Chris Messina And Amy Seimetz Discuss Intricacies Behind ‘The Secrets We Keep’

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Chris Messina was recently seen in director Amy Seimetz’s critically praised feature She Dies Tomorrow, and they both star in the new thriller The Secrets We Keep. During a brief video chat, the actors talked about what made this story a unique experience and working with Noomi Rapace.

Chris Messina (left) stars as Lewis and Noomi Rapace (right) stars as Maja in
Yuval Adler’s The Secrets We Keep, a Bleecker Street release Credit: Patti Perret / Bleecker Street

Set in a nondescript suburban town in post-WWII America, Maja (Noomi Rapace) is a Romanian immigrant who believes a fellow townsman (Joel Kinnaman) is responsible for terrorizing her during the war. Maja impulsively assaults the alleged culprit and holds him hostage in her basement.

 

Chris Messina co-stars as Maja’s understandably concerned husband, with Amy Seimetz playing the mysterious man’s wife. Yuval Adler directs and co-writes this psychological thriller which features excellent and nuanced performances from the ensemble.

Joel Kinnaman
(left) stars as Thomas and Noomi Rapace (right) stars as Maja in Yuval Adler’s The Secrets We Keep, a Bleecker Street release. Credit: Courtesy of Bleecker Street

Was the fact that this thriller really focused on the psychological aspect of the characters a personal draw for both of you?

Chris Messina: Definitely. That and the cast. Both Amy and I were drawn to the fact that we get to work with Noomi and Joel. Amy and I have been trying to work with each other for a long while so when I heard she was doing it, I was thrilled.

And then we had Yuval as our leader so yes everything you just said and on top of that a really cool bunch of people.

Amy Seimetz: I think for me, having seen Yuval’s films what I was excited about was what he was going to bring in the script. Mainly the more human and realism side and not just have it be a revenge thriller story. It was actually going to go into the trauma (of the situation) and keeping it real.

He was so good even at the very subtle, quiet scenes that I had with Noomi and that are so loaded. He was really good at keeping us grounded, not just in the context of the time period but also the context of what we knew when we knew it. If that makes sense.

Noomi Rapace is simply a one of a kind actor, and what was it like having her as a scene partner?

Chris Messina: Any time (whether it’s) Noomi (or) Amy, having these kind of talent looking at you, it only makes you better. It’s like playing tennis with a great player. You’re like “Wow, I think I’m getting better at this.” Because they’re hitting the ball so well to you. They’re delivering it right to you. That’s kind of what it was.

On top of the fact that she is so talented, she was a real leader. This was a very quick shoot. The material is very intense. She was just a rock the whole time. I followed her through the kind of war of shooting the movie, so to speak.

 

Quick question for you Amy and then a quick question for Chris. How does Barbara Loden (director of Wanda) inspire you as a storyteller. Very quickly, on top of that Chris, what was it like to collaborate with Amy (Seimetz directed She Dies Tomorrow).

Amy Seimetz: Oh man, you asked the wrong question at the end. I’m going to rush. She’s everything to me. The first time I saw Wanda was it gave me permission to explore women I hadn’t really seen frequently in cinema. Bringing forth the idea of a fascinating character as opposed to her being a redeeming character that was worthy of watching. I take a lot from Wanda, maybe you even you could say I rip off Wanda (laughs).

Chris Messina: I’ll answer quickly but it’s really a longer story. I think Amy’s a master storyteller. Not only, as you know, an incredible actress but just the way she put that movie together. The way she conducts a set and (creates) a playground for every department. If every movie was made that way, I would be in heaven. That’s the quick version of a very long story.

The Secrets We Keep is now playing in theaters and heads to VOD on October 16.

 

 

 

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