Rupert Evans plays a mentally unstable husband in director Ivan Kavanaugh’s psychological thriller, The Canal. Evans’ character, David Williams, is a seemingly normal husband, until his life is turned upside after the disappearance and murder of his wife. “You see this character go through a lot of extreme emotions,” Evans told uInterview exclusively. “Betrayal and loss, and how he deals with that to try and discover the truth about really what happened.”

Kavanaugh (left, in video) wanted to make a horror film that pushed the limits of the genre. “I’ve heard all sorts [of explanations of the movie], people see it as purely a supernatural film, other people see it purely psychological, within [David’s] head and others see it as both,” Kavanaugh told uInterview. “And I think they’re all valid.”

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Q: Rupert, what’s the story behind your character? - Uinterview

RUPERT EVANS: I play a character called David Williams, in the movie The Canal, and the movie really centers around David. He is a normal kind of guy who has a wife and a relationship and is relatively happy and suddenly his whole life gets turned upside down by certain moments that happen with his wife and how his wife disappears and gets murdered. And so the story unfolds from there really. And it’s a psychological horror really about the truth behind that event and whether or not it was him or other forces within this house. So you see this character go through a lot of extreme emotions, betrayal and loss and how he deals with that to try and discover the truth about really what happened.

Q: Ivan, why did you want to make this movie? - Uinterview

IVAN KAVANAUGH: I made another horror film a few years ago called Tin Can Man, and I enjoyed the process so much that I really wanted to return to it. What I love about the horror genre is that you can push the medium to the furthest reaches. You can push the sound, you can push the image, you can do absolutely anything with horror, especially psychological horror, and you can really have fun with the medium, you know? And I was really eager to get back to that, and also as well, I was really eager to make a film about early cinema as well, and incorporate my love of early films and also make a film – there’s a multitude of reasons – and one of the main ones was I wanted to make a film that was ambiguous and from one person’s point of view which the film totally is. I think every single scene in the film- almost every scene in the film – is from Rupert’s point of view and every scene I think is colored by his psyche.

Q: Ivan, why did you want to make a thriller? - Uinterview

IK: My favorite types of films are films that are open to interpretation, that don’t give you all the answers, that leave you thinking after you’ve seen them you know? And I definitely wanted – there was more backstory in the script, but I kept paring away at it in the edit. Just to leave enough, a taste for mystery and leave room for the audience to dream and make their own interpretation of what happened. I’ve heard all sorts, of people see it as purely supernatural film, other people see it purely psychological within his head, and others see it as both. And I think they’re all valid. I have my own interpretation, but I’ll never say what that definitive interpretation is because I think everyone’s opinion is valid.

Q: Rupert, what were the challenges of playing an unstable character? - Uinterview

RE: A lot before we started the movie, we did a lot of improvisations about the characters and the relationships within the screenplay and getting a real understanding and clarity about where, who we were and really discovering the public and the private within each character and where the relationships were in the beginning of the movie and where they go. That was a starting point for us. And then, as the film unfolds, we, each day, we would kind of talk just to kind of discover, for the character, the kind of truth of where he thinks he is and what he believes is happening. Whether or not that’s the universal truth or the audience’s truth, is different. So, it was just about discovering where he is in the journey of this story. And that’s what kind of interests me really, is you see this guy changing and he goes through such an extraordinary kind of events through the story, through the film, so we would just plot that on a day to day basis and try to find the truth of that in each scene.

Q: How does jealousy influence the characters? - Uinterview

IK: It'€™s a staple of drama, isn'€™t it? It's as far back as Greek tragedies. Jealousy, it's a very strong human emotion. I don'€™t think, as you say, not everyone reacts in the same extreme way but it'€™s really interesting drama, you know, it can take you anywhere.
RE: I think blame is really interesting as well because its really interesting - it was interesting to me to see how people deal with betrayal and although you can blame the other person, I think sometimes you can blame yourself. And question whether it was your fault about what's happened.