‘Ghostlight’ Interviews: Dolly De Leon, Keith Kurferer, Tara Mallen, & Katherine Mallen Kupferer

The Ghostlight Cast On Theater Games, Working with Family, And Full Circle Moments

In IFC’s Ghostlighta blue-collar worker who is trying to manage his home life while dealing with personal tragedy discovers the theater. That’s it. That’s the whole conceit of the film.

But it’s the people and performances at the heart of Alex Thompson and Kelly O’Sullivan’s cinematic ode to the theater community that grabs you. Long-time theater and character Keith Kurferer plays Dan, said emotionally repressed man. He stars in the film with his real wife, Tara Mallen, and daughter, Katherine Mallen Kupferer, as his film family.

Dolly de Leon plays the siren pulling Dan into the depths of Chicago’s community theater scene. American audiences may know her from her dynamic turn in 2022’s Triangle of Sadness. Here she plays the touch exterior Rita, whose own dream of acting professionally full-time can only manifest itself in a small production of Romeo and Juliet.

I sat down with Kurfererm, Mallen, and Mallen Kupferer to talk about how their real dynamic comes out on the big screen and with de Leon on her connection to her character and what its was like jumping into the Chicago theater community.

Ghostlight is open in theaters now.

Cortland Jacoby
A D.C area native, Cortland has been interested in media since birth. Taking film classes in high school and watching the classics with family instilled a love of film in Cortland’s formative years. Before graduating with a degree in English and minoring in Film Study from Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, Cortland ran the college’s radio station, where she frequently reviewed films on air. She then wrote for another D.C area publication before landing at Punch Drunk Critics. Aside from writing and interviewing, she enjoys podcasts, knitting, and talking about representation in media.