Secrets, lies, guilt, and making bad and good choices are the themes that led U.S. director Brad Anderson to create Transsiberian, a suspense film filled with intrigue, death, and secrecy about a train ride between Europe and Asia gone awry.
The director of The Machinist says the story began ruminating in his mind over 20 years ago, and that he wanted the train to be a central figure in which guilt and paranoia chase each other off the rails.
“When I graduated from college in 1988, I made this trip between Russia and China on the Transsiberian and I always had this idea in the back of my mind. Later I realized that what better place could there be to hide and escape than on a moving train,” said Anderson in a Central Park hotel in New York City.
“This, along with the exotic landscape that surrounds the journey made for the perfect place to set a story where there are no simple characters. In other words, in this world, nothing is black and white. Anything can happen, and we all are a lot more complex than we think.
“No matter what, we’ve all felt guilty about something in our lifetime. Not necessarily a crime, but something we can never really escape from,” said the director, who also wrote the screenplay.
Actress Emily Mortimer also shares her director’s opinion. She stars as Jessie, a married woman who find herself caught up in complicated web with another passenger who ends up dead.
“My character proves that secrets are an essential part of life, and the movie has its merits in that it doesn’t simplify people, but rather shows them as very multifaceted beings,” said the 36-year-old British actress, adding that some scenes shot in Russia in the dead of winter were very interesting. “Oh yes, the cold ended up being very useful, because it hit us hard and provided the story, and us, with some added character,” she joked.
The actress also revealed that one of the best parts about making the film was working with people from different cultures and races. “This movie was multicultural because there were Hispanic, Germans, Russians, Lithuanians, Americans, and Brits, and the best part was feeling that although a lot of us didn’t understand each other, that human beings are stronger than the barrier of language, and we’re all riding the same train.”