going to get to the bottom of this no matter what it takes type
of thing. And Jodelle, was just an amazing find. Shes spectacular.
I cant think of any actress, twice her age, that could
pull this off.
ANDREW: The other thing to look at is
that because Christophe was not approaching this as a purely
horror film some of the things which affected us in deciding
who would be the cast of a sort of traditional and pure horror
movie dont apply if youre deciding that what were
making is a film, a drama, never mind the fact that its
in a strange world or its got weird inhabitants or its
got amazing visuals -- its still a drama. So you cast the
best actors for the given role and you just go for the best actors,
which is what we have. We have the best actors we could possibly
have for those roles.
Q: Jodelle, are you sort of playing
two characters in Silent Hill?
ANDREW: She has a different look. I
mean, the two characters are both clearly Jodelle, but they look
Q: This is for Sean and Radha. Your
daughter goes missing and obviously at a point in the movie you
guys are separated? How come?
SEAN: I think its because she
thinks its a good idea for Sharon to confront her fears
by going there, and I wouldnt go along with that. I dont
think Id agree to that. Id say, Well, you know,
I think we can get help through And we do things,
you know, in other ways. And, you know, Im a bit pissed
off she took her without my permission or without even
consulting about it. and Im in a bad mood and I get
you know, Im obviously I start a sort of
for her and get more and more desperate as it goes along. But
[she is] my daughter and theres illness now.
RADHA: I think at a certain level, for
Rose, its a way to assert herself, in a way, in their relationship.
I dont think thats the primary reason, but, part
of it is I can make a decision and I know its right without
necessarily consulting her husband because she has this instinct
SEAN: Id quite like to see this
[movie]. Id like to see what sort of happens. Im
told its a very psychologically sort of horror. Its
not something like people getting their legs chopped off and
its gratuitous violence. I think its something that
youve got to think about. So Ive been told. But,
you know, from what Ive seen and what Christophe has created
its fascinating. And everybodys, its their
opinion that hes got this elegance and style about him
that its not just sheer horror, theres a sort of
poetry to it.
RADHA: Thats true.
Q: Do you find it sort of challenging
to strike a balance between doing movies like this and doing
smaller, independent films?
RADHA: Yeah, I guess it is a challenge.
But it's nice to be able to do some intimate films and then bigger
films. And its very exciting to be in a film where the
director comes with an idea, this big idea and I know thats
something that can come to life. And you can be part of a big
concept. And also I really enjoy doing films that are sort of
character-based and are about the nuances of relationships. So
to be able to do both is perfect.
Q: Radha, how hard is it to get a
level of bloodiness the same every day so that it matches; and
then, how bloodied up do the rest of you get?
RADHA: This is just the beginning. And,
yeah, theres a whole, theres an art and a science
to it. And there are people whose heads are on the line to keep
each you know, as a it. And each hair, you know, as deconstructed
as it looks right now. Its a lot of design. How long does
it take? It took longer in the beginning. I think it can be done
in about forty minutes now, the whole look. And its great
because I dont have to wash my hair. I can just go to work
every day like this.
Q: And how bloody do the rest of
SEAN: I dont get any blood on
me at all, I dont think.
LAURIE: I get pretty bloody. She gives
I do have to say, you know, the crew has been amazing.
Hair and makeup has been unbelievable on this journey because
the continuity that they have to keep up with us through the
varying degrees of gore and dirt, its astounding. But,
also the set designers and the location managers, we have the
most amazing sets. I think Silent Hill fans are going to be knocked
out because, visually, our sets look so much like the video game.
And it makes our job so easy because we just show up and we are
in Silent Hill. We are in that world and we are just so blest
to be surrounded by such great artists.
RADHA: Theres like a new set every
sixty seconds or something. Constantly, the sets are changing
and theyre huge. And so today its just sort of a
sample of that. But weve been all over the city and around
the city in these different studios and these huge sets. And
its true it puts you in the space.
Q: Would you say the sets are characters,
LAURIE: Yeah. Its interesting
because you play Im not sure how much I can say without
giving it away. But the sets are definitely characters in the
film. And they have emotional states in that they change and
youll see the same set and youll see it from a completely
different perspective. So its sort of like a hallucination
a lot of it. Yeah and youll recognize the sets as you get
more involved in the story.
Q: Sean, did you create a back story
SEAN: [The script was very] inspiring.
So it wasnt very difficult to sort of get into the part,
as it were. And, you know, I thoroughly enjoyed it because its
been such fun to do. Hes quite a relaxed guy that he knows
exactly what he wants. Sometimes I prefer to just work with what
I have [in the script].
SAMUEL: Dont forget Christophe
told me that the real challenge from the video game is to put
the story in the foreground. So create all the all what
is and he didnt do the story where you have to play in
it seventeen hours before you understand whats happening.
Here you have a story of character and emotion. The [actors]
read the script and they said, "Wow! Thats interesting.
I can be related to these characters and, obviously, the director."
DEBORAH: Working with the script from
Christophe is not working from scratch, as Samuel said. At that
point it was so fleshed out and psychologically so rich that,
that is definitely what appealed to me. Plus I had a relationship
with Christophe that precedes that and immense respect for him.
That said, certainly, I am the curious lurker who goes on all
the sites and listens to discussions. Because there are themes
in the psychological motivations of the characters and their
conundrums and their dissent journeys really do fascinate me.
And Im sure on a subliminal level that was constantly enriching
the performance. For mostly it was where Christophe had already
brought it with the script. And then the strong and the powerful
influences and arrogant and subtle influences of various
the world of art, the world of mythology. There are so many specific
influences that we had private discussions to enrich in
the case of Dahlia to enhance the essence that had been explored
in the game. Absolutely.
Q: And Laurie?
LAURIE: Well, I played the game after
I got the part and met Cybil. And then, you know, whats
wonderful about the movie Silent Hill is that they honored her,
visually. I look like the character and really capture her essence.
But, as Sean and Deborah were saying, that Christophe and Roger
Avery, together, sat down and created a back story for this character,
which really helps flesh out this character. So you really, hopefully
her fans and the gamers and the audience will get to know
her a little bit better and, you know, hopefully be touched by
what she represents in the film.
Q: How much CGI will there be?
SAMUEL: With the CGI you can very easily
make the link between the worlds. When one world transport
another world CGI is very easy because we have the practical
sets and then we link them to CG dimension that bring you to
the other one. Thats the kind of enhance to link every
world together because we have to create a whole conceptual universe
of Silent Hill. And they go in to Silent Hill and they go into
different dimensions. So CGI make it may be easier to link all
these worlds together, but we have to have the world first.
Q: How many of you were familiar
with Christophe's work before this?
DEBORAH: I was. Thats what made
it even more exciting. Hes so amazing. Hes such a
RADHA: Ive known Christophe for
nearly ten years. And Im also, of course, Im a big
fan. And weve become friends and peers and so weve
been looking for an opportunity to work together.
Q: Is the creation of back-stories
just for yourselves, or for yourselves and the audience?
DEBORAH: Oh, a little bit of both.
SEAN: [If] you have something in mind
that you know, and even if it doesnt come across to an
audience, or you dont have the opportunity to show that
side then, it gives you some kind of anchor in your head that
you know, you have the back story, youve got things. You
know, its just good to invent something, believe in it
so that its always there. But regardless of whether it
comes across on the screen or not.
Q: Whats your favorite part
of your characters back story?
SEAN: Hes got a nice car. Hes
got good taste. And, you know, hes a successful guy and
You see a lot by where they live, you know. [They're a]
couple and, you know and how they behave with each other. But,
like I said, we dont spend a great deal of time together
in the film. Im just searching for her and shes searching
for our daughter so, thats my back story anyway.
DEBORAH: Certainly in the case I would
ditto both sides. But in the case of when we touch into the area
of metaphor and symbolism thats where its very specific
to Christophe. And theres nothing around them because there
are too many details. There are no red herrings for example.
Theres no tolerance, he has no tolerance for that kind
of [thing] because its such a specific psychological descent
journey. And thats fundamental to what has been the appeal,
certainly to the game. So its great working with a bright,
bright mind and making choices that will be shared with the audience
on that level where certainly theyll be impacted by those
LAURIE: Yeah, I love the back story
because Cybil has a very aggressive way of presenting herself
and a very aggressive approach in the world. And I like the fact
that it is revealed in the script the reason why she is hyper-vigilant,
the reason why she responds so quickly to things. And that is
because she had an experience where a little boy was abducted
and taken up to Silent Hill and dropped into a mine vent. And
Cybil went and hugged him and kept him warm for three days until
help came. Shell make sure that justice is done. So I like
that my back story has been integrated because it really explains
and defines what makes this lady tick.
Q: Today we watched a pretty tense
scene between Rose and the nurses. Can any of you guys talk about
a scene or an obstacle that creeped you out?
LAURIE: Are we allowed to answer? No.
Q: OK, is there a scene that made
you jump when you were filming?
LAURIE: How many can I count? I mean,
there are so many. This is a scary movie.
Q: What makes it so scary?
LAURIE: Its terrifying because
its so deeply rooted in psychological truths. And thats
not random, its not there for as we say, theres
no cheese factor. Its actually quite terrifying because
its so deep.
SEAN: But at the same time Christophe
doesnt pull punches when it comes to the gore factor. If
something bad is happening you can bet its messy.
LAURIE: And he goes for the truth. Its
not like I guess when youd imagine in a normal horror film
or its like something comes in, Ah! I have
been scared out of my mind many, many times on this film. Oh.
And thats all good. Thats all good and right for
the film. But, its very real.
DEBORAH: Personally, yes. In the case
of Dahlia its essential. And this is not an arena Ive
remotely touched upon before. Im not talking about horror
genre Im talking about the character of Dahlia. This has
been an exquisite time for me. Ive had a blast. And so
in order to go the places that Ive gone or weve gone
with her, its been essential to have that foundation and
then, of course, personalize it. yeah.
Q: Theres been some really
bad horror movies made from video games. Were there any reservations
of doing one?
DEBORAH: To me, no. Not with Christophe.
No. Hes fantastic. I was excited. My fingers are crossed
of course. But, no, not with him. Im a film fan first,
you know, I Its in sensitive hands when youre
dealing with different audiences and different levels of investment.
There are people that have spent weeks, Im sure, and months
in the world of Silent Hill and to embrace the essence of it
and take it to another level, psychologically.
To introduce some movie audiences to
it [will be a challenge], but also to enrich the investment that
the gamers have in it. I think its in sensitive hands.
And so, yes, a man like Christophe, specifically, is someone
I have great faith in and its been really fun. So all of
our fingers are crossed, of course, but its been great
in my opinion. Yeah.
Q: For the producers: you say that
you respect this original game, but you also created something
new in the movie?
SAMUEL: These properties for Silent
Hill have been on the radar of all the studios, have been on
the radar of lots of different producers. And, basically, [the
challenge was] was trying to find who can be the perfect people
to adapt that game. We had to respect what made the game successful.
What made the originality of the game. What makes the game different
from every other one. Because its a game that is edgy and
creepy. Its a very big experience of playing the movie
alone in the dark and Christophe wants also to play that level
and put the spectator into this same feeling when he was playing
So there is a great respect between
that and the <mic difficulties> what we have done with
the creatures and obviously the creatures have been beyond their
wish and we get the blessing. And the relationship that we have
also with the creator for the music and for the background I
think that they gave us lots of their research into the world
and the texture of Silent Hill. You know, that we adapt it in
Q: Laurie, how much ass do you kick
in this movie?
LAURIE: We kick a lot of ass and I loved
every minute of it.
LAURIE: I have a trainer, and the stunt
coordinator has been just so amazing marking out the fights.
And I met with a detective [and] I learned, you know, accurately,
how a detective, police officer moves and everything and how
to work with all my props and weapons and its just been
so much fun. Yeah.