Taking a nearly perfect score from us in our review a little earlier this year, The Unseen will come to cinemas this weekend and go up against Disney’s juggernaut Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Hopefully, the movie will get enough eyes on it to make it a major success, with those behind-the-scenes also choosing to release on digital download on December 15 to ensure it can be seen by as many people as possible.
Leading the cast is Jasmine Hyde, and we got the opportunity to put some questions to the brilliant actress all about the movie, the experience of shooting such an intense film and more.
For those who haven’t yet seen the film or even the trailer for The Unseen, how best would you describe it and the character you play?
The film is an intense psychological thriller following the emotional journeys of Gemma and Will (Richard Flood) after they tragically lose their son. I play Gemma, who is very brave and strong in the face of such an awful trauma. However brave she may be though, her coping mechanisms falter and she starts to suffer from severe panic attacks and loss of sight. We see how this affects her relationship with her husband and her grip on reality and the world around her.
As mentioned, the movie opens up with one of the most tragic events a family could go through; what was it like to be a part of filming that and going through that?
Horrible! It’s not a pleasant thing to think about, or talk about, and it wasn’t a pleasant place to go emotionally. I am a parent myself, and accepting this role is not something I took on lightly.
Is the film something you can completely leave at work, or do you take little things like that back home with you when filming’s wrapped for the day?
I was away for a month filming this. We worked long days, and had the odd day off which we enjoyed; a group Sunday lunch and a darts match at the pub. But it was pretty full-on. I got to go home for a day and night once during the shoot. Yes, you do take the feelings home with you. At the end of the shoot I felt drained and exhausted.
How challenging was it to film scenes where your character was starting to suffer with her vision?
I have experienced blackouts before now, so I know what that’s like, I remember. It was OK, it wasn’t too tricky really. A lot of the experience for the audience is aided by the visual effects that are created later, in the edit.
You worked closely with Richard Flood and Simon Cotton for The Unseen; how were they to work with?
Delightful. Charming, good fun, generous, lovely guys. I couldn’t have wished for nicer colleagues. They had some tricky stuff to do; scenes that could have been awkward for everyone. But they were respectful and lovely. We all got on incredibly well, I feel very lucky.
How about working with the film’s director, Gary Sinyor?
Lovely. I worked with Gary on a theatre project a couple of years ago, so I knew him already which is a nice start. He’s incredibly generous and supportive, and very good fun. He has quite strong opinions of what he’s after which I like, but also, if there was something I or the other actors felt might be better done a different way, he was very open to that.
Some of the locations you filmed in were stunning; was it good to get to the great outdoors and film?
Yes, it was wonderful! I hadn’t been to the Lake District in years and it reminded me of what an absolutely stunning area it is. Breath-taking. It was a privilege to be there. Bit chilly sometimes, but on the whole we were lucky with the weather.
Can you tell us a little bit about a typical day on the set of The Unseen?
6am; get up, shower and get dressed. Coffee. Do my own hair and make-up – budget constraints! Quick breakfast. 7am; start shooting, either at the house we were staying at, or travel to a location nearby. Work all morning. Lunch. Work all afternoon. Finish around 7pm – earlier if lucky! Get out of costume. Eat. Glass of wine. Bath. Look at scenes for the next day and discuss any changes. Get clothes ready for next days’ scenes. Cup of tea. Bed. Repeat!
Finally, why should people go out and see The Unseen this December?
Because it’s a gripping story, with interesting characters and a hell of a twist. It’s a British-made film on a tight budget, with no massive CGI monsters or effects. It’s had a fantastic response from audiences so far, which is very lovely for us.
The Unseen is in UK cinemas and available for digital download from December 15, 2017.