Interview: Oren Moverman on “The Dinner” with Richard Gere and Steve Coogan

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Oren Moverman directed “The Dinner,” a provocative film about mental illness and its impact on the family, about the challenges of being a parent, about marriage, politics, and insanely pretentious food. It stars Richard Gere as a politician and Steve Coogan as his estranged and bitter brother, with Rebecca Hall and Laura Linney as their wives. They meet at a very exclusive and expensive restaurant for a difficult conversation about their teenage sons, who have done something terrible. It is based on a book by Dutch author Herman Koch.

“The movie is an annotation of the book,” Moverman said in an interview, “It really touched upon the lead character’s mental health, the kids’ mental health, where genetics and learned behavior kind of intersect. All these things seem very interesting to me and I’ve been involved in the last few years with The Campaign to Change Direction which is a mental health organization. When given the opportunity to write the script for me to direct I thought that should be a big part of it because I think it’s a big part of a discussion that’s actually never really discussed fully. I think that there is a certain kind of stigma within families, within groups about the person who is suffering from this, a lot of kind of burying this in the family vault. It’s dirty laundry. There’s not a lot of discussion that we have very openly about mental health issues. This movie can’t really avoid that — it’s at the core of the main character’s behavior, the core of the way the family was shaped, the extended family and then the kids. And so I wanted it to be a discussion and since we had a politician in the movie, I thought well he’s a man of grand gestures let’s give him an issue to fight for that is mental health and the bill that he is trying to pass and have that be sort of the ticking clock for that night. So, it all kind of came together from the book, it’s at the core of the story and hopefully it kind of shakes people up a little bit and gets them talking about that as well.”

Moverman supports the recent statements from celebrities like Prince Harry about the importance of destigmatizing mental health and mental health treatment. “I think the impact is tremendous. He started it, Prince William joined him, in talking about their relationship and their mental health as brothers who experienced traumatic events. I think that when people like Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen come out and talk about these things, people are listening because everybody feel so alone, so isolated in these problems. When you start the conversations, just like anything else you realize, well this is not that far-fetched, this is not just my problem, there are people out there suffering. The truth is that one out of five adults everywhere is experiencing some sort of mental health issue and so it’s not something that’s unfamiliar and kind of remote and over there. It’s really something that we all have in our lives. Not talking about it, not dealing with it, not treating it, not trying to prevent it is at the core of so many problems we have as a society. So, I applaud people of influence who step forward and say, ‘I have been dealing with these issues and I’m not going to hide it anymore. I’m going to talk about it and hopefully be able to help other people deal or take an active step towards kind of resolving these issues.’ If we all understand that there’s so much of it, our lives are complicated, our existence are complicated, our genetics are complicated, this world, the modern world is creating a lot more isolation than before, the feelings that people have to go through every day could be quite impactful on the rest of our lives and the rest of the people around us in their lives. So it’s something very fundamental that’s kind of been lost in the way we bury the conversation which is the loss of community, the loss of people finding common ground and helping each other or looking out for each other. I think it’s at core of a lot of our problems, this kind of disintegration of the community as the building block of the society.”

He wanted to set the difficult, painful conversation in the ultra-exclusive restaurant because “that was a fun part of the book. It was the comedic element of the book. I felt a little comedy could help there but also I think that there is a reason why this restaurant is so absurd is because these people are very privileged and they’ll be coming to a place that’s very civilized, very civil, that has its own rules and behavior and they’re bringing a subject matter that is quite savage and vile into this pretend world and all the pretense goes away by the end of the night. It’s kind of a battle without a lot of civility over the savage act. So, I thought the setting was appropriate, of course the problem with a setting like this is the idea that this should be a private conversation. So ultimately, they do find a private place to talk it out.”

Nothing is more painful than being the parent of a child with a big, awful problem that you cannot fix for him, as we see in the different ways that the four parents respond, and especially as they reveals some surprises about their strengths and weaknesses. “We talked about starting one place and finishing at another and really revealing layers upon layers of complexities that you don’t really see when we start off. I have to say that that was one of the finer things about the book. You start off thinking our narrator is to be trusted, Paul, the Coogan character. You feel like you can walk down this road with him because he’s like us, he makes fun of the pretenses at the restaurant, he’s really kind of a guy, he’s kind of a dude in the book and so we trust him and then we go through this whole process of the story to realize at the end how troubled he really is. I think every single character in the book goes that way and then what we tried to do is sort of imitate that in the movie. You see Richard Gere and he’s a politician and you say, ‘I know exactly who this guy is and I know exactly what he is going to stand for and I don’t like him because he’s a politician.’ and then he turns out to be something completely different but then again..is he? Is he fooling us? Is he charming us? All these things kind of become really fun to mix in and to really understand that our way of assessing people is not necessarily the way they really are and if you go into sort of a deep painful place something emerges that make maybe their true self are their true self in that moment and that can be quite dramatic.”

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Directors Interview

Interview: Director Joseph Cedar on “Norman”

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norman posterIsraeli-American Joseph Cedar wrote and directed one of my favorite movies, the Oscar-nominated Beaufort, and I am a fan of his film “Footnote” as well. Both are in Hebrew. So it was a great pleasure to talk to him about his first English language film, “Norman,” starring Richard Gere and Steve Buscemi. Gere plays the title character, a schmoozer and small-time wheeler-dealer who gets caught up in international politics when he befriends an Israeli government official who ends up as Prime Minister.

Who casts Richard Gere is as a shlub?

I think it’s the ultimate challenge. I like it when actors act. It’s gratifying to see an actor do something that is very far from who he is or how we perceive him in other films, his persona. It’s also gratifying to see an actor do something that is genuinely difficult that other people can’t do. And I found that in what Richard was doing, it’s like watching a circus act. It’s was remarkable for me in every scene to see him just be someone he’s not.

The hair really helps create his character, very different from the more glamorous image we have.

We did something with this whole physical appearance which is subtle but changes the way he looks to an audience. More importantly, it changes the way he looks to himself. He’d come out of makeup and wardrobe and look in the mirror and he wasn’t seeing the Richard Gere he is used to seeing on a movie set. That is helpful to create a body language that was different and specific for Norman. And this made it possible for him to do things that he doesn’t normally do in movies. So we did play around a little bit with his physicality.

It was almost as surprising to see Steve Buscemi as a rabbi.

That’s less of a stretch in my mind, I think Steve Buscemi would make a great Upper West Side rabbi. He’s a New Yorker and that is in itself most of the research but I did introduce him to a rabbi and I think it was more for Steve to feel comfortable not trying to be something that’s exotic. I introduced him to someone who gave him license to basically be himself. The character he plays was something we discussed like I would discuss the character with any actor but it was more about the circumstance that he is in, the financial situation his synagogue is in and just how communities are organized at least in New York. Those were the things that we spoke about. I thought it was interesting for him and for me to be a big part of where Norman sits in the grand scheme and the big deal that he is putting together.

It seems to me that one thing that makes it possible for Norman to succeed as much as he does is that he has no social shame. Most of us would cringe at making ourselves vulnerable to so much rejection.

What’s odd about what you just said is that in a different context someone who is shameless is considered a negative thing but I think it’s actually a really positive quality not to have pride or to be willing to take humiliation. It’s something that most of us aren’t willing to do and many times we rely on other people not having those inhibitions, those blocks that we put on ourselves.

I have to really not look at Norman from the outside but be in Norman’s shoes. Norman isn’t aware that he’s doing something that is humiliating. He sees his goals and obviously he is doing things that most people won’t do to achieve that goal but he has his way of denying the insult when it happens. He thanks most people after they push him away. It’s part of what allows him to do what he does and it’s his survival tool, not really being aware of how other people see him.

I think the point for me in just figuring him out is just realizing that it’s not really humiliating, wanting something and being willing to do everything including doing every once in a while a conniving trick if it’s serving something that he thinks is good, then I respect that. The world needs people who are willing to do what Norman does.

Could Norman tell you exactly what he wants? A specific policy goal or project or just being a part of things?

Is it self-serving or is it a mixture of wanting some influence or having a position or having access to something that is good for Norman — but isn’t there also always something else or there might be something else that can be a result of that that is good?

I think it generally starts out that way but then it can get lost. Look at your Prime Minister character, Eshel. He begins as somebody who says, “No I couldn’t let you buy me these very expensive shoes,” and he ends up as somebody who has to do a lot of compromising.

Copyright 2017 Sony Pictures Classics
Copyright 2017 Sony Pictures Classics

What happens in that scene from my point of view is morally challenging. If I put myself in both these characters’ places, I don’t think I would accept a $1200 gift from someone I just met and I probably wouldn’t give a gift that is so expensive to someone I just met. So there’s something that feels wrong about the whole encounter and what makes it happen is that both sides convinced themselves that it’s okay. Eshel’s character convinces himself that by accepting the gift he is actually already returning the favor and that he is in a way giving Norman some sense of being part of an important mission or something bigger than himself by offering him a representative in this case of Israeli government, by offering him something that would make them feel more comfortable or feel better about himself. Norman is seeing this as an investment that will help him forward other initiatives that he has been trying to do and has not been successful. It’s a risky investment because Eshel may never call back or may never deliver or may never turn into someone who actually has power, but it’s worth it to him on instinct. He feels that this can work because he really needs to take every opportunity he can to get in. To have a foot in the door.

But that brings us to his downfall. Because he has that strategy or that impulse to take every possible advantage he gets into a conversation on a train that turns out to be kind of disastrous to him because it’s too revealing.

I agree with you in calling it an impulse, it’s not really something he can control, it’s what he does, it’s who he is, it’s an expression of his deepest core. He can’t hold back.

Norman does what he does on instinct. He is wired this way and it’s a survival thing more than a planned-out business scheme. It’s just how he survives. It’s his function in the world.

You live in both the US and Israel. We seem to be in a uniquely tumultuous moment. What comfort do you think people can take from watching this movie?

Hopefully there’s a lot of comfort to take from watching this movie but none of it should affect their mood about what’s happening in America. If anything the times we’re living are times that call for action. We shouldn’t take things for granted and we should try to influence our surrounding.

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Interview: Dallas Jenkins of “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone”

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Copyright BH Tilt 2016
Copyright BH Tilt 2016

Director Dallas Jenkins spoke to me about his charming and touching film, “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone.” Brett Dalton stars as the spoiled former child actor who gets into trouble and is sentenced to community service, where he starts as a janitor and ends up playing the part of Jesus in a church Passion Play directed by the pastor’s daughter, played by Anjelah Johnson-Reyes.  Here’s a peek at the characters.

Tell me where the idea came from, how did it start?

A couple of years ago when I was developing a few ideas for movies. I live in Chicago now, I’m working at a church in Chicago and we were working on a few ideas. I had a random breakfast meeting with someone and they mentioned the script and when they told me the storyline of a guy who pretends to be a Christian but he can play the part of Jesus in his passion play, I immediately liked it and because I could immediately see the humor of him trying to navigate through church world, trying to learn the language that Christians use and trying to figure out all the Christian clichés that he could sound like a Christian. I love the humor, but also by playing the part of Jesus he’s going to learn more about Him and going to become part of this church. So from both a humor perspective and an emotional perspective it just felt right to me. It felt like an opportunity to tell a story about church but through the eyes of an outsider so it could appeal to both worlds. It just really felt like the kind of project that would appeal to both church insiders and church outsiders and it came together pretty quickly.

It was good to see Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, known for her comedy, in a role that gave her a chance to be a little more serious.

Months and months before we made the movie my wife and I were talking about the part of the pastor’s daughter. This was a Midwest church and I didn’t want the part to look too Hollywood. My wife said, “You know, there’s an actress in the movie ‘Chipmunks the Squeakquel’ who has the character look you’re talking about.’ So, we popped in the DVD to take a look at it and immediately I said, ‘Oh she’s great. That’s exactly what I’m looking for,” I think standup comedians actually make good actors because they just have a good understanding of emotion and timing.

And I looked her up and I didn’t realize that she was a Christian. And so, when I found out she was married to a Christian hip-hop artist and we actually had some mutual friends. It was all completely random and completely coincidental and so through my mutual friends I contacted her and said I really wanted her to audition for this part. She was skeptical and I just said, “Well just read the script and see what you think.” She read it and loved it right away and then she came in and auditioned and did a great audition and the producers agreed that she would right for the part.

So it all started with her Chipmunks movie and now we’ve become great friends and she does a great job in the film. It is funny because she’s playing the part of someone who doesn’t know how to tell a joke, someone who takes herself too seriously. I think it appealed to her because it was different than what she normally does.

What makes this movie different from most Christian films?

We heard this over and over again: “I don’t normally like Christian films but I love this.” I think the humor has a lot to do with that. I think sometimes we Christians can take ourselves pretty seriously. Our movies are usually message-driven as opposed to story-driven which isn’t always a bad thing. I’m not criticizing that. But I think the humor in this film really stood out. The quality of the acting and the story can appeal to and be related to by church outsiders. I think the humor takes the sting out of it a little bit, makes it feel a little bit less propaganda, and so I think people just have responded to that.

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Copyright BH Tilt

Gavin Stone has a lot to learn obviously about grace and who Jesus really was. So do the Christians, and so do the churchgoers. And the pastor’s daughter herself learned as much about grace and about who Jesus was as Gavin does because she had taken it for granted and so he is impacted by the church and the church is also impacted by him. Being willing to acknowledge that the church has its own strengths and weaknesses and being willing to poke a little at the fun at it, I think again takes the sting out of it a little bit for people and makes it feel less like a sermon.

Part of that comes from D.B. Sweeney as the pastor, who is a great character.

He’s just a normal guy and the first time you see him on screen he communicates both in his words and his behavior that he is not intimidating and he is not pious. He admits he is still figuring out a lot about this himself and about the Christian faith. He’s not perfect. He doesn’t have it all together and he is willing to acknowledge that but yet at the end of the day he is a father, he’s a pastor who’s been there for decades and has a lot to teach and a lot to impart. But it’s coming from the perspective of somebody who is not pretending to be perfect. The whole conceit of this movie is that Gavin is pretending to be a Christian and I didn’t want the pastor to be stupid and not be able to tell that something may be a little wrong. He knows that something is very off but ultimately realizes Gavin Stone playing the part of Jesus is going to have a much better chance of impacting him than cleaning toilets. He says to his daughter at one point, “Isn’t this why we do what we do?” Having the opportunity to have an impact on someone — that’s the whole theme of the movie, that line.

Is Gavin Stone a good actor?

We really specifically made a choice to make Gavin Stone a very good actor and one of the key parts to illustrate that was his audition. The original script had him doing the scene from “Braveheart,” you know, “They’ll never take away our freedom” speech and I thought that would come across as humorous. I wanted that part where he gives his audition to actually be serious, to show that he is actually a really good actor and is going to bring something special to this church.

And so, I moved the “Braveheart” speech to the prayer scene where Gavin is asked to pray for the first time and he doesn’t know how so it’s just “Braveheart.” And then I found a speech from “Hamlet” and I put that as the audition and it turned out that it happened to be the same speech and monologue that Brett had used in real life to audition for the Yale School of Drama. And so that’s one of the things that really connected Brett to that script. The only way this was going to be pulled off that Gavin could quickly and on his feet convincingly portray the part of a churchgoer is that he’s a good actor and we had to portray that going in.

I also liked his interaction with his estranged father, played by Neil Flynn.

Neil is a really good actor and again a normal guy; he is actually from Chicago so he plays the part of the Midwest dad perfectly. We just wanted to have some moments away from the church setting and that allowed us to experience Gavin in some of his natural environment so that we could see who he was for real when he wasn’t pretending to be somebody else.

Gavin was spoiled. Hollywood has actually damaged him a little bit. You see that his father wasn’t a big fan of Gavin’s lifestyle choices and that he wasn’t a big fan of him being a child actor. At one point his father says, “I wanted to protect you, you know I didn’t want you to become selfish.” That’s what being sometimes a child actor can bring out when you are a celebrity too soon you can create a selfishness. And so I just kind of wanted to paint more shades of gray that Gavin’s father maybe he was really harsh at times but wasn’t entirely wrong and Gavin’s choices weren’t always the best but also weren’t entirely wrong and that he had something to say too. So we just wanted to tell a story that wasn’t always black and white.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

Psalm 34:5 — “Those who look to him are radiant, their faces will never be ashamed.” I’m guilty of this too: my career, my choices, where I’m going to be in five years? What is my plan? And I’ve learned over the years that where I am at in five years is none of my business and that verse really speaks to me because when you’re looking to God, when you’re looking up then you don’t have to worry about not only the practical things of life but you also don’t have to deal with the shame of your humanity. And so that phrase, “those who look to him are radiant,” I found that to be true over and over.

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Directors Interview

Interview: Writer/Director James Gray of “The Lost City of Z”

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James Gray wrote and directed the adventure movie “The Lost City of Z,” based on Percy Fawcett, the real-life explorer who inspired fictional characters from Indiana Jones to the swashbuckling heroes of books by Arthur Conan Doyle and H. Rider Haggard. The movie stars Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, and Sienna Miller. Gray and his crew had to re-create the arduous journey through the South American rainforest; while they had better technology than Fawcett’s group, they also had to bring along all of the equipment to make the film.

In an interview, Gray talked about the directors who inspired him — and why he had to make some different choices than the ones in their classic films.

It’s 100 years after the events in the film. Tell me how you approach dealing with issues of gender and race that acknowledges the realities of its era without distracting us unnecessarily?

Wow, that’s a heavy one. How did I deal with it, well, with great difficulty and with kid gloves. It’s one of the advantages we have and it’s not about judging the characters, that’s not really what I’m saying but a more global view, a more…how do I say this? A more progressive view, a more open view hopefully of the ideas of gender, class and ethnicity that has to be part of the film. And I felt that if I could make a movie in the style of let’s say David Lean, who I revere, but bring, dare I say this, a more advanced or different approach to the politics of it — for example,”Lawrence of Arabia he has Alec Guinness playing an Arab which is absurd today.

So, I felt that that was the way that I could do something different from what Mr. Lean did. And in the case of something like an “Apocalypse Now,” as great as I think it is, and I think it is the greatest, there certainly aren’t any women in it of any importance. A Playboy playmate is pretty much the only woman in the whole movie. So, I felt that it was important that I give everybody a sort of fair shake at the narrative and that everybody’s existence would be entirely independent. So, Sienna Miller’s character has her own hopes and dreams and that the film acknowledges those desires. And the indigenous people of South America would be independent and not demand a white male European view of the world to exist. People talk about what they call the Magical Negro in movies where this African-American character has all these magical qualities throughout which is in its own way deeply racist. My ambition was to do something the opposite of that, which was that the indigenous people of Amazonia would function in a way that was entirely free from any need for the white man. lost city of z

And really the approach was to try and bring a certain dignity and humanity to every single person in the movie. And so, I’ve tried to think of it in those terms.

For me one of the most intriguing characters in the film was Murray, the veteran of the Shackleton expedition to the Antarctic but a terrible problem for Fawcett.

In the book he goes on I think it’s eight trips, so I had to condense that to three. When I approached it I thought, “Okay if it’s three trips, each trip has to have a different meaning.” The first trip is about the exposure to his obsession and how the obsession settles in and what it becomes and what it starts to mean for him. The second trip with Mr. Murray would have to be about how he saw the trip in the beginning as cementing his position not only in society but in history and really it was an act of ego to bring Mr. Murray along. He was going for glory and he thought Murray would bring an incredible luster. Murray’s ethical bankruptcy is in a way Fawcett’s fault because he chose Murray to go with him. That was the price he paid for wanting that because Murray is the lie of one class’s superiority over the other. Murray is the person who’s “Oh look how much wealth I have.” He’s a man of means and prestige and yet he’s a fraud.

So, Murray was a lesson for Fawcett really that the measure of a man has nothing to do with class or rank. That was what I thought the whole trip meant. He had to learn that and the third trip was his atonement for his neglect. It became a much more spiritual experience for him because he was able to enjoy it with his son. On the third trip he could achieve a measure of transcendence because he had already been through the second trip with this person who showed him that the search for glory and class validation was a bankrupt position.

Were you able to read some of Percy’s own journals?

I sure did. In addition to the Grann book I read Exploration Fawcett which is a compilation of his journal entries along with some editorializing by his son Brian that was put out many years later. I’m sure there is some embellishment from Brian, who was anxious to validate his father’s journeys but I’m sure it still had a bunch of Percy’s actual words still in them. I tried to adhere to Fawcett’s own words in as many places as possible. That Royal Geographical Society speech that he gives, which is about a seven and a half-minute long scene in the center of the movie is almost entirely his actual words. I read his letters too, back and forth to his wife and Charlie Hunnam and Sienna Miller did too. That was actually the best window into who those people are that we could have found. And I think it was necessary work.

Did you feel in a way as you were filming in South America that you were re-experiencing some of what he experienced? Did you learn what he went through just from being there?

Probably not because I’m nothing like Fawcett. I’m a wimp and I was only there for four months and he was in it for years. He didn’t have GPS and he didn’t have a bed at night to sleep in. I had clothes with special coating so I didn’t get bitten by anything. It must’ve been unbelievably difficult and I can’t understand how he did it. I mean we were there only four months and one crew member got malaria and two people got dengue. Somehow he marched to the jungle multiple times in the eight trips he went on that’s really about 20 years’ worth of living.

What would have happened if he found the City of Z?

Perhaps if he had found it, it would have been kind of anticlimactic for him. We have a real-life example of this in Hiram Bingham, who discovered Machu Picchu but his life had to have another act. He became a Senator. And I feel like if Fawcett had found some city in the jungle he would’ve looked at it for about twenty minutes and thought, “This is totally amazing. What the hell do I do now?” So much of what it was about for him was about the need to escape.

What is it that you think drives people to become explorers, to go past what is on a map?

There are noble qualities to exploration, there really are. There is an unending curiosity, there’s a remarkable drive, there is a stunning courage but there are also darker, less noble, aspects to it. One is the need to escape confronting what it means to be a person living in this world. I think that Fawcett’s whole need for exploration was in part a need to get out, a need to get away from what was very obviously a situation that was punishing to him. The father was a terrible alcoholic and was a gambler. He destroyed not one but two family fortunes. It shamed the family. So Fawcett was trying to escape from Victorian England and the cruelty of that world that seemed so punishing. And I think part the need for exploration is just to get out.

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Interview: Mckenna Grace of “Gifted”

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Mckenna Grace as “Mary Adler” and Chris Evans as “Frank Adler” in the film GIFTED. Photo by Wilson Webb. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved.
Mckenna Grace as “Mary Adler” and Chris Evans as “Frank Adler” in the film GIFTED. Photo by Wilson Webb. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved.

Mckenna Grace is the star of “Gifted,” playing Mary, a first grader with extraordinary mathematics ability, living with her Uncle Frank, played by Chris Evans. In an interview, she talked about what she and Evans did off camera, crying on cue, and what might be difficult for someone who is gifted.

What did you and Chris Evans do to get to be comfortable with each other?

We had an immediate connection. It was very special when I first met him. We were there ahead of time for two weeks to kind of get to know each other better and then we were there for two months so some of the scenes were really just better with our connection because we had been knowing each other for longer.

What kinds of things did you do when you were not filming?

We sang, we sang. “Peaches” by Presidents of the United States of America and then we also sang “Old Man on the Back Porch” by Presidents of the United States of America.

Would you like to be as smart as Mary?

I think it would be cool but from watching “Gifted” I learned that some people don’t always feel accepted or they feel different or alone when they are gifted or they just feel they have an irregular life. So, I think that being gifted would be cool but sometimes people can make fun of you and I think that that’s wrong.

Are you good at math?

I do six grade math even though I’m in fifth grade so I think I’m okay.

Did you have fun with Octavia Spencer, the way your character does with her character?

Yes, we still talk a lot. And she would always invite me to her hotel, we have parties and we talk and sing and eat. We hung out a lot and we still talk a lot.

What was your audition like for this role?

I was auditioning and connected to this for over 8 months. I did the Blacklist live reading so if they made a movie I thought I would get to play Mary but nope, I had to do a whole auditioning process to get it right.

What are some of the tricks that you use to be able to cry and to be angry in a scene?

I just think about sad things and I really put myself in Mary’s shoes, Mary’s position.

So, what was she feeling when it seemed like she was going to be living with Frank anymore?

She was feeling very upset and she felt very worked up and sad and she felt very abandoned. We did tons of takes, tons.

Do you like to read? Are there any books that you especially like?

Yes, I love reading. I’m on my tenth novel this month. I love the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series. I also really love Stephen King’s, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, that one was amazing!

Was there a movie or television show that you saw where you said, “That’s what I really want to do. I really want to act?”

Yes, The Pee-wee Herman Show and Shirley Temple movies. I really love “Little Miss Broadway.”

And what is the best advice that you ever got about acting?

That you can do anything you put your mind to and do your best and if you do your best then you know you have done all that you could do.

What makes you laugh?

Oh goodness, lots of things made me laugh. My papa because sometimes he is very overdramatic on purpose to get laughs out of me. He makes me giggle a lot.

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