Katie Aselton on almost killing Lake Bell on ‘Black Rock’ set

Lake Bell, Kate Aselton and Kate Bosworth star in the indie thriller "Black Rock" Credit: Getty Images
Lake Bell, Katie Aselton and Kate Bosworth star in the indie thriller “Black Rock.”
Credit: Getty Images

“The League” star Katie Aselton was looking for a change of pace for her second feature as a director, and boy did she find it.

“My first film, ‘The Freebie,’ was a very quiet, intimate, emotional talkie-talkie movie that was all inside a very small Spanish bungalow, and I felt the need after that to get outside and move my body and maybe kill someone,” she says. “It’s just something I had to do, I don’t know why.”

That feeling led to “Black Rock,” a thriller co-written by her husband, Mark Duplass, about three former childhood gal pals (Aselton, Lake Bell and Kate Bosworth) who reunite for a camping trip on a deserted Maine island that turns deadly after the arrival of some Afghanistan veterans on a hunting trip. As harrowing as the film’s story is, the shoot itself turned out to be nearly as life-threatening. “It was a challenging film from start to finish,” Aselton says. “It was not like ‘The Freebie,’ which we went in pre-lit and so we would literally go in and plug in the plug and, ‘Let’s start shooting.’ This was very different. And honestly, the logline for the film — this fight for survival — became sort of a metaphor for our experience making the movie. We just needed to get out of the month of June alive, and the fact that we have a movie that I love to show for it is really exciting.”

An all-outdoor shoot in rural Maine is no picnic, as she found out. “It was hands-down the most challenging shoot I could ever even conceive of. Every day it was a new challenge,” Aselton says. “It rained when it was supposed to be sunny, it was sunny when it was supposed to rain. The fog would be so intense that you couldn’t see where the characters were. The temperatures were super-low, the water is as cold as we claim it to be in the story — and colder. I almost killed Lake. Tides coming in and going out.”

Wait, what was that about almost killing Lake Bell? As it turns out, a nighttime scene featuring swimming in the waters of Frenchman’s Bay — frosty even in June — can be hazardous to an actress’ health. “Lake literally almost died. She went into a 24-hour asthma attack with the cold temperatures. It was really intense and really scary, so anything after that was a win because she was alive,” says Aselton.

On the bright side, a near-death experience made some of the later challenges in the film — brutal fight scenes and some on-screen nudity in less than ideal conditions — were not so bad after all for Bell. “Because we shot it chronologically, I think we were already sort of preparing ourselves for certain moments to attack — literally and emotionally — so I think that sort of cold, vulnerable, raw, nude, very emotionally raw scene was on slate, we knew it was coming up, and it just became another thing to tackle. By that point we had already done the water stuff,” says Bell.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…