Exclusive Interview: The Messenger Director Oren Moverman

Oren Moverman wasn't supposed to be a director. He had this script called The Messenger that he cared a whole lot about, but he figured he could only do right by the script and his co-writer Alessandro Camon if he found what he calls a "real director" to handle it. But after The Messenger had been considered by the likes of Sydney Pollack and Ben Affleck as a directorial vehicle and then dropped, it came time to either keep the development momentum going or drop the project entirely. And that's how Oren Moverman, director, came to be.

In The Messenger, Moverman tackles the domestic impact of the Iraq War from the perspective of two soldiers (Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson) charged with notifying the next of kin when a fellow serviceman dies overseas. Amid the series of notifications, from bereaved and angry parents to heartbroken young wives, Foster's character also strikes up a tentative romance with a young widow played by Samantha Morton.

I talked to Moverman about many of the minute details of the film, which is why it's a good idea to have seen The Messenger already before watching the below interview (it opened last weekend in limited release). But his insights on directing his own script, and helping his actors improvise, are interesting even if you haven't seen the film. Thanks to the lead performances from Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson, you'll be hearing a lot more about The Messenger this fall, so check out the interview below.

Katey Rich

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend