Keshishian, who recently helmed documentary “Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me,” revealed that Murphy was “troubled” during the production of the rom-com film co-starring Matthew Rhys and Catherine Tate.
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“Brittany was an amazing light,” Keshishian told The Independent. “But she had a lot of demons. I was protective of her.”
Keshishian continued, “I was making it in the city I loved, with an amazing crew and an amazing producer, but it was troubled, because I had a troubled actress in the lead.”
He added, “I considered shutting down the movie, but that would have put 70 crew members out of work. So we carried on…I think that affected me.”
Murphy died in 2009 at age 32. Her mysterious passing was ultimately ruled as an accident as a result of pneumonia and the effects of various over-the-counter drugs; her husband Simon Monjack also died one year later from the same combination of pneumonia and anemia.
“Love and Other Disasters” was Keshishian’s last film before the Apple TV+ documentary on pop star Gomez. Keshishian admitted that his experience on the film influenced his decision to stop filming in 2016 when Gomez was struggling with her mental health. The “Only Murders in the Building” star was ultimately diagnosed with bipolar depression. The duo resumed the documentary in 2019.
“I could sense the wheels were coming off. I saw this girl going through a lot of pain. It felt exploitative for me to have cameras [there] while she’s in the thick of it,” Keshishian said. “You start realizing movies are what you do — they’re not the be-all and end-all. That’s why in 2016, I was like, ‘This isn’t right — I don’t want to film this.’ Selena needed to live through that and hopefully get better and figure it all out.”
Keshishian added with a caveat: “If I was still 24, I probably wouldn’t have stopped. I would have been, like, ‘Oh, this fascinates me — let’s just keep rolling.’ But I do hope that I’ve gotten wiser with age. I hope I’ve gotten more compassionate.”
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