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Home | Interviews | Interview: Norbert Keil (Replace)

Interview: Norbert Keil (Replace)

Gerascophobia: the fear of aging

Hi Norbert, Tell us a little about Replace?

Norbert- The idea for Replace came to me because aging terrifies me. The… decaying of my own body. I had a back operation years ago. I had to face my own body not functioning the way I wanted it to. The thought of it terrified me and I was looking for a way to put that into a story. When I talked to people about it, I found that a large number of people share that fear of aging. Some people cope better with it, some not as well. I belong to the group that doesn’t cope as well. So, I tried to put that into Replace.

Replace touches on those internal fears that some of us don’t want to age. What do you think bothers us about aging? Watching Replace sort of made me think, oh I just want to go back and stay a certain age. What do you think?

Norbert- YES! Absolutely. Actually, that is what people are researching. Scientist told Barbara Crampton (She portrays Dr. Rafaela Crober). She lives near San Francisco and there are institutes there and she was lucky enough to gather with some of the researchers. They are looking to square the curve of aging. That means you and I will probably see that happen. People will go to a certain age, the way you explained it now. They will get to twenty or thirty and you will stop aging until… at some point you will drop dead. The internal clock of the self can be slowed down or stopped.

The effects in Replace are crazy. I am not really bothered by much but the flesh scenes look real and that decaying flesh scenes. It almost makes you uncomfortable and it’s creepy… But, in a good way.

Norbert- Thank you. Thank you that is a compliment. We did use different material. You have to use latex. I made a comparison that it should look like it has Shredded wheat in it. They actually tried to mix Shredded wheat into latex. It gave off the look of what dried up skin or sunburned skin looks like. We tested how to light it so it looks good. There are so many brilliant effect people out there. But, if you light it right, a good effect will look even better. It was a team effort.

They did do a great job. What was it like working with this cast? Barbara Crampton, Rebecca Forsythe, Lucie Aron?

Norbert- It truly was a pleasure directing everyone. I’m really only directing here. Sometimes you have to teach acting or tell them how to prepare but I was blessed because everyone came fully prepared. We talked about back stories. Especially with Rebecca, we talked about her life that she lived prior to the film. Barbara went out and researched for Dr. Crober. She (Dr. Crober) went a little far, you might argue? But our process was to dig really deep into the back stories of the characters. It always becomes an emotional choice.

What would you like to say to the people who will be watching Replace? What would you like them to take away from the film?

Norbert- That’s a really good question. I’ve never. No one has asked that. What I want them to take away what I wanted to take away is that we all accept that our lives are full of love and choices. Those choices make us and eventually we’ll grow old and decay. It is a part of life. We should embrace the time we have. I think cheating would catch up to us and as much as I would love to live super long. The people I love would die and it would be lonely.

I agree. It would be amazing to live as long as you could or live forever but it wouldn’t be great if you couldn’t have friends and family with you.

Norbert- Yes. With kids who can have every toy they want. They don’t appreciate anything anymore. I think if you could live a thousand years you wouldn’t appreciate the loved ones. It would be sad.

I agree. I liked the scientific aspect of this movie. It makes you think, it invokes certain feelings. It was different. I really felt for Kira (Rebecca Forsythe) and it was a great film.

Norbert- Thank you. We all worked really hard to bring that to the screen.

Without giving away spoilers. Did you have a favorite moment in the movie?

Norbert- Without spoilers? I really liked the scene where Kira gives in to her impulses and goes to the morgue to try something. All of the choices we came up with and what my composer did. It sends chills down my spine every time I watch it.

I liked that scene. It didn’t freak me out. The scene that put a lot in perspective was when she sees her older reflection in the mirror. That was intense and it stood out. And Barbara Crampton as Dr. Crober is standing over her and slowly takes tape off her mouth. I had goosebumps.

Norbert- Oh, (laughter) I have to tell you my favorite line in the film. It’s when Barbara scolds her. I think it was so dark and funny because she treats her like a ten year old child. I have to smile at that and Barbara is so great because she combines the mother figure but also that mad scientist. That is my favorite.

What are you working on next?

Norbert- I am working on a movie that is about loneliness. I can’t spoil it too much because we are in the middle of casting.

I thank you Norbert. Thank you for taking the time to chat with Horrornews.net

Norbert- Thank you. Thank you for the kind words.








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