At a special screening of “The Loft” — a remake of the Belgian thriller in which five male friends use a shared loft to conduct their extramarital exploits — the characters proved great at keeping secrets, but the ability to keep mum didn’t necessarily apply to the actors’ own lives. (The screening was held Tuesday night at the Directors Guild of America Theater.)
“No. Don’t tell me anything,” actor James Marsden joked when asked if he could keep a secret. His co-star Eric Stonestreet responded similarly: “No. Want me to tell you who did it? I won’t. I will! I won’t. I will.”
Wentworth Miller, another star of the film, was more coy. “Depends who you ask, and about what,” Miller said with a smirk. Isabel Lucas, female lead of “The Loft,” also gave a tempered response. “It can depend what the secret is. If it’s a secret with close friends and family, and I’m respecting something that’s intimate and personal for them, then yes.”
The only artist in attendance who was confident in his abilities as a confidant was the film’s director, Erik Van Looy. “Yes,” Van Looy said resoundingly. “I am good at keeping secrets.”
Perhaps Van Looy’s proclivity toward secrecy is what fueled his desire to direct the American remake of his own Belgian original “Loft,” which bowed abroad in 2008. “I’d rather make a good movie twice than a mediocre movie once,” Van Looy said.
Marsden agreed with the decision to keep the remake fairly similar to the original. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. But you do want to put your own stamp on it,” he said of the project, which he felt offered a unique opportunity. “These sort of thrillers you don’t see getting made much anymore. It sort of reminds me of ‘Fatal Attraction,’ movies like that.”
The current version of the thriller experienced a few growing pains after production began in 2011, including a casting switch (Karl Urban filled in for Patrick Wilson) and distributor squabbles.
“It’s a cool movie,” Stonestreet said. “It’s a testament to how good it is that it has fought through all the little battles of Hollywood that we can’t really control ourselves.”
Those who attended the screening shared Stonestreet’s enthusiasm about the film. He and “Modern Family” co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson spoke jovially after the credits rolled, and throughout the reception. Many Belgian filmmakers and members of the press were also present to support Van Looy and the rest of the Belgian crew.
Despite the intensity of the film, which is rife with violence and double-crossings, the evening’s vibe was palpably light. Most likely as a result of the years that elapsed between the film’s shoot and its American debut, all involved in “The Loft” behaved as though they were at a family reunion.
“It’s exciting,” said Marsden, who’d just returned from Sundance, where he was promoting his comedy “The D Train.” “I’m excited to see everybody again.”