Like many of the best moviemakers in the business, M. Night Shyamalan lives his work. His characters are part of his own personality and as he sits down to pen the screenplay for his follow up to his 2016 sleeper hit Split starring James McAvoy, the director took to Twitter to say that the tension is getting to him - even on paper!
"Writing climax of the new film," he posted. "Had to step away. Heart pounding. Too scared and worried for the characters. Writing really is like acting."
In the knowledge that Split is a spinoff from Unbreakable, only Shyamalan understands how the superheroes/supervillains will intertwine. But if the subject material has him this excited, it should be a good sign!
M. Night: J Mac Helped Drive The Standards on Set
How the hell did James McAvoy nail his 'Split' performance so perfectly? M. Night Shyamalan and the cast talk about the acting process behind the smash hit.
Posted by Collider.com on Monday, April 17, 2017
Fronting an exclusive from Collider that showcased the director and cast talking about the production for the thriller, Shyamalan argued that his main man McAvoy committed to the role in the most immersive fashion possible as he allowed the filmmaker to drive his personal vision for the project.
"With James (McAvoy) and myself it was one of those rare, wonderful things where your lead actor just gave in, in the most complex role I've ever written. He just gave in," said Shyamalan. "To the point where like I'd go home and call him and I'd say, 'We didn't get it today. We're going to come back and get this - I don't even need to look at the daily. We didn't get it.' And he goes, 'I know.' And then fear goes away and then desire to find him or her comes up and we go back and we get it the next day."
Brutal Honesty The Key To Night's Success
While McAvoy is accustomed to the big stage, 21-year old supporting actress Anya Taylor-Joy is very new to this environment. But from her experience, Shyamalan's open and honest appraisal during shooting was just the recipe for success as she took on the part of Casey Cooke.
"I don't have to worry whether I'm doing a good job or not because if I'm not doing a good job he's (Shyamalan) going to tell me," said Taylor-Joy. "It takes a lot of weight off my shoulders because he's seeing it. So I can feel a certain way about the character and I can feel a certain way about a choice, but then he can see it in the wide lens of the movie and tell me if it works or not."
But it was not just the uninitiated who enjoyed making the title, as veteran actress Betty Buckley had a ball in the role of Dr. Karen Fletcher.
"He conceived the project. He wrote the script. He knows how he needs to tell the story and then it's up to you as an actor to give him that. I love working with him and so it simplifies what can be overcomplicated in my process."