Ellen Page faces the apocalypse in survival drama Into the Forest
Page and Evan Rachel Wood star as sisters who survive a widespread power failure
"I put them through the wringer, actually," Patricia Rozema said of Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood, the two young stars of her new post-apocalyptic coming-of-age drama Into the Forest.
"Evan broke all the capillaries in her eyes when she was doing that one terrible, terrible scene. Ellen learned how to butcher animals," the Canadian filmmaker recounted to CBC.
Into the Forest tells the story of two teen sisters surviving alone in their remote forest home in a fictional, near-future land called Cascadia. In reality, the film was shot in British Columbia.
Into the Forest came about after Page (Juno, X-Men: Days of Future Past) brought Jean Hegland's 1996 novel of the same name to Rozema's attention and suggested the director write an adaptation of the book for film.
She also suggested Rozema cast both herself and Wood (The Ides of March, True Blood) as the two lead characters.
After they both agreed to the project, the two actresses spent time together so they'd be as comfortable as real sisters when it came time to shoot the film.
Despite the shoot being emotionally and physically demanding, the pair were fun on set, Rozema recalled.
"They had a really strong chemistry and they're both highly intelligent," she said.
"As a director, you just call 'Action!' and magic is appearing."
Into the Forest opens in Canadian theatres Friday.