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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