Bruce Altman and Elizabeth Mitchell as Dez and Edele were also cast fairly late in the process. The initial idea was to re-team Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern from Blue Velvet and have them play Dez and Edele. Kyle was open to it, but Laura wasn’t, so Kyle didn’t want to do it without her.
I still think it would have been a fun approach, but I couldn’t be happier with what Bruce and Elizabeth brought to these fucked-up characters.
I have such enormous respect for both of them taking on the roles, because nobody—and I mean nobody—in Hollywood wants to play pedophiles. They were both amazing and creepy and very thoughtful in their approach.
Elizabeth told me that she wanted to play Edele by never actually touching any of the children on-screen (which was actually creepier) and I was okay with that.
I told them they were essentially playing alien beings inside human bodies and they should appear stiff and awkward as if they were being controlled by these aliens from inside.
Elizabeth even had little plastic surgery scars applied to the back of her ears (which you can’t see on-screen), because she felt that Edele had had a facelift, which would also account for the stiffness of her facial movements. Bruce had never been squibbed before and was having anxiety over being shot on-screen. When he cries out, that is real panic on his part from having the squibs explode.
They were both a pleasure to work with and I’ll always be grateful for their courage as actors in taking on the roles.
After the “read more button” you can read the part about the scene with Edele.
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