Peter Hedges’ latest film, Ben is Back, premiered at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival and we were lucky enough to sit down with one of the Film’s stars, Courtney B. Vance. The Film explores the many ways drug use effects not just the addict but also their family which prompted Mr. Vance to open-up about not only his preparation for the Film but also his views on parenting and family.
SIOBHÁN: You’ve worked on Stage, Television, Film. How does your preparation differ depending on the medium?
VANCE: It does. I remember for Lucky Guy I tried to do a lot of research but there was nothing to be found on him so I had to back into him by listening to everything the Director, George C. Wolfe, was saying about him. With Johnny Cochrane and OJ Simpson – I could have looked at all the footage but I thought that would put me in my head too much. So I chose to read the book a couple times and I found a kernel in there and I said “I’m going to trust that that’s enough to propel me in.” So really it depends – a play is different than film and film is slower, and you have more time than with television. It depends but ultimately it really comes down to knowing just enough we we can get in there and play and see what the other actor or actors and the director and the production designer and what everybody’s bringing. Then to be able to be – that’s where potentially the magic – you have to leave room for the magic to happen. But with a play you actually have the play to take you through every night and then to see what happens to people. With Film [and Television] you have to depend on the directors,“Ok where am I now and what’s happening here and what’s coming up? Okay got it! Let’s go.” So it’s a little different.
SIOBHÁN: In the Film, your character is the hard nosed realist whereas Julia’s character is very much about the unconditional love – tough love – but still unconditional love. Where do you fall on that and which do you think is more realistic?
VANCE: I think they both have to be there. I think there are instances – and my wife [Angela Bassett) and I deal with this in our lives with our children – sometimes you have to be there as a soft cushion for them to fall into and sometimes… “You fall in here but let’s look after we’ve done this […] let’s talk it through. “You did this. What are some other options you could have done so that the next time it comes up – and it will come up again – a different colour, a different height, a different depth.” To be able to be discerning because eventually you need to be able to do this yourself. You have to be able navigate and that’s what we are really about raising children and young people to be fully functioning – to eventually be able to take over.
My mother passed away last year of ALS and they saw me take over for her because she couldn’t anymore. I had to make decisions for my mother with my sister and they saw that as children. They saw daddy, they saw Grandma is not as… She used to talk and now she’s not talking but you still had to go in. They still had to say good morning to Grandma, tell her what your day was like. And so that process, that circle of life, everything goes around in a circle and some days it may not be your best day you’ve had but it is a day and we’ll get through this to the other side. Knowing that with help – with the village – we can push through this and get through just about anything. It’s really about children knowing at base core they’re loved and based on that we gotta deal with this issue. If they know it’s done in a loving situation then we can ride through any storm.
Elevation Pictures release BEN IS BACKFriday, December 14, 2018.
Following its rousing reception at TIFF ’18,Universal Pictures x Mr. Will want to give Readers in Toronto, Vancouver + Montreal a chance to attend an Advance Screening of Joel Edgerton‘s BOY ERASED. Screenings take place Thursday, November 1, 2018.
“Boy Erased” tells the story of Jared (Lucas Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is outed to his parents (Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe) at age 19. Jared is faced with an ultimatum: attend a conversion therapy program – or be permanently exiled and shunned by his family, friends, and faith. Boy Erased is the true story of one young man’s struggle to find himself while being forced to question every aspect of his identity.
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Universal Pictures Canada release BOY ERASEDFriday, November 9, 2018.
Boy Erased follows Jared (Lucas Hedges) who is a son of a Baptist Pastor (Russell Crowe) in a small town. When Jared gets ousted to his parents his father tells him he can either attend a gay Conversion Therapy Program or be exiled from their family. Boy Erased is the second Feature for Actor-Director JoelEdgerton and will have its World Premiere TIFF ‘18 in the Special Presentations Programme.
Lucas Hedges lands a career-defining role as Jared as he displays a wide range of emotion in his often subtle performance. Nicole Kidman, who plays Jared’s mother, gives a complex and perfect performance. With Boy Erased, it is obvious that Edgerton has clear vision and message when he makes his Films, and we need more of them.
Boy Erased screens Tuesday, September 11 at 9 PM at Princess Of Wales, Wednesday, September 12 at 2:30 PM at Princess Of Wales and Saturday, September 15 at 12 PM at Roy Thompson Hall.
The time has arrived. We waited every year with baited breath for those Toronto International Film Festival guest announcements and finally they have been announced! While several marquee titles like Beautiful Boy, First Man, Destroyer, Wildlife, High Life, A Star is Born, If Beale Street Could Talk and Ben is Back embark on their Awards Season trails, Toronto once again readies itself for the massive onslaught of starpower and talent set to shut down the City post-Labour Day.
With multiple titles at the Festival, stars like Jake Gyllenhaal, Dev Patel, Amanda Steinberg, Lucas Hedges and Nicole Kidman are set to make the best of the Fest!
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mahershala Ali and Hilary Swank also will be having In-Conversations-With! More on that here.
Toronto’s own Drake also will introduced highly-buzzed MONSTERS AND MEN, Jason Reitman is back with fan favourite Live Read of The Breakfast Club and THE FIRST MAN will be presented at Ontario Place‘s Cinesphere!
Announced to attend TIFF ’18 earlier today are:
Who are you most excited to see?
Our Team are prepping feverishly for this our biggest and best year yet at TIFF as we get ready to bring you the buzz on all the biggest stars and Films of the Festival.
More on some of TIFF ’18’s most-talked-about titles here.
In the meantime, start planning your Festival, who and what you’ll see right here.
Not a dry eye in the house. See the new Trailer for BOY ERASED starring Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea, Lady Bird), Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe. Joel Edgerton directs.
Synopsis: Jared (Lucas Hedges) is the teenage son of a Baptist minister (Russell Crowe) in a small American town. Although his mother (Nicole Kidman) loves him unconditionally, his father tells Jared he’ll have to disown him when the teen admits he’s attracted to men.
His mother takes him to a church-run gay conversion program, where they teach the patients that no one is born a homosexual, that it’s a choice. He’s told that God will not love him the way that he is. However, Jared has a hard time trying to wrap his head around these ideas.
See the Trailer:
Universal Pictures Canada release BOY ERASEDFriday, November 2, 2018.
Elevation Pictures x Mr. Will want to give Readers in Toronto a chance to win Advance Passes and Run-of-Engagement Passes to see acclaimed TIFF ’17 selection LADY BIRD.
Advance Screenings are as follows:
Halifax: Scotiabank Halifax at 7:30pm
Winnipeg: St. Vital at 7:30pm
Calgary: Eau Claire at 7:00pm
Vancouver: 5th Avenue at 7:00pm
Edmonton: North Edmonton at 7:00pm
High school senior Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) — also known by the nickname she chose for herself, Lady Bird — is desperate to get out of California. She can’t wait to move to the East Coast, where she dreams of big city life and Ivy League universities.
However, because her grades are nothing spectacular and she has no connections, Lady Bird decides she needs to add extracurriculars to make her college applications stand out.
She considers joining Math Olympiad, but her math grades are terrible, so she joins the drama club. Meanwhile, her mother, who doesn’t understand Lady Bird’s aspirations and desire to move far away, has her hands full supporting the family by working double shifts as a nurse. She struggles to understand her self-centered daughter, who believes she deserves everything in life and that everyone should love her the way she is.
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Elevation Pictures release LADY BIRDFriday, November 10, 2017.