Irish writer and director Paul Fraser is comfortable working with non-actors and using improvisation to get great performances, thanks to his work as a writer with the likes of Shane Meadows and Damien O'Donnell. But when it came time to make his feature directing debut, Fraser gave himself the added challenge of directing three boys, all of them newcomers to the screen who didn't just shoot most of their scenes inside a cramped bread van, but had to act like brothers all the while.

The wonderful thing about My Brothers isn't just that the family relationship worked, but is the linchpin of Fraser's tender and lovely film. Last week I talked to Fraser and his three lead actors-- Timmy Creed, Paul Courtney and T.J. Griffin-- and Fraser told me it was less important to find non-actors than simply actors who could be honest onscreen. "From my point of views, you get some honesty and truth in performances from [untrained actors," Fraser explained. 'I look to cast people who are, to me, the people [in the screenplay."

Before filming began Fraser worked with the three actors to build a familial relationship: "We gave them a background and history and stories. When they looked at each other in the bread van on the road, they had a history. They could be a little bit loose, they could improvise." In the end he achieved the result he was going for: "When you look at these three they look nothing like brothers, but when you put them on camera and you watch them banter and interact with each other, you're got this dynamic."

A road trip movie about three brothers driving around the Irish countryside while coping with the impending death of their father, My Brothers was shot on a tiny budget and with all the indignities and inconveniences of location shooting, including rain that only showed up when it wasn't called for in the script, and near the end of the film, half of a mechanical whale that had to be lifted in and out of a production van. Read my review of My Brothers here, then watch a brief clip of my interview with Fraser and his cast below, in which they argue over whether or not Timmy was abandoned while filming in the rain, and Fraser has high words of praise for his newcomer actors.

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