Director, actor open up discussion on the meaning of family in upcoming Disney film
The apropos and elegant setting of The Four Seasons Hotel and Resort welcomed director Peter Hedges and actor Joel Edgerton of “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” a Walt Disney Pictures film that also stars Jennifer Garner, to a press conference on Tuesday to promote its premiere on Aug. 15.
The main focus of the event proved less about questions and shifted quickly to Hedges’ prior experiences and own unique take on his craft.
“What captures people better than film?” Hedges asked. He may have been referring to film in the abstract, but also to the fact that “Green” was recorded on film rather than on digital.
“The right format for the right subject matter,” Edgerton chimed in.
Rather than have the film laid out as something true to life, Hedges was asked for his opinion of his work as a modern-day fable juxtaposed on film.
“There are things in the current script that I hope explain everything,” Hedges said. “I was debating this all throughout the film.”
“People have to buy the lies that you’re telling,” Edgerton said. “Well-meaning lies.”
From his answers, it was very clear that Edgerton had taken the role very seriously.
“The other thing I feel about being an actor is that if you take on a project, imagine that the only research you were allowed to do was by reading the script. That is a good project. If the writers have done their job, the world of the film exists within the pages you’ve got.”
Before this venture, Edgerton made his bones in the film industry in such well-received ventures as “Animal Kingdom,” “Warrior” and most recently, “The Thing.”
He billed himself as “one of those forever over night successes.”
His successes with his last few films have allowed him to grow. He explained his longer climb to the top helped him mature and appreciate all the proper things Hollywood has to offer.
“The roles I’m getting can be looked at more like men.”
Neither men seemed to regard the plausibility of the film as an issue and were quite convincing when asked why.
“This is about a couple that wants a child and gets him for a magical time,” Hedges said.
Hedges a bit of a specialist in charming — if offbeat — films that are good at tugging even the most hidden of heartstrings.
With “Pieces of April,” “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” and “Dan in Real Life” under his belt, Hedges might very well be an expert in working the guise of an odd innocence wrapped around in serious issues.
Often times, he said, it could be accidental.
“I was told by a viewer he needed to go home and hug his five-year-old.”
When asked about his desired reaction of adoptive or foster parents, a key element in the film, Hedges was equipped with a great vignette.
“We just screened it in New York and an old friend of mine who is married to his partner — they have two adopted children — came up to me afterwards and said, ‘Thank you for making a movie about our family.’”