We checked in with the actors of HELD, Alanna Bale and Kristopher Turner (Chloe and Damien) for a few questions about the trailer!
How did you prepare for such an emotionally challenging role?
Alanna: In preparing for any role I find the best way to understand a character is to put myself imaginatively in their situation and draw on my own experiences that parallel the situation that character is in. That compounded with research, research, and more research!
It was really important for me to understand the complexity of Chloe and Damien’s relationship and the role that Stockholm syndrome plays. I read up on real accounts of people who had bonded with their captors and I watched interviews of survivors (like Patty Hearst) who had experienced Stockholm syndrome.
Very early on I realized this syndrome isn’t as unfathomable a concept to grasp as some may think it would be. It’s quite relatable. On a very basic (and perhaps less sinister) level we experience varying degrees of it in our own life. For example: continuing to stay in a negative or toxic relationship out of fear, or staying by justifying the actions of an aggressor and downplaying how unhealthy the situation really is.
Kristopher: The pace of this teaser trailer was so quick that there really wasn’t any time to “prepare” for the role, at least not from an intellectual perspective. So you just have to dive in and rely on your artistic instincts to start to guide you. Characters always come from my own human experience, so it was an exercise for me in exploring my desire and how that interacts with my own issues of power and control. There is something so interesting and timely about exploring human desire, and our lack of control around that. Our choices of our behaviours are in our control, but our desires are not. That discombobulates me, as it does Damien, so it was a great place to start to explore.
What was it like to work with an acting icon as your director?
Alanna: This is the first time I’ve worked with Megan and jeez, she is just a really cool, bad-ass woman! She has such an incredible and extensive acting career, and I think being able to draw on that translates so well to her directing style. She really understands an actors process, and that is such a bonus! Not only does she have the artistic vision and technical talent of a director but she also has a deep level of understanding of the characters and their relationship; she provided such great insight into the characters and the storyline, which, as an actor, is so helpful and valuable. And I know everyone says this… but truly, this whole process was so amazing, thanks to every single person involved.
Kristopher: Working with Megan is exactly the kind of collaboration that I love to have with a director. Her focus is on being an artist. She doesn’t come across to me as someone who is at all concerned with her self image or her ego, she’s just interested in telling the story. She’s passionate and grounded and intelligent and brings a wealth of life and work experience with her without any concern of ‘icon’ status. She wants to collaborate as well as push you to bring your best as well. She’s an excellent leader with a passionate heart for truthful storytelling.
What questions would you like audiences to be left with after watching the teaser?
Alanna: Well initially, after reading the script the questions I was left wondering were- How did Chloe and Damien’s relationship form? Is this connection real for Chloe or is this relationship the product of her survival instinct? I’m super interested in the relationship between Chloe and Damien; we know that she’s been held captive by him for months, yet she’s emotionally tied to him in a way that makes her refuse to leave him. Beyond that, I’m also really intrigued by Damien’s past and what lead to his involvement in the eco anarchist group. What exactly are they fighting for? Why did they choose to kidnap Chloe? I could go on and on, but hopefully the series will answer all my questions!
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