The cast of Old sort of went through it when it comes to the pandemic and shooting on the beach in less than desirable weather. We got the chance to ask director M. Night Shyamalan about what that was like and star Vickyt Krieps. We also got the chance to Gael García Bernal about what it was like shooting on the beach and the aging makeup that managed to withstand the elements.
Kaitlyn Booth: I had a chance to speak to a couple of your cast members, and they were telling me about just the kind of stuff that you guys had to go through to make this movie happen, not just with all of the weather that you had to deal with shooting in the Dominican Republic, but also with all the covid restrictions and everything. And I was wondering how you think that impacted the type of performance you were able to bring to Old?
Gael García Bernal: Naturally, the weather or whatever nature offers is something that affects whatever the outcome is in a very positive way. You just have to incorporate that. Nature, in that sense, is incredibly generous because it gives you a lot of resources to draw from. Actually, this film would have been incredibly difficult to shoot in a studio with a green screen. It would have been so complicated. But nature gives you that complexity. In most of the films I've done, I like to have that. We just have to adapt, and sometimes that adaptation brings really positive things. With the covid restrictions, I think it created a very concentrated family in a way. We had a lot of time to talk to each other, to mingle, and kind of philosophize around all of this. We had a lot of time on our hands. It was like shooting a film more than 20 years ago, kind of isolated. Nowadays, i's very difficult for a film set to be a community. But we had a lot of time to do our thing. That was really nice. It was enjoyable. I think that all of this helped us.
And I cannot think of the film being done in a different way than this. What was more affecting than the two things that you mentioned is that we were coming in from a very uncertain moment in the world, in the middle of the pandemic. And we had a lot of things to say. We had a lot of things to offer, in a way. And we were emotionally charged and ready to engage in this experience. Through the film, we could sublimate our anxieties around everything that's happening when you're forced to be in one place. So that's an ingredient that is there in the film, and it gives it a quality that wouldn't have been there otherwise.
KB: One of the things that I found really interesting was that for the kid characters, you had multiple actors trying to play the same person. But you and Vicky just kind of had to very slowly age throughout the film. What was the makeup process like, having to very slowly go through it and adding just fine touches to show that time was passing? Because it wasn't going to be extreme with the adults. It was only going to be extreme with the kids.
GGB: We really wanted to take care with every single detail for that. I think we had about four basic stages in the aging process, and obviously, they were all plotted out, but we would incorporate certain additional things to tweak the aging process even more. The makeup was so amazing because it wasn't much, but it transformed us a lot. And we didn't feel it; it wasn't heavy. It was incorporated into our faces. This is very important because it was incredibly resistant. We almost didn't do any touchups. It held on for the whole day in the sun and the water and the humidity with the sand and everything. And it was wonderful. The makeup in this movie is amazing. The way that it's put together is fantastic.
KB: That's incredible. I can't believe they managed to keep that on in that kind of humidity and weather.
GGB: That's amazing to me, too. If they would have told me that before doing the film, I wouldn't have believed it.
This interview was edited for brevity and clarity.
Summary: This summer, visionary filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan unveils a chilling, mysterious new thriller about a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly … reducing their entire lives into a single day.
The film stars an impressive international cast, including Golden Globe winner Gael García Bernal (Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle), Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread), Rufus Sewell (Amazon's The Man in the High Castle), Ken Leung (Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Jupiter Ascending), Abbey Lee (HBO's Lovecraft Country), Aaron Pierre (Syfy's Krypton), Alex Wolff (Hereditary), Embeth Davidtz (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Eliza Scanlen (Little Women), Emun Elliott (Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens), Kathleen Chalfant (Showtime's The Affair) and Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit).
Old is a Blinding Edge Pictures production, directed and produced by M. Night Shyamalan, from his screenplay based on the graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Lévy and Frederik Peeters. The film is also produced by Ashwin Rajan (Glass, AppleTV+'s Servant) and Marc Bienstock (Glass, Split). The film's executive producer is Steven Schneider. It's out in theaters now.