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About The Production
Hush began principal photography on April 15, 1997

Hush began principal photography on April 15, 1997. The cities of Orange, Charlottesville and Richmond, located in the heart of Virginia's horse country, served as primary locations.

Co-writer/director Darby's original concept began with the overall idea of "a mother who won't let go and the division between 'good motherhood' and 'bad motherhood.'" Darby was fascinated with the mother/son relationship which is, as he describes, "the only love affair that always ends in departure."

Darby expanded this idea to encompass the entire concept of family, focusing on how each character is trying to hold on to their own version of family. "Freud probably still said it best," states Darby, "that families are all imagined constructs, and each member imagines different views of family. In Hush, Martha wants her son never to grow up, to always be with her. Helen wants the family and the mother she never had and Jackson wants to be free to become his own individual. And so this collision happens in this triangle between these three characters who all want their own version of family. It's a triangle that constantly changes and shifts," explains Darby. "You see different moments in this film from different points of view."

Producer Douglas Wick agrees with Darby about the dual nature of the characters' feelings about home and family, which Hush so vividly illuminates: "You have the happy Christmases, the cuddly, safe, warm family life, and then you have the rawness and pain of the formative years, the pain with parents, the pain of growing up." Initially, Helen seeks a stable, storybook home life, but as her suspicions about Martha's devious nature intensify, she is more and more alienated from the family and her husband. She finds comfort in Jackson's grandmother, who slowly lets her in on the truth about Martha Baring.

Wick was intrigued by the complex emotional underpinnings of the story. "It's really hard to find a good thriller with some kind of genuine psychological base," comments Wick. "Hush had a really fascinating idea for a villain. It took the tension and power struggles of a normal family and built on them slowly, until it goes from being a little bit disturbed to actually dangerous."

The casting of this villain-and the other principals-was crucial to bringing this troubled family triangle to life. Wick and Darby cast three immensely gifted actors: double Oscar® winner Jessica Lange, one of the hottest young actresses in Hollywood, Gwyneth Paltrow, and up-and-coming heartthrob Johnathon Schaech.

Explains Wick, "Hitchcock says that 'a thriller is only as good as its villain.' We felt extremely fortunate in the casting of our first choice, Jessica Lange, in the role of Martha Baring." Darby, who describes the character of Martha as "someone who loves her son with a passion that is ultimately fatal to both of them," knew that they needed an imposing presence for the role-an actress who is seductive, attractive, and charismatic but who possesses the ability to really push buttons. "Just by having Jessica Lange in the cast," remarks Wick, "the audience is automatically put at ease. I mean, who wouldn't want to be around Jessica Lange? She's beautiful, she's smart, and she gave us big leg up as opposed to having some dowdy, shrill woman playing the part."

Darby concurs with Wick. "Jessica brought her own glamour to the part of Martha, like Grace Kelly might have," he says. "We hoped to evoke that old kind<


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