Opening in select theaters on April 7, the film GIFTED tackles the issue of what is best for a genius child. I attended a screening for the film and was touched in so many ways. As a parent I can relate to Frank (played by Chris Evans) wanting a "normal" life for a "smart" child.
Note: I was invited as media by Role Mommy Writer's Network and Fox Searchlight to the movie screening and press junket interviews. However any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.
Chris did a great job bring Frank's dilemma to life on screen. There was so much emotion shared, as he tried to make choices that would be best for Mary (played by McKenna Grace). What Frank decided in the end will touch anyone watching this movie.
Since I enjoyed GIFTED so much, I was excited when Role Mommy Writer's Network and Fox Searchlight invited me to interview both Chris Evans and McKenna Grace about their role in the film.
First up was Chris Evans, who was such a down to earth and fun person to interview!
When asked what it was like working on the Gifted movie, Chris shared
It was fantastic, there were a lot of great people, a great script, a great director. It was one of those films that you hope others can be just like, that we felt like a family by the time we wrapped.
Marc Webb (the director) is great. I think these kind of emotional, character-driven pieces are his specialty. The best thing about him is that you really feel like you have an ally on those heavy days because if you’re becoming emotional in a scene there’s a good chance when they yell “Cut” and you look over at him he’s probably shedding a few tears.
He’s very much in touch with his emotional side and very curious about the human condition and human experience, and I think that’s what he’s constantly looking to show in all of his work.
What it was like working with Mckenna, Chris said
She’s got a great personality. She always has energy. She’s full of life. She’s nine, so she’s just a little ball of happiness. She’s always smiling, she knows everybody’s name. It’s really nice to be around that on a film set, because you remember how much fun this job can be.
I’m fully aware how lucky I am to do something that I love, that’s such a rare thing, but it’s really a wonderful reminder to know how much fun this job is, not just lucky and unfortunate, but truly just fun.
Sharing a little about conditions while shooting on location, Chris said
It was great. We shot in Savannah, and it’s a beautiful city, and we shot in September, October, so the humidity had begun to break and we beat the storm season, so it was actually the perfect time to shoot. It was gorgeous
On the issue of school bullying and if his child did what was shown in the movie about a bully on the bus, Chris said
I think it’s got to be a case by case basis. Sometimes I think it’s important to not resort to violence and lead by example, by not dropping to a bully’s level.
But I guess there are times where someone is really out of line and if it was my kid popping them.... I don’t know. It’s tough to say because I’m not a parent and I can’t fully grasp exactly how I would approach each parental situation.
But if it was offensive enough of a situation and my son or daughter came to someone else’s aid by popping a bully in the face, I don’t know. I’d like to believe that I would want to discipline my child and promote that that’s not the way to resolve conflicts. But maybe inside I’d be a little satisfied. Is that being a bad parent?
If he could go back to school for anything, what would he study, Chris shared
Maybe carpentry, and that may sound strange, but I’ve always had a real interest in it. I like any sort of artistic endeavor that has an autonomous nature. And I love acting but it’s very much dependent upon a lot of other people. I can’t wake up on a Saturday and just act in my kitchen.
There’s something about carpentry, there’s something about being alone with your thoughts and the tools in your hand, I don’t know, there’s a simplicity to it, something really beautiful, something’s always really struck me about it.
Talking about his favorite scene from the movie, Chris said
That’s tough. Favorite scenes for different reasons. I’m a little bit of a sap, I really like the hospital scene. I know it’s a very tear-jerky moment. I like that type of stuff.
I really actually loved a scene that I really wasn’t involved in too deeply. It was the scene where Lindsay Duncan is in the middle of being questioned by my lawyer. And Lindsay just has this unbelievable two-page monologue, it was so powerful watching her do it, and she had to perform in front of this whole courtroom of people.
And it’s very rare that you’ll be on a film set that after they yell “Cut” the crew applauds, so it was really powerful to watch her do it time and time again.
On why families should go out the theaters to see the film, instead of waiting for on demand, Chris said
I don’t know that I can speak to this film specifically. I can speak to cinema as a whole. When I was a child one of the most wonderful memories I have is going to the movies with my family.
Obviously, you can enjoy the film at home, but the experience of going to the movies, the act of spending time together, especially with this subject matter, is some of the things that I found when I was a kid to be some of my most impactful memories.
I have wonderful, vivid memories of being with my family at some of the best movies I had ever seen in the theater, and I don’t know, the car ride home was always so wonderful after a movie, just having everyone energized by what they just saw and sharing their thoughts and opinions. And there was just something about the actual act of leaving your house, I think it’s the ceremony, that I think is really romantic in a way.
What a great point Chris makes about families, movies and bounding. Make sure to take your family to see GIFTED, a film that will touch the whole family.
Next, I'll share the interview with McKenna Grace!
Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) - in a coastal town in Florida. Frank's plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary.
Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.
Cast: Chris Evans, McKenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Jenny Slate, and Octavia Spencer
Director: Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer)
To learn more about GIFTED, visit -www.GiftedMovie.com
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