At the KVIFF, The Parting Glass creators were interviewed by Matt Fagerholm of RogerEbert.com. Read a portion of his interview below:
It was great fun to see the “True Blood” castmates reunited in person, and I had the pleasure of chatting with them at length the evening prior to their scheduled press roundtable interview.
“For us to see this movie on a big screen is really a joy because there is so much happening at any given time, and a lot of it nonverbal,” said O’Hare. “That’s why it’s a movie. In the motel scene, for instance, the killer moment for me is delivered by Melissa. We see through her face what’s going to happen, and when they go to get Danny, she moves to grab and stop them. Those sort of details tell you, as an audience member, how dangerous a certain action is going to be. She was really good at that kind of thing. Just having that big canvas of a theater screen, you can take in someone over here and then see someone over there with a different energy level.”
What makes this film especially poignant is the fact that it was inspired directly by events in the life of O’Hare, whose own sister, Kathleen, committed suicide. Many of the scenes depicted in the movie happened verbatim, which prompted me to wonder just how many parallels there were between O’Hare and his role as Danny. One of the most daunting things an actor can do is play themselves, especially when reenacting a story as wrenching as this one.
“Originally there was a scene where we see Danny get a phone call,” O’Hare told me. “He gets the news and he kind of collapses. It made the moment too much of an external event, rather than a private event. I came up with the idea because I thought it would give Danny someplace to go.” By talking about him like that, he becomes a character. The fact that we can talk about Danny as a character was very helpful to me, and it helped me treat him like a character. What happened in that scene was not what happened to me in real life. In reality, I got the phone call and I fell on the floor. I lost my mind. But I fictionalized it so that Danny is different from who I am. Stephen kept a really good eye on me and would check in on me occasionally. He’d say, ‘That take was pretty angry or pretty hard. Let’s make sure we get something else.’”
“Like every other performer in the world, Denis has an ego and has his sense of a place as a performer,” said Moyer. “But what he doesn’t have, which is remarkable, is any interest in how he comes across from a vanity standpoint. He forms his approach in the moment without questioning what he is putting forward. Sometimes I’d go, ‘Okay, we got the version where we see the anger, let’s see what it would look like if he was being more forgiving,’ purely just to give us the option. It’s amazing working with someone like that because you’re never having to push them into exploring a dark place. When Denis first sat down and told me the story of the movie, we were laughing. He was describing a true family dynamic. My sister and I cannot go to a funeral without falling to pieces laughing. There is something about the melancholy of it that provokes a nervous human reaction, and I love what that illuminates about our human frailty.”