(CBS New York)– Entertainment has always been the family business for the Elliott family.
Chris Elliott is known for his work on Saturday Night Live and The Late Show with David Letterman, but fans get the opportunity to see him and his family in a darker light in the new movie “Clara’s Ghost.” Directed by Chris’s daughter Bridey, the film was shot in the Elliott’s home in Connecticut and tells the story of a self-absorbed show business family that is haunted by the ghost of a woman who used to live in their house.
The film also features the family’s oldest daughter Abby Elliott and mother Paula Niedert Elliott, who made her return to acting for the first time in 30 years.
“It was a real safe entrance into directing my first feature film,” said Bridey Elliott in an interview with CBS Local. “We were in our house, I was related to the cast and it really felt like camp in a way because it was all my friends who were doing an experiment for the first time.”
The film was shot in 17 days last year in Connecticut and was edited in three weeks in order to make the cut for the Sundance Film Festival. Chris has worked with many talented people in his career, but it was extremely special for him to be directed by his daughter and work with his family.
“I’m basically playing an exaggerated version of myself,” said Chris Elliott. “Hopefully much more negative than I really am. Like Long Day’s Journey Into Night, this movie takes place in one setting the entire night.”
While Chris, Abby and Bridey have plenty of experience as actors, Paula shined in the role of Clara. Even though Paula took acting classes to prepare for her part and the movie, the experience was challenging.
“I was initially intimidated by the romantic scene with Haley Joel Osment,” said Paula Elliott. “Once that was over, I was so relieved that I got through it.”
“Clara’s Ghost” hits theaters today and will be available on demand starting on December 7. The Elliott family is one of a kind and that comes out clearly in this movie.
“What we have in common is a bit of an independence streak,” said Chris Elliott. “My dad was this way too. We like to do something that isn’t necessarily in the mainstream. Stuff that stands out of its own automatically makes it good to me.”