I watched him in the casting session, because I wanted to be involved. We were involved where we could, when we could, based on what our expertise is. Rob was there for the nuts and bolts producing, because he’s the king of New Zealand television and production, and he could put together a crew like that. Sam was watching the overall project, picking Fede. And then I wanted to be involved in casting and posts. I couldn’t be there for the shoot because of Burn Notice, my day job. So, I don’t know. It was just something we really... So, we jumped in where we could, but that’s what got me hooked on Fede was in casting sessions. An actor reads a take. Ok, so what do you do now? Did you like it? Did you like it enough? Do you want to do it again? So, it’s how he was dealing with the actors because lots of modern day filmmakers can come up with cool shots, but they don’t know what to say to an actor. They don’t know a single fucking thing to say. “Faster, louder,” and they walk away. They don’t know. They sit back by their monitor and hide. But how he’s heard a take, gave them notes, and how they would do the next take better, I’m like, “Done. I’m out of here.” I mean, I didn’t need to see any more, because I realized he would have an answer if they had a question. He had an approach and he’s trying to guide them to a specific direction in a way sophisticated way. He’s a very bright guy, very well spoken. He’s very articulate in his ideas, like he would talk Rob into stuff because Rob didn’t want to hear his long winded explanation anymore. He’s like, “Fede, ok. Ok. You got it. I’m giving in. Stop talking.”
I thought the cast in this was fantastic and I felt that they all gave great performances, but Jane Levy, I thought, was an absolute standout. I’m curious, when you first saw her in those casting sessions, what was it that let you and Fede think she was the one?
Her willingness to go there. She just seemed like she could bring it. And she came back in after the audition to apologize for how bad she sucked.
Yeah. She goes, “I just want you guys to know I thought that sucked. I’m sorry.” We’re like, “Now she’s in the movie.” I’ve got to remember that trick, to go back and go, “Jeez, you guys, I’m sorry...” And so they go back and go, “She wasn’t bad at all.”
She’s lowering the expectations for you!
And it was brilliant of her. We’re like, “No, she was actually pretty good.” And again, you never know in a room, any actor can keep their shit together for two minutes, but can they keep their cool and remain professional for weeks and months under duress. You never know that until you get there. We were very fortunate to have five very patient, professional actors. It’s great. There wasn’t a stick in the mud of any of these guys.