Teresa Palmer’s New Film Features A Discovery of Witches Reunion


A discovery of witches could have ended earlier this year, but Teresa Palmer had already planned a meeting for fans in a very different type of project.

The twin — now available to watch on Shudder — sees Palmer play Rachel who, following a tragic accident that killed one of their twins, moves halfway around the world with her husband Anthony (A discovery of witches co-star Steven Cree) and their son Elliot.

However, this is a horror movie, so Rachel’s move to the peaceful Scandinavian countryside soon takes an ominous turn as Elliot begins to claim that he is actually her brother Nathan. And as if that weren’t enough, Rachel begins to suspect that malevolent forces are trying to take control of her son…

On the occasion of its release, digital spy sat down with Teresa Palmer to talk about the unexpected A discovery of witches reunion, his return to the horror genre, and how the movie began to bleed into his real life.

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Watch The Twin on Shudder

The twin mixes folk horror with ‘kids are scary’ vibes that will prove a solid mix for horror fans, but what drew you to the film?

It was above all the character. I thought playing her would be a unique challenge for me. I am a mother myself, and the complexity of the situation she faces is quite difficult.

And I thought the way it was written was really refreshing. She was very vulnerable and flawed, and had to go to great lengths to try to deal with this exorbitant amount of trauma she was dealing with.

The script was a real page-turner. The moment I got it, I started reading it, and I had to sit in one place and didn’t move until the very end. It was so captivating.

As a parent, did this help you understand where Rachel came from in the face of this horrible situation?

Absolutely. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare for something like this to happen, and it takes my breath away. I read it and felt such an emotional connection to his journey. I kept allowing myself to go, in terms of what that heartbreak would feel like. It was absolutely paralyzing.

It was pretty hard to go through, actually, because I was pregnant throughout filming. I went into labor at 13 weeks pregnant and finished at 22 weeks pregnant.

teresa palmer as rachel, the twin

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So here I am, portraying a woman who has gone through the most horrific trauma imaginable. But I also have new life in my belly, and I try to ignore the fact that I have this little person moving and squirming inside me as I describe these horrible things.

It was quite interesting to go through, a lot of complex emotions came out. I thought I was doing a really good job of disconnecting at the end of the day. But I started having dreams, and the story seeped into my nightmares, so it definitely hit me pretty close to home.

It must have been hard to separate the two…

I woke up sweating and saw my children next to me, and I started counting them all. I have so many [laughs]… ‘Okay, we’re good, we’re good’.

But, yeah, it really touched me, just the journey of this woman. I think it speaks to the way this character is written. I believed in every choice she made. I can imagine not even wanting to wake up the next morning, and the lengths she has to go to protect herself from this deep grief – it’s very intense.

It was a wonderful script, and a wonderful team of people who did it. So I felt very honored that they cast me as Rachel.

And in that cast you have Steven Cree and Barbara Marten, who you both worked with on A discovery of witches. How nice was it to have these people that you knew when dealing with such a difficult subject?

Yeah absolutely. You know, the movie was set with me and another person playing my husband. It kind of fell through, so I was like, “Wait, my friend from A discovery of witcheshe is so awesome! You should bring him in and play that role.”

tristan ruggeri, teresa palmer, steven cree, the twin

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So this one was great, because I knew it was going to be, and it wasn’t a coincidence. I had just finished with Steven last season, and I was like, “I know he’s available. Let’s get him to come do this.”

He had just finished this long job, he has a wife and a child, and he very generously agreed to come to Estonia and shoot the film with me.

And then Barbara, it was a complete coincidence. I’m so impressed with her performance, playing Queen Elizabeth in season two of A discovery of witches. When I think of the season, it was so remarkable to me.

It was just such a nice coincidence to be able to find her. We get along so well. We really sank our teeth into those scenes between us. We loved working on it together. It was a real experience of collaboration between her and me.

You’ve had horror movie experience with movies like Curfew. Did you bring any experience of those in terms of what’s required for a horror movie?

You have to explore dark places to really understand the character’s words and breathe life into these worlds quite far from your own life.

It’s like when you ride a bike, you put it down for a while, you jump on it, and you know what you’re going to do but it’s a little wonky at first. And that’s how it got back to horror. I was like, “Oh, whoa, that’s a really intense experience to navigate.”

But it was also the elements. It was freezing cold in Estonia and being the Aussie girl that I am, I haven’t really experienced this level of cold in a long period of time.

teresa palmer, steven cree, the twin

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So it was very cold, and I was pregnant, and my husband wasn’t with me, so I had the kids on my own. I brought a friend with me. There was just a lot of juggling and timing determination, but also trying to immerse myself in this dark universe. It was difficult, but I was really up for the challenge because I loved the script.

I definitely relied on my past experiences with Curfew who was one of the reasons I decided to make this film. I always used to say it was a standalone movie if you took the horror element out of it. It was a look at family dynamics and the management of mental illness.

If you take the horror out of this story as well, it’s a similar situation. You have this very complex family at the center of the story and they too are struggling with mental health issues and how that manifests in their life.

You have now returned to the horror genre with The twinis there a particular genre you’re looking to explore next?

There’s something that hasn’t been announced yet that I’m doing and it’s a similar genre. It’s not quite horror, but it’s kind of a true-crime psychological world, which is very much in my valley.

When he arrived on my lap, I said to myself: “Yes, I know this story very well. The answer is yes. I don’t even need to read the script.

I am drawn to dark materials. Maybe it’s because I really like exploring a fractured character. The ones I was able to do – especially The twin and the work that I’m about to shoot – it’s really delicate, fragile, fractured individuals trying to put their lives back together.

I find the dynamic of a person like that just fascinating. How to survive? How do you put one foot in front of the other when life goes on? Life goes on for everyone, but you’re dealing with this huge, deeply impacting traumatic situation and you kind of have to get on with living your life.

The twin is available to watch now on Shudder.

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