And I Miss You Like A Little Kid: An Interview With Director Benjamin Hosking
What inspired you to make the film?
Originally I thought about making a film about childhood mental health, which is a passion of mine. That changed during lockdown, when I found myself in a relationship with someone who was emotionally and psychologically abusive. I got out of that, and I realised that I needed to tell a story about it. Partly to process it, but also to help others with similar experiences to process it. I haven’t seen a film about a man being abused in a relationship during lockdown, so I thought I would be the first person to make that.
What do you enjoy most about directing?
My favourite part of directing is two-fold. One is that I’m the coffee filter. On set all the ideas come through and percolate. I get to make this beautiful, consistent brew out of all the ideas me and my team have.
I also really like working with actors to develop character. I come at directing from a psychological standpoint - it's all about understanding people. That’s why I get on so well with actors, because they also want to understand people. Their job is to feel the feelings of their character, and my job is to feel the feelings of the whole story. We’re very close in that way.
I don’t get flustered as a director. What sometimes happens is that directors can get paralysed, and that doesn’t happen to me
Did you make this film during the pandemic?
We started to shoot the film in June 2021. Then it went through post-production, which took slightly longer because of the backlog that the post-production houses were dealing with. It took months to get that sorted. We got the project done in late February or early March this year.
I made it roughly a year after the experience that partly inspired it.
Were there any other other challenges while making the film?
About a week before shooting, the actor who was going to play Clarissa dropped out, so we had to find a replacement quickly. Luckily, we managed to get the script in front of Teri Reeves, who immediately accepted the role. We went through three wagons. We had a crew and cast wagon, a bathroom and then a hair and makeup room. The first and second one broke, and thankfully the third one was good for the remainder of production.
My sets generally run smoothly, I usually don’t have major issues. I don’t get flustered as a director - what sometimes happens is that directors can get paralysed, and that doesn’t happen to me.
When I get onto set, a switch flips in my head and I go from my anxious, self-doubting self to a confident director. I attribute that to how my brain works. I don’t write in sequence, I write in parallel, meaning that I might write my conclusion alongside my second paragraph, and eventually meld it together. That way of working works well on film because my job requires me to bounce between many different aspects of the film. Juggling that is something that I am good at. The scattered nature of my brain works well on set because of this.
Actors aren’t puppets, and I’m not the puppeteer; they're humans who bring themselves to the role
How was working with your actors?
Chris Zylka (Jason) prefers method acting, so situates himself in the feelings of the character he’s playing. He comes up with his own system. We talked a lot about how what he’s doing fits into the story. He could do two takes, both perfect from an acting standpoint, but one would be better for the story. That’s a great thing about working with Chris because he was very aware of that.
Teri comes from a theatre background and likes to know the full backstory of her character. So she and I built a background that she could drop into, whereas Chris didn’t need that. Both of those acting techniques are valid. One of the things I love as a director is working with my actors to find out where they are and what they want to do, and just collaborating with them. The actors aren’t puppets, and I’m not the puppeteer; they're humans who bring themselves to the role. As much as Jason represents elements of me, he also represents elements of Chris.
What’s next for you?
We’re waiting on some more festivals for this film. I’m pitching a feature film that I’m hopeful to shoot in September, a psychological thriller about falling in love with a sociopath.