Despite starring in movies with big cultural impacts, like Thirteen, Lords of Dogtown, and, of course, the Twilight saga, Nikki Reed has never been able to completely watch one of her films. That was until she went to Austin for the SXSW Film Festival.
Reed —along with her co-star Thomas Dekker, writer/co-director Victor Teran and co-director Youssef Delara — premiered their psychological drama Snap to SXSW audiences, and the actress was thankful to have them (and her husband Paul McDonald) by her side.
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"I've never actually been able to successfully sit through a film premiere for a movie that I'm in," Reed admitted to Hollywood.com during an interview at SXSW. "I'm overly self-conscious and it makes me nervous and I can't really enjoy the film. I basically held hands with Thomas and my husband on both sides." Reed added, "I will say, regardless of all of those horrible insecurities, I felt really proud and really excited to be a part of this."
Snap follows the story of Jim, a talented dubstep musician suffering from schizophrenia (played by Jake Hoffman), who meets and falls for a social worker named Wendy. Their relationship quickly takes a turn for the worse when the voices in Jim's head (shown as a physical manifestation named Jake, played by Dekker) get louder and louder, and Wendy and all those around Jim fear for his life and their own.
"It's a stimulating and provoking picture, ultimately we wanted to take people on a journey," Delara told Hollywood.com. Teran, who worked with Delara on 2012's Filly Brown added, "[Snap] explores the voices that we all have in our heads, not necessarily just with schizophrenics: the negative voice that everybody has, the voice of insecurity."
Just as the experience for the moviegoer is a challenging one, it certainly challenged the actors during the movie-making process as well. For Dekker, Snap was a welcome change of pace. "I've played the victim so much more than playing the instigator, so that was new for me. [It] was such a release of energy with this rage and with this attitude. It was intense, but in a pleasurable way," the actor said, adding, "whereas I think it was a little different for Nikki."
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Reed said that while she would make a film like Snap again, she struggled with the subject matter and the intense nature of the movie. "It was really kind of a disturbing process for me, and I didn't even realize that until I was done," the actress said. "It's funny how the people around you can understand. Like, my mom said, 'I'm so happy you're done with that movie,' just because everyone else is so affected by what you're going through."
"Wendy is constantly questioning who she is and what she's doing, the choices she's making. Was that appropriate? Was that inappropriate? Everything about her became everything about what I was doing in my performance," Reed said. "That's who I became, I was questioning everything I was doing. It was a hard place to be in for so long."
Still, despite how hard the process was, the choice was a no-brainer for Reed post-Twilight phenomenon. "Twilight was a huge part of my life...I don't feel the need to quickly let that go and kick that to the curb, but I'm always drawn to good material, and this was easily one of the best scripts I've read in my career," she said of signing on for Snap.
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Another thing that made Reed happy about the project was the role of Wendy itself. "As a girl, you don't normally find such complex characters written for women, where it's not about sexuality, and it's not about being pretty." Reed said, "That was something I really appreciated about this."
[Photo credit: John Sciulli/Getty Images]
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Eighteen-year-old Nick Powell (Justin Chatwin) has been for reasons too convoluted to go into left for dead. But his body’s still alive and his spirit – stuck in limbo – continues to interact with those around him desperately trying to communicate his existential plight before his body – hidden in a storm drain - expires. Being caught between life and death is probably a scary place but it’s likely more compelling than depicted here. The cause of Nick’s current dilemma is Annie Newton (Margarita Levieva) a juvenile delinquent and classmate of Nick’s whose troubled upbringing turned her into such a teen terror. Nick must try and compel Annie to locate his body but it takes an inordinate amount of time to do it during which the story – and the film as a whole - falls apart. After awhile it’s difficult to work up much sympathy to say nothing of any interest for what happens to these characters. Chatwin (Tom Cruise’s son in War of the Worlds) scores his first big-screen lead here and does about as well as can be expected under the circumstances which are fairly dire. With better material this might have been a decent showcase for his leading-man qualities. Better luck next time. Not nearly as fortunate is Levieva playing the prettiest leader of a high-school crime ring in recent memory. One minute she’s playing it tough and thrashing Nick within an inch of his life. The next she’s tearfully admonishing her little brother (Alex Ferris) not to make the same mistakes she made. It’s a terrible role and worse an inconsistent one. The biggest name in the cast Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden plays Nick’s domineering mother. Like many of the roles in the film it’s strictly one-note. Still it’s nice having a pro like Harden on hand – even if the film goes out of its way to squander her talents. Only Callum Keith Rennie as the obligatory detective on the case manages to bring a little credibility to the proceedings. So naturally the film ignores him for long stretches. David S. Goyer is better known – and rightly so – for the films he’s written (Dark City Batman Begins and the Blade films) than the ones he’s directed (Blade: Trinity anyone?). But the true blame here falls on screenwriters Mick Davis and Christine Roum whose attempt to combine a supernatural storyline doused with teen angst fails miserably. At times The Invisible feels like leftovers from The Sixth Sense Ghost Jacob's Ladder The Butterfly Effect (yikes!) any number of Twilight Zone episodes and even Groundhog Day. The Invisible is based on a Swedish novel and a previous film but like the many Asian chillers that undergo an “Americanized” remake something has been lost in the translation – starting with credibility even on its own terms. So many movies undergo reshoots these days but rarely has an entire movie felt like a reshoot. The Invisible has that dubious distinction.