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Gil Bellows, an Emmy-winning producer as well as a veteran actor, joined the cast of upcoming ‘House at the End of the Street’ as local law enforcement officer Bill Weaver, whose past relationship with the character of Ryan colors his budding romance with Sarah. “Gil has that cop masculinity, with a bit of darkness underneath,” says Elisabeth Shue. “That kind of mystery is really interesting.”
Weaver and Sarah meet when she tries to get information about Ryan’s past. They have an immediate spark. “Bill is the friendly face of law enforcement in town,” says Bellows. “Elisabeth Shue is a bundle of positivity and in this world if you’re a very positive person people seem to think that you must be crazy. I happen to think it’s just great and really good for everybody else’s general morale. I’ve always liked her from a distance and now I’ve had a chance to work with her up close and personal and she’s definitely a super cool lady.”
The police officer has protective feelings toward Ryan that have their roots deep in the past. “There’s a lot of history that goes back to well before Sarah and Elissa come to town and my character is a part of that,” he says. “They are struggling to understand the world that they’ve just stepped into. Part of what I do is give them some context because most of the townspeople are extremely judgmental about Ryan. I offer a slightly different perspective.
“A lot of bad things happened a long time ago,” says Bellows. “Weaver believes that the boy isn’t responsible. He sees both sides of who Ryan is. You get to see both sides of all the characters, really. We’re playing within a genre where people make snap judgments about whether this is a good character or this is a bad character. I think this film does a really good job of playing against that.”
The filmmakers are particularly proud to have discovered Eva Link, a gifted young actress from Ottawa, and given her a small but crucial role in her first film. “When you go into smaller cities, you never quite know how deep the talent pool is going to be,” says producer Aaron Ryder. “We were shocked to see how talented this young girl is. I don’t think she had done much more than a high school play, but she’s a real talent. She may take Hollywood by storm.”
In the end, the producer says, the entire cast’s commitment was critical to the success of the film. “Everybody was working towards the same endgame,” says Ryder. “We had a relatively short period to shoot and it was a tricky three-point balance. They had to be really dedicated to making the days, to finding the best parts of the characters, and making a fun movie. I think that we achieved that and in large part it’s because of these actors and the way they meshed together and took the job really seriously.”