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Jeremy O’Keefe and Jessalyn Gilsig talk ‘Somewhere Slow’

Writer/director Jeremy O’Keefe and actress Jessalyn Gilsig recently spoke with “Breakthrough Entertainment” and Phoenix Movie Examiner about their new drama “Somewhere Slow.”

In “Somewhere Slow,” which opens Friday, Jan. 31 exclusively at AMC Esplanade, Gilsig plays a woman who gets mixed up in a convenience store robbery and makes a split-second decision to walk out of her life and into the unknown. On her travels, she meets a teenage drifter (Graham Patrick Martin) on his own journey of self-discovery.

Listen to “Breakthrough Entertainment” and Phoenix Movie Examiner's full interview with O’Keefe and Gilsig by clicking on the image above this article. The following is an excerpt from the interview in which they discuss what they hope viewers take away from watching “Somewhere Slow.”

There are some external things about Anna that, of course, are really troubling. She has really bad skin and I remember going to my hairdresser and saying, ‘Just give me really bad highlights.’ I wanted it to be a little stripy, like her hair has been over-processed. And, obviously, she has got these overgrown lips because she has sort of gone too far with plastic surgery and cosmetic intervention.

But, really, I think that her outward appearance is informed by how uncomfortable she is on the inside; how uncomfortable she is with herself; how awkward she is just interacting with people, being real and being fully present. So much of the story Jeremy wrote is about that journey of relaxing, trusting people and letting them in. I think that when the film opens there is a lot of love around Anna.

She has got a very attentive husband and she has got a mother and a sister who are sort of harping on her but it comes from a place of love. But she cannot receive it. She can't even return it. I think that through her journey ... she learns to relax, to breathe, to be in the moment and to actually receive people with an open mind. So as much as there are these external things that make her unattractive and seem sort of forced and tense, I actually think that all of that comes more from the inside.” - Jessalyn Gilsig

There is this complexity within all of us. I think that what Anna feels is something that all of us feel. It is what we feel as kids and in our 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, etc. It is something that is much more universal than unique. I wrote a story that takes place over 8 days. It takes place almost in real time. So rather than having it feel like [Anna] has to take a giant leap forward, the movie is about the realization that you can make a first step to change the way you are, to grow and to be happier with yourself.

And a lot of that can be done without a lot of dialogue; with just Jessalyn’s expressiveness and the way she lives as Anna. Having someone who was so committed to the simplicity of Anna ... there is something about [Jessalyn] not trying to drive home this point about how crazy we are or how uncomfortable we are and instead sort of just going from beat to beat. So I was allowed to just watch that. I was allowed to just capture that and have that tell the story. We didn't have to do much more on top of that. We wanted to keep it simple.” - Jeremy O’Keefe