Sometimes, movies just come along and take on new meaning because the world around them has drastically changed. When M. Night Shyamalan decided to make Old, there was no way of knowing that the very concept of time dilation and aging would become a hot button issue. Yet by the time production started in September of 2020, we were all experiencing some sense of time dilatation. There was a reason why everyone felt like March of 2020 went on for about ten years alone. We got the chance to speak to star Vicky Krieps about the feeling of time being too slow or too fast in 2020 and whether or not that all impacted the performances her and her cast were giving.
"Yes, I think, first of all, it made us all decide to do the movie in the first place," she said. "I think I could speak for all the actors. I think we all had an immediate response, which is due to COVID. So this is the one. So who made the movie? Why were we there? Someone else is already something that has to do with it. And then, arriving on the beach, we were all very grateful and lucky. And we felt special that we could work, but on the other hand, we were still shaking from what had happened or what was still happening. So it was not like we were chilling on the beach. We had to stay in our hotel. We had to take one car to be on the beach. We had very hard working days. It was quite hard work. So I think all of it mingled itself together in like some strange vibe energy that I think you will see in the movie."
It wasn't just the concept of time and COVID restrictions that made Old a different movie from other production. Krieps told us about how they lost part of the beach h due to a hurricane and that the tiring set due to everything going on really made the movie feel different compared to a production shot on a set.
"And nature, we had to prepare this movie almost like theater play because, and Night told us before because we knew that we were going to go on a beach where the weather could change in a minute, and it would go from sunshine to thunderstorms," the Old star explained. "And one time, there was a hurricane, and it even destroyed our set. That was during the preparation. Luckily enough, so they built it just for when we were about to shoot. And the beach was gone, and the ocean had come in so far that there was no beach. And M. Night was praying every day that please can we have the beach back? And I mean, this is not possible. And then, day by day, there was a little bit more sand, a little bit more sand, and a little more sand. And then we had the beach, so it was working around these things all the time. And this is why it was so tiring and so much work, but I think it's good for the movie. Because if we would have been a bunch of actors just having a good time and chilling at the pool, that kind of energy would not go into this kind of movie. So I think it was very good for the movie."
When we mentioned that this all sounded a bit like a nightmare from just an editing perspective, Krieps went on to say how the heat was just so intense on top of everything else.
"And the heat, the heat was incredible," she continued. "I have not ever experienced any kind of heat like this because we were shooting on the beach characters standing on the beach at 12:00 noon where usually you wouldn't stand as tourists. You would go and lie down in the shade and then go back and have a swim, but we were just standing in the sun and the sand from morning seven in the morning, sometimes 6:00 in the morning until the light was going down, you know, using every bit of light. And all of us were at the end. We all felt like we. I don't know; we passed through the desert or something."
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.