Tom Cullen and Tatiana Maslany on ‘The Other Half’ by Uinterview

Tatiana Maslany and Tom Cullen play a couple in their new film, The Other Half — and they are also a romantic pair in real life as well. The two have dated for the last five years, after meeting on the set of TV series World Without End.

“One of the scariest scenes was just the very first scene we ever shot together. Tom and I are obviously in a relationship and we know each other extremely well. And suddenly we’re doing a scene where it’s our first date, and we’re kind of like, why are we acting? Why are you wearing these clothes? We both kind of like, after the rehearsal, looked at each other, like, this is horrible,” Maslany told uInterview exclusively. “We’ll never be able to get through this. I can’t, you can’t take me seriously. It was just so bizarre.”

Cullen had a deep appreciation for being on the set with people he was familiar with. “There’s a real emotional rawness to the film, which as an actor, is a really scary place to go to,” Cullen told uInterview. “It’s always quite hard work to strip everything away. A lot of it was really difficult, but it was great to work with friends in a safe environment. Which means you can go to quite difficult places.”

In The Other Half, Cullen plays Nickie, a man overwhelmed with grief after his brother had disappeared five years ago. Maslany portrays Emily, a woman suffering from bipolar disorder, a mental disorder characterized by alternating periods of elation and depression.

“I think their initial attraction is that they recognize there is a big hole in their stomachs, and they’re two people who are in pain, and they recognize that pain in each other,” Cullens said of the characters’ dynamic. “So with they do is they offer up each other a chance of something better, and redemption, and it works for a while.”

The Other Half hits theaters on March 10. Check out the mesmerizing trailer below:

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Q: What is the story behind your characters? -

Tom: My character, I play a guy called Nickie, who when we see him at the top of the film, he is stuck in a moment of grief. His brother disappeared five years previously. We see a very hurt man struggling with his life, and then he meets Emily.

Tatiana: Who is, how do I say this? She's hiding the fact that she's bipolar, and wanting to be defined by not that. I think the beginning of the film speaks a lot to those things that we hide in ourselves when we first meet somebody in the sort of version of ourselves that we present forward that isn't the full complete truth of who we are. And I think in a universal way it sort of talks about intimacy, and seeing each other truly, and being your true full self with each other.

Q: How do your characters end up together? -

Tom: I think their initial attraction is that they recognize there is a big whole in their stomachs, and they're two people who are in pain, and they recognize that pain in each other. So with they do is they offer up each other a chance of something better, and redemption, and it works for a while. But I think human nature is that things begin to unfurl and unfold and that's where the film moves through. And you see these two people in pain trying to make a better life together.

Q: What was the most challenging scene in the film? -

Tatiana: I feel like there were a lot of challenges in different ways. For me one of the scariest scenes was just the very first scene we ever shot together. Because Tom and I are obviously in a relationship and we know each other extremely well. And suddenly we're doing a scene where it's our first date, and we're kind of like, why are we acting? Why are you wearing these clothes? We both kind of like, after the rehearsal, looked at each other, like, this is horrible. We'll never be able to get through this. I can't, you can't take me seriously. It was just so bizarre. I guess getting over that initial fear of diving into this very intense material together.

Tom: And we shot it in a very short space of time, so it was really intense, really high octave. It was a wild experience, it was all very tough. But also completely fun. I hope that translates.

Tatiana: Totally. And that scene, the bench scene at the end of the film. That was a hard one. I was finding it very difficult to access the depth of what Emily was feeling in that moment. But the joy of having a scene partner like Tom who's not only an incredible actor, but knows me extremely well, and is so generous. He gave me everything, he was there with me, helping me, working with me, through that scene. Which is exactly what Emily and Nickie are doing in that moment. She doesn't know what to do, and he's giving her everything. So the generosity of that allowed me to move through that scene, and we found the truth of it, together.

Tom: There's a real emotional rawness to the film, which as a actor, is a really scary place to go to. It's always quite hard work to strip everything away. A lot of it was really difficult, but it was great to work with friends in a safe environment. Which means you can go to quite difficult places.