The brothers are, naturally, three of Silva’s brothers. ‘Can you imagine it? I could freely bully them,’ he laughs. ‘They are smart, charismatic kids. There’s a scene where everyone shares their fears. It was not scripted and it was very emotional to hear theirs.’
In fact, little in the project was scripted. Silva came up with the idea while he and Cera were waiting to film another feature (Magic Magic, which opens this April) and the cast and crew undertook a road trip. ‘We were staying in shacks in the national park with no hot water,’ says Silva. ‘Michael was sleeping in bunk beds with my brothers in a room that stunk like arse.’
They also all drank mescaline Silva made from San Pedro. ‘Michael was kind of terrified but he and the kids [Silva’s brothers] took their dose and it didn’t really kick in,’ says Silva.
‘Gaby took it on a different day and took a double dose because she got impatient – then it really kicked in for her. There's a moment in the movie when she is trying to bring a rabbit back to life. Those eyes! You can never ask an actor to give you those eyes.’ Silva says he is often drawn to strong female characters.
‘There is something more dramatic about woman characters, they can act from their guts and can be a little more unexpected,’ he says. Does making Hollywood movies appeal? ‘I don’t know if I am going to make something that I wouldn’t be proud of,’ he says. ‘It is not that I need to have final say myself but I would have to be 100 per cent sure the person who does is someone I trust.’