Casper (Emory Cohen, THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES) and Dominic (Callan McAuliffe, THE GREAT GATSBY) have been fiercely loyal friends since childhood. Desperate for a way out of their quiet town on the Maine-Canada border, the boys make a pact to pool their earnings on a car and hit the road. But when Casper is drawn into drug smuggling with his outlaw father (Aidan Gillen, "The Wire," "Game of Thrones") to pay his share, their friendship is pushed to the brink and adult choices forced on them all too soon. A standout narrative debut from Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly (THE WAY WE GET BY), BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY is a gripping coming-of-age thriller set against an authentic portrait of small-town American life.
A moving story like BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY deserves talented actors to bring its complex and authentic characters to life. Luckily Gaudet and Pullapilly found Emory Cohen and Callan McAuliffe, both of whom delivered amazing performances as the film’s main characters. I had the pleasure of interviewing the actors who shared their experiences on set and then some.
VOD Spotlight on Emory Cohen and Callan McAuliffe (BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY)
On Demand Weekly (ODW): The filmmakers, Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, described this film as sort of their transition into fiction film from a documentary background. Would you say you noticed any differences in the way they worked toward authenticity compared to filmmakers who work purely in fiction?
Callan McAuliffe, Dominic (CM): I can’t tell if it was because of their background or if it was the nature of the film or if it was just generally a very different experience for me in terms of filmmaking, but it was a very unique process. That may come from that background, but I’ve never worked with documentary filmmakers before so I have no experience with that, but it was certainly a very different experience.
ODW: I know they did extensive research on the area and the people living there, and a lot of the movie was based on the true stories they were told, how did this affect your preparation for the part?
Emory Cohen, Casper (EC): We were up there for 3 weeks before we started shooting and we met some people who had done [the harvest] and they let us put that into the script too and sometimes we just threw the script away and improvised.
ODW: Which scene was the most memorable to shoot?
CM: The scene that will stick with me for the rest of my life is the moose safari scene, just because it was such a wild ride literally and figuratively to shoot and I’ve never done anything of that kind before for a film - and there’s good reason for that (laughs). But it was an extraordinary experience and I’ll remember that for the rest of my life. Just chasing a moose down a road in the back of a flatbed truck, screaming and hollering in the middle of nowhere, it was wonderful.
ODW: You actually went out and chased a wild moose for that shot, is that right?