Daly still shivers when he recalls the grueling shoot, working through the nights during a freezing cold Dublin winter with the two very young and often very cold and fed up leads, Curry and O’Neill, grousing about the hours and the conditions.
“The film was a nightmare to make but it turned out nicely in the end. Kelly always stood out as very beautiful and very smart, but when I realized how quick a learner she was that clinched it. She had an immediate intuitive understanding of what acting is,” says Daly.
“Shane was much more enigmatic and, like any good leading man, it took a little while for him to reveal how quick witted and charming he really was. I remember we thought he was like a Dublin River Phoenix. And he was the only one who wouldn't allow Kelly to tell him what to do, because he's a streetwise character, so they were a good match.”
Getting international distribution is one of the most difficult elements of movie making, and it’s a major vote of confidence in a film whenever it occurs. Kisses was picked up by Focus Features, one of the most important independent studios in the world, after the Toronto Film Festival, where it wowed critics and audiences alike, and so the emerging Irish director felt like he’d crossed a crucial career milestone.
Sure enough new proposals flooded in with stars attached to them. But the one that most caught Daly’s attention was The Good Doctor, an Alfred Hitchcock-like thriller about a frustrated doctor who’s desperately eager to impress his colleagues.
When a young female patient gives him all the praise and attention he’s been craving, Orlando Bloom’s unscrupulous doctor messes around with her treatment so she has to spend more time in the hospital with him. It’s a shocking premise, and the word is that Bloom is sensational in the role.
Adds Daly, “Each day Bloom’s doctor keeps the girl just sick enough to leave her in his care. They form a close bond, but events spiral out of control. Soon he has no choice but to cover his tracks by any means necessary...” That’s the kind of high stakes set up Daly excels at.
Kisses opens in New York and Los Angles on July 16.