Two Lovers and a Bear an intense, unconventional Arctic love story
Tatiana Maslany and Dane DeHaan share their experience filming in Iqaluit
Two Lovers and a Bear is a dark, thrilling and unconventional love story set in Canada's North, showcasing an otherworldly landscape that takes a starring role.
"I wanted to capture the Arctic and also to capture the people, how they live in Iqaluit," Montreal director Kim Nguyen told CBC News.
At the heart of the film are two lost souls played by Emmy-winning actress Tatiana Maslany and actor Dane DeHaan. They portray southerners working in Nunavut who've found each other while living in a remote community.
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The tortured lovers embark on a journey to try to build a future together, while on the run from their past.
It was so exciting. I don't think I'd foreseen what it would be like.- Tatiana Maslany
"We landed and it was ice...just snow. It was so exciting. I don't think I'd foreseen what it would be like," Maslany said of the six-week shoot in Iqaluit.
The duo spend a lot of time onscreen snowmobiling across the stark northern landscape — scenes captured under daily challenges that included limited sunlight and risk of frostbite. Still, Orphan Black star Maslany said experiencing the conditions enhanced the filmmaking process.
"It all kind of contributes to the feeling and to the atmosphere," she said.
DeHaan, known for HBO's In Treatment and films like The Place Beyond the Pines, Kill Your Darlings and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, spent a week in Iqaluit on his own before filming started and called the experience eye-opening.
"The people were so helpful and embraced me and showed me what it was like."
Two Lovers touches on magical realism — there's that bear from the title, voiced by Canadian acting icon Gordon Pinsent. But the two young stars are film's main focus and share intense, intimate scenes throughout.
"She is so talented. She was so open and easy to trust," DeHaan said of his Canadian co-star.
"I wouldn't have done it without an acting partner that was committed and open to the experience. And Tatiana was that."
For Maslany, the feeling was mutual.
"I know there were times when I would be in a scene and I was lost...and I could feel him know that, and help me."
Two Lovers and a Bear opens in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa on Friday and in select theatres across Canada later this fall.