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“Florian Zeller’s text lit a fire in me”

Florian Zellerwell-known writer and playwright, made his directorial debut two years ago with The Father – Nothing is as it seems, a film about an elderly man with dementia adapted from one of his plays …

Florian Zellerwell-known writer and playwright, made his directorial debut two years ago with The Father – Nothing is as it seems, a film about an elderly man with dementia adapted from one of his plays and for which he (as screenwriter) and protagonist Anthony Hopkins won an Oscar. Today, Zeller presents at the 79th Venice Film Festival The sonhis second work as a director, also an adaptation of one of his plays and the ideal second chapter of a family trilogy, starring Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Vanessa Kirby and the young man Zen McGrath.

The Son is a very personal story for me – says the French author – it is not based on autobiographical events, but deals with themes and dynamics that I have had to deal with in the past. I was particularly interested in this adaptation given the strong audience reactions to theatrical performances of the text. Theater is the world I come from and I believe it has a unique power and I have no intention of giving it up, but at the moment I am more interested in the potential of the film medium”.

Photo: Getty (Stéphane Cardinale – Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images)

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In the film, Jackman plays Rock, successful New York man about to enter politics. The man lives with his second wife Beth (Kirby) and a newborn son in a luxury apartment, but his peace of mind is shattered when his ex-wife kate (Dern) reveals to him that their son Nicholas (McGrath) has behavioral issues. The whole family will be forced to face dramatic moments that risk jeopardizing the future of all its members.

“I read the script for the play The Son and I saw the film adaptation of The Father – Jackman revealed – the text lit a fire in me, a scary but beautiful feeling. I immediately felt it was the right role for me at this point in my life.. I emailed Florian asking if he could consider me for the role, if we could talk about the project. Fortunately, he accepted and everything went well, I would hate to miss the opportunity to participate in such a special project”.

The son
Photo: Getty (Stéphane Cardinale – Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images)

The other performers also said they were lucky to have worked with Zeller on the project. Vanessa Kirby praised Zeller’s skills in recounting the the things left unsaid between the people and the unconscious of the characters, to stage the elaboration of their feelings without resorting to classic narrative jokes or stratagems. While Laura Dern recalled the director’s sensitivity on set and his skill in guiding her, she and the entire cast, including young McGrath, through some of the script’s toughest scenes, already beautifully written but all also excellently transposed into images.

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The director and actors focused on the important social and human issues of The Sonpoint out the importance of not underestimating the risks of mental illness and trying not to leave people who suffer from it alone and isolated. Jackman, as a father, said he very much understands the feeling of helplessness you sometimes feel in your relationships with loved ones, especially children, but he also went on to talk about the feeling of helplessness. empathy and understanding that this feeling prompts you to try with people in difficulty. A concept reinforced by Zeller, who reflected on the difficulty of reasoning concretely and doing the right thing when there are people who love each other.

Photo: Elizabeth A. Villa/Getty Images

Anthony Hopkins he stars in one scene in the film as the father of Peter, the character of Hugh Jackman, a wealthy, wealthy man who put his career ahead of his family in his life. When Florian called me to tell me that Sir Tony would play my father, I was both delighted and in awe to work alongside a titan like him. – concluded Jackman – the scene in which we play together is very important for my character, it is the one in which he remembers not only to be a father but also to be a son. It was wonderful working with Anthony, not only because he’s such a great person, but also because, at his age, he continues to show incredible curiosity and passion for the art of acting.”.

The son
Photo: Kate Green/Getty Images

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Photo: Getty (Stephane Cardinale – Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images)

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