Sometimes when you buy a home, you don't realize what you've purchased until you start peeling away its facade to see what it truly is, and for the Day family in the new thriller Broken Ghost, that truth is something sinister that could tear their already fractured family apart. With Broken Ghost out now on digital and VOD platforms from Film Mode Entertainment, we caught up with co-star Scottie Thompson to discuss filming in the gorgeous scenery of Montana, reuniting with director Richard Gray, and exploring the movie's domestic drama and supernatural scares.
Thanks for taking the time to catch up with us, and congratulations on Broken Ghost! How did this film first come onto your radar, and what attracted you to playing the role of Samantha Day?
Scottie Thompson: Thank you for supporting the film! So glad to share this project—which is definitely a passion project—with the world. The film came across my radar through Richie Gray, the director, as we had worked together in the past on the film The Lookalike. When Richie called to tell me about the project, I jumped at the idea of collaborating with him again. And when I read the script, I was thrilled by the depth of character, across the board, but of course specifically in Samantha. While this film falls into the thriller category, there is so much going on internally with her, that I knew immediately I could explore a great deal of dynamism in her. I was also very drawn to the themes of bullying that are prevalent in the film. I find that there are so many layers in the script, and I was excited for a chance to explore those and be a part of the team of folks bringing these ideas to life.
The friction within the Day family and the ghosts from their past are just as dangerous as the supernatural occurrences in their new home. As an actor, was it important to you to emphasize the domestic drama just as much as the horror elements?
Scottie Thompson: Yes, the largest appeal of the role of Samantha, for me, was the domestic drama at play. While I enjoy working with the supernatural elements, it is the subtlety of the home life that really appealed to me about stepping into this character’s shoes. I enjoy diving deep into emotional work, and this script presented an ideal opportunity to do that under the guise of entertainment in the supernatural aspect.
Did you collaborate with director Richard Gray on any creative choices with your character? Were you free to bring your own personal alterations to Samantha Day?
Scottie Thompson: Working with Richie is a very collaborative process, and since we have worked together in the past, it made it seamless stepping into that journey. We discussed the character at length before filming, as we knew how fast the process would be moving once we began shooting. And during filming, it was wonderful to be able to try out different approaches to moments and scenes, which I felt even more comfortable doing given that we had worked together before. We spoke a language of trust and willingness to try—and fail, as well as discover magical moments—as a result of having collaborated before. At the same time, I felt very free to try out ideas of my own, and felt they could be calibrated by Richie in a capacity that best serviced telling Samantha’s story authentically.
Samantha has to try and be strong for her daughter (played by Autry Haydon-Wilson), but she’s also dealing with an increasingly strained relationship with her husband (played by Nick Farnell). What was it like working with Autry and Nick to create the dynamic of the Day family?
Scottie Thompson: Autry and Nick are a dream to work with, and I would jump at the opportunity to work with them again. They are both very brave, free, and deep actors who bring their souls and hearts to the work in a professional, committed manner. We all met in LA before filming began in Montana to get a sense of one another and discuss the family dynamic, and that set it all off on the right start. The film really rides on the family dynamic, and works or not because of that, and we knew that. So we went in to the process with a familiarity that of course deepened through the work and trusting in one another’s choices during the process.
Looking back at your time on set, is there a favorite or memorable moment that stands out?
Scottie Thompson: There are MANY moments that stand out, but definitely filming in the diner where we got to raid the behind-the-ice-cream-counter was a highlight. Haha. I have always wanted to do that, and it’s so fun being on location in the most unique spots, and Livingston is FULL of unique spots and characters. The first night of filming also really stands out, at the family farm with the most magical setting as a backdrop. I was pinching myself, and having such fun getting to do what I love, sitting across from such talented folks as Autry and Nick, and such an experienced crew.
What was the most challenging or rewarding scene to shoot?
Scottie Thompson: The scene when Samantha runs out to Nick’s art studio after she sees the hangman is a super emotional scene, and I remember that one requiring a great deal of depth and commitment. And it was somewhat early on in the filming—as you know you film out of chronological order. So I wanted to be in the right point in Samantha’s arc, and deliver the emotional depth, while playing the different levels of the internal struggle she is going through that she cannot express in that moment.
What do you hope viewers take away from Broken Ghost?
Scottie Thompson: I imagine they will take away the desire to visit Montana. ;) But really, I hope they walk away with a sense of the importance of family in facing issues like the bullying that is at play. I imagine viewers will be tuning in to the film for the entertainment value of the thriller/supernatural element, but I hope they walk away with a sense of deeper character understanding.
With Broken Ghost now available from Film Mode Entertainment on digital and VOD platforms, do you have any other projects coming up that you’re excited about?
Scottie Thompson: Yes, I do. I have several films premiering at upcoming festivals that will be out on various platforms in the fall. I will be at Tribeca Film Festival with the film Crown Vic, a story about a rookie cop on his first shift, written and directed by Joel Souza, starring Thomas Jane and Luke Kleintank, in which I play a schizophrenic woman named Claire. I also have a film premiering at the Beverly Hills Film Festival, called Limbo, starring James Purefoy, Lew Temple, and Lucien Collier, written and directed by Mark Young. I play an inexperienced lawyer in Limbo. And I have a film Epiphany, written by Koula Kazista and Katina Sossiadis, that is a coming-of-age story set in a small Greek community in Florida, and it is premiering at the Sarasota Film Festival.