Joshua Jackson and Rachael Taylor joined cast members John Hensley ("Nip/Tuck"), David Denman ("The Office") and Korean-born James Kyson Lee ("Heroes") in Tokyo for what would be a working and living experience completely different from any they'd had before.
"I've shot in a lot of foreign countries and it always presents little challenges, but I've never been in a culture that's so foreign to my own," Jackson says. "The culture is so fundamentally different. Just the basic level of human interaction is based upon different ideals and ideas."
That was complicated by the fact that the foreigners had to communicate with director Ochiai via an interpreter, Chiho Asada. Fortunately, says Jackson, "she was a phenomenal translator. She had lived in the States and not only could translate the words but the context."
Jackson also had to learn several passages in Japanese (Ben is supposed to be fluent, having lived there in the past). "They cut out a lot of the Japanese that I speak in the American version," he says. "There's much more of it in the Japanese version of the movie."
For Taylor, who welcomed the challenge of using an American accent in "Shutter," it was also challenging to work with someone who doesn't speak English. "That dilutes the relationship you have with a director," she says. "But at the same time it was fascinating to me the way I could communicate with him in ways that were nonverbal. We really had an understanding by the end of the movie."
Taylor found Tokyo's architecture, fashion and art inspiring, but she did experience some of the same difficulties as Jane did. "It was a very isolating experience for a Westerner," she says, noting that she felt invisible, "like I wasn't there. But it worked for the movie because that's kind of the character's journey as well."