We very lucky to get a chance to speak with Joey Klein, an actor and now writer and director of the powerful and challenging film The Other Half, which first debuted at SXSW, opened the Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival in November, and is now playing in select theatres from Mongrel Media. It was especially special for Klein for the press day to take place at the Gladstone Hotel, a place where his parents stayed years ago. Klein was very generous with his time, and his praise for co-stars, and real-life couple, Tatiana Maslany and Tom Cullen, who deliver searing performances in the film.
The following are excerpts from the lengthy interview that occurred.
Scene Creek: (gestures to poster) Are Maslany and Cullen your other half(ves)?
Joey Klein: Guess so, I mean, I’ve known them now for a while. But all because of this, I mean, I met her on an acting job, and someone said “check out Grown Up Movie Star“, and as soon as I saw it, I offered her this. We did my first BravoFACT together, and she started dating Tom around that time. I was as obsessed with him from his work on Weekend and I wrote a role for him anyways, it made sense as it was someone who fled where he was from. So by the time we made the film, we were all really close, but we kind of got to know each other through trying to make it, hoping to make it. I started writing something that became this years and years ago. She was attached four and a half, five years and he was attached two, two and and a half years. Bobby Shore, the D.P., was attached even before Tat. Nicole Hilliard-Forde really picked it up and carried it on her own for a while and was really the force behind getting it made. Jonathan Bronfman, if I can use a baseball analogy, was sort of the star reliever in seeing it through to production.
I’m developing a revenge movie hopefully with these cats, if we all get on the same page together, I mean, we will, but first it’s got to get on the page.
SC: There is heavy subject matter in this film, but it is also hopeful.
JK: This is not an autobiographical movie, but it is a personal movie. Yes, I wrote from a point of experience and a point of knowing a lot of this stuff, but I want to represent what grief over time is like and to look at what is true to me about the grace of two very sick people finding themselves these days. I wanted to be as respectful to the subject as I could, and I wanted to do it in a way that I could explore realistic hope. I appreciate you bringing up the hope aspect of it because I think there’s true hope in it. I want to put some love back in the world and I will do it any way that I can.
SC: What would you like an audience to get out of this film?
JK: My favourite films have saved my life a little bit, and I just hope that this film stands for something for anyone who unfortunately does know at all about this, and for anyone who is older than twelve, you’ve gone through something, maybe that you shouldn’t have.