March 24, 2016 / 2:19 PM / 2 years ago

Director and star draw from own experience for paranoia film 'Disorder'

LONDON (Reuters) - French director Alice Winocour and Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts said they drew on their own personal experiences for “Disorder”, a paranoia thriller about a former soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Director Alice Winocour arrives on the red carpet for the film "Disorder" during the 40th Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, September 17, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The film, released as “Maryland” in France last year, follows ex-special forces soldier Vincent, played by “Far from the Madding Crowd” actor Schoenaerts, whose job is to protect the family of a wealthy Lebanese businessman.

When his employer is called away, leaving Vincent to tend to the safety of his wife, played by Diane Kruger, and child, the ex-soldier fights his own paranoia while feeling that they are in danger.

Winocour said her own personal traumatic experience had been an inspiration for the film. “I had suffered from PTSD myself by giving birth to my daughter and almost died from pre-eclampsia with her,” she said.

“And that is what the film is about ... sensation, and the film is almost like a sensory experience and I wanted it to be very physical.”

    Schoenaerts said he was so anxious making the film that he could not sleep. “I was in a situation where I only had like three weeks’ prep and that gave me a lot of anxiety, I was so nervous and I was scared that I wasn’t going to make it.

“By accident, by being so nervous I slept ... two hours a night ... and I started to notice that I was having similar symptoms to what these guys were going through, so I pushed that button, and then of course I tried to study myself as I was going through it,” he said.

Schoenaerts, who also recently starred in the moody erotic thriller “A Bigger Splash”, added that the cast and crew started acting “funky” after two months of filming in the luxurious house around which the drama is centered.

    “That house in the beginning feels like a palace ... But if you spend two months, it becomes more of a prison, and people don’t like to be in jail, so everybody started acting funky.”

“Disorder” is released in UK cinemas on Friday.

Writing by Helena Williams and Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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