This is quite a dark, emotional movie. Did you have time to unwind at the end of the day or stop to keep the mood light on set?
Brendan: I would say just in real life, Emmett and I are, like, total smartasses and love to have fun and we're always laughing and goofing around on set. But for the sake of the actors, we really had to create an environment where they could really be in the moment. We did start off shooting the heavy scenes, for probably the first 10 days or so, it was very intense. They'd come on to set and the actors would be pacing around and be in the room and wouldn't want to come out, so they could really be in the scene. They wouldn't want to come out and look at the lighting or mess with the hair and makeup or anything like that. So, we really tried to create a scene and try to keep as much of the crew back as possible to where they could come on and perform.
It's tough that way, because we had a movie set where we had a million things going on and we're trying to keep the train moving and do all the things that you have to do in a day, but first and foremost you have to just create an environment where the actors can be in that moment. And they really were that way. Like Jennifer and the kids especially really wanted to have that time to get lost in that moment, to be that character. So, we really had to create an environment where they weren't in any way thrown off by all the distractions of a movie set.
Emmett: I think it stayed pretty heavy the whole way through, to be honest. Like, it was new terrain for Brendan and I and I think we were up for it, we had prepared for it. I think the one thing is that we shot most of it in this house or right around the house. I feel like we'd be cool, everybody would be pretty as they were when they're getting oatmeal in the morning and just saying hello while everybody's getting ready, but when we walked into the house, it got real thick -- the energy -- in a good way, where there was an intensity that you wanted. That's why the movie was able to be as dramatic as it is, because when we checked into that house it was on and we became versions of who we had to be to pull off this movie.
When Jennifer was in those seminal scenes, like her husband leaving or on the tennis court where she confronts him, some of those emotional outburst caught me so off guard. I was just watching them and as much as we were paying attention to it as a scene, she got so-- Like, when she turned the corner and came in on some of those scenes, they completely floored me. They made me feel like I was really in this moment where a long-term relationship with kids is ending and, as somebody at the forefront of that in their lives, it tripped me out. It left a permanent mark like, "I don't really want to f**k up like this."
The Tribes of Palos Verdes opens in select theaters and is available on demand Dec. 1.