The Big Picture
- Close to You is a fully improvised film that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, starring Elliot Page and Hillary Baack.
- Baack and Page discuss their experience filming the movie, emphasizing the trust and connection they had with director Dominic Savage.
- Page praises Savage for leading with his heart and creating an authentic and unique experience on set, attributing it to Savage’s intentions and personality.
At this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, director Dominic Savage‘s latest feature, Close to You, made its world premiere. Starring Elliot Page and Hillary Baack, the film brings a rather personal story to the screen. However, one aspect in particular makes it stand out from the crowd: it is fully improvised. To promote the film, Savage, Page, and Baack stopped by the Collider media studio at MARBL to discuss the film. During the interview, Page and Baack shared their thoughts on how Savage pulled off the film.
When speaking to Collider’s Perri Nemiroff, Baack and Page talked a bit about their experience filming a project that was largely improvised. For Baack, she was excited to take on the challenge, crediting her solid rapport with Savage as an important factor in tackling the process. She was nervous at the start, but eventually fell into the rhythm of the film: “[T]here’s so much freedom as an actor, and I had a couple of gems with Dominic, and we also really hit it off. I felt like I could trust him so much, which is so important with this process. When we met in person, that trust and connection just grew, and I just felt a little nervous, of course, before, but once we got started, I fell into it, and it was such a joy to get to be a part of it.”
Page similarly praised collaborating with Savage, sharing his thoughts on how the director was able to pull off filming Close to You the way he did. Page said that Savage “leads with his heart. He leads with feeling, he leads with instinct, he leads with just wanting to find honesty and create something that feels real.” He reiterates Baack’s sentiment on the trust Savage builds with his cast and his crew, saying that “it creates this experience on set that really is unlike anything I’ve ever done.” Page ultimately attributes Savage’s ability to film the way he does and guide everyone through it to “just who Dominic is as a person and his intentions.”
What Is ‘Close to You’ About?
Close to You centers on Page’s character Sam, who hasn’t seen his family since he transitioned. However, he has to rip the band-aid off eventually, and that time has finally arrived. So, Sam heads back to Cobourg, his hometown, where he and the rest of his family gather to celebrate his father’s birthday. Despite the occasion at hand, Sam must still contend with an ignorant family and confront resurfacing memories after encountering a friend from high school (Baack).
Watch the full Close to You interview below: