10.24.18

The Stars Of "1985" Discuss The Dramatic Movie

Having been gone for three years, closeted advertising executive Adrian (Cory Michael Smith, "Gotham") returns to his Texas hometown for the holidays during the first wave of the AIDS crisis. Burdened with an unspeakable tragedy in New York City, Adrian looks to reconnect with his preteen brother Andrew (Aidan Langford) while navigating his relationship with religious parents Eileen (Virginia Madsen) and Dale (Michael Chiklis). When he reaches out to his estranged childhood friend Carly (Jamie Chung), their unresolved issues force Adrian to confront an uncertain future that will significantly alter the lives of those around him. Shot on black-and-white super 16mm film, "1985," written and directed by Yen Tan, takes a unique look at a pivotal moment in American history through the prism of empathy, love and family.

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>>> THANK YOU, EVERYBODY, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, WELCOME TO BUILD, I'M YOUR HOST. OUR NEXT GUESTS ARE THE DIRECTOR AND STARS OF THE BEAUTIFUL NEW FILM, "1985." A CLOSETED GAY MAN RETURNS TO HIS CHRISTIAN FAMILY FOR THE HOLIDAYS. THE FILM IS BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN, ACTED, AND SHOT ON -- ON INCREDIBLE BLACK-AND-WHITE SUPER 16 MILLIMETER THAT NOT ONLY MAKES IT STAND OUT IN THIS DIGITALLY SATURATED INDY MOVIE LANDSCAPE BUT HARKENS THE FILM BACK TO THE TIME AND PLACE BY REFERENCES THE AREA OF INDY MOVIES THAT EXISTED ONLY ON FILM. I LOVE IT. LET'S TAKE A LOOK.

>> CHRISTMAS WASN'T THE SAME WITHOUT YOU. I'M GLAD YOU MADE IT BACK THIS YEAR.

>> I WANT TO APOLOGIZE YOU TO FOR YOU NOT BEING ABLE TO COME TO NEW YORK TO VISIT ME. I KNOW YOU WERE BUMMED ABOUT THAT.

>> YOU LEFT HOME JUST AS SOON AS YOU COULD. YOU COULDN'T HAVE LEFT ANY FASTER.

>> YOU DON'T EVEN TALK TO YOUR OWN FAMILY ANYMORE. SO STOP TELLING ME WHAT I SHOULD DO.

>> I SPOKE WITH CARLY, AND I THINK SHE'S STILL ON THE MARKET.

>> WHY DID YOU CALL ME TODAY? WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

>> I JUST WANTED TO SEE YOU ONE LAST TIME.

>> FRIENDS --

>> BEEN TO SIX FUNERALS THIS YEAR.

>> DEAR FATHER, WE WANT TO THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING US TO SPEND THIS CHRISTMAS TOGETHER. WE PRAY THAT THERE ARE MANY MORE DAYS LIKE THIS TO COME, MANY MORE MEMORIES FOR US TO LOOK FORWARD TO. WE PRAY THAT YOU CONTINUE TO TEACH US HOW TO LOVE EACH OTHER UNCONDITIONALLY, JUST THE WAY THAT YOU LOVE US. WE PRAY THAT YOUR EVERLASTING GRACE CONTINUES TO LEAD AND INSPIRE US. \M\M \M\M

>> EVERYBODY, PLEASE WELCOME THE GREAT MICHAEL CHIKLIS, VIRGINIA MADSEN, CORY MICHAEL SMITH, AND WRITER/DIRECTOR YEN TAN. HEY.

>> HEY.

>> HEY.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING HERE, AND CONGRATULATIONS ON THIS REALLY BEAUTIFUL FILM. AND VERY WELL MADE. I LOVE SO MUCH THE WAY THAT IT LOOKS. I LOVE THE WAY THAT IT'S ACTED AND PERFORMED. BUT AS A CINEPHILE, A FILM FAN, I LOVE THE WAY IT LOOKS. WE'LL START THERE.

>> OKAY.

>> WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO SHOOT IT ON SUPER 16MM, HOW HARD WAS IT TO CONVINCE PEOPLE TO LET YOU DO THAT? BECAUSE SO OFTEN I HEAR THE STORY OF FILMMAKERS SAYING I WANT TO SHOOT THIS ON FILM, AND THEIR PRODUCERS OR FINANCIERS SAYING ABSOLUTELY, HELL NO. NO WAY ARE WE GOING TO ALLOW YOU TO DO THAT.

>> YEAH. I MEAN, I THINK IT'S NOT REALLY ABOUT SHOOTING ON FILM AS MUCH AS SHOOTING IN BLACK AND WHITE IS LIKE THE BIGGEST THING.

>> THAT, TOO.

>> PEOPLE GET THE BIGGEST HANG-UP. I FELT LIKE WE WERE DOING IT FOR SO LITTLE MONEY AND THERE WAS A SPECIFIC AESTHETIC. AND WITH ALL THE GREAT TALENTS ON BOARD, THAT WE FELT LIKE, YOU KNOW, LET'S GO FOR BROKE AND TRY TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

>> GET ON THE TRAIN OR GET OFF. THIS IS WHAT WE'RE DOING. BASICALLY.

>> YEAH.

>> WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN YOU FOUND OUT THAT YOUR DIRECTOR WAS GOING TO BE SHOOTING IT ON SUPER 16 BLACK AND WHITE? I IMAGINE IT'S A RARITY THAT YOU HAVE TO EVEN HEAR OF THAT.

>> IT WAS A CONCERN FOR ME INITIALLY IN, YOU KNOW, WHEN YEN EXPLAINED, WHEN YOU THINK OF THE '80s YOU THINK OF IT IN THE VIBRANT COLORS, THE FABULOUS, CRAZY '80s, RIGHT? AND SHARP CONTRAST TO THAT, THE STARK REALITY OF -- OF THE AIDS EPIDEMIC, IT -- WHEN HE EXPLAINED THAT THAT'S WHAT HE WANTED TO, YOU KNOW, HIGHLIGHT, AND -- BY USING THAT GRAINY, SUPER 16, I WAS LIKE, YEAH, OKAY. I UNDERSTOOD HIS VISION FOR THE FILM. AND I WAS ALL IN.

>> YEAH.

>> SO LET'S TALK ABOUT THE STORY OF THE FILM ITSELF. IT'S HEARTBREAKING AND IT'S BEAUTIFUL. WHERE DID IT COME FROM? WHERE DID YOU FIND THE STORY OF A MAN GOING BACK TO HIS FAMILY OVER THE HOLIDAYS WHO'S HOLDING SOME PRETTY BIG SECRETS?

>> YEAH. I HAD ONE OF MY EARLY JOBS AFTER COLLEGE WHERE IT WAS A LIFE INSURANCE SORT OF INDUSTRY. AND I WAS INTERACTING WITH A LOT OF MEN WHO WERE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS, LIKE IN THE '90s. FROM THAT I HEARD A LOT OF PERSONAL STORIES. AND HOW THEY WERE DIRECTLY IMPACTED BY THE EPIDEMIC IN THE '80s. AND SO, YOU KNOW, LIKE A LOT OF THESE STORIES RESONATED WITH ME. LIKE YEARS DOWN THE LINE, AS I GOT OLDER, I THOUGHT ABOUT THE CONVERSATIONS AGAIN, AND I WANT TO REVISIT THOSE THINGS. AND IN SOME WAYS TRY TO ASK A LOT OF THE QUESTIONS I DIDN'T GET TO ASK THEM THEN. YOU KNOW, WHERE THERE WAS -- THERE WAS THIS CONSISTENT THREAT OF THEM NOT BEING ABLE TO TELL THEIR LOVED ONES AND FAMILY WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THEM. WHICH I, YOU KNOW, KIND OF LIKE AT THE AGE WHERE PEOPLE CAN COME OUT AND IT'S OKAY AND IT'S A MUCH ACCEPTING ENVIRONMENT. I THINK BACK THEN THERE WAS JUST NO -- NO ROOM FOR THAT. YOU KNOW, AND I WANTED TO GO BACK AND REVISIT WHAT THAT'S LIKE BECAUSE I THINK A LOT OF WHAT WE ACCOMPLISH TODAY WHEN IT COMES TO LIKE RIGHTS AND MARRIAGE EQUALITY AND ALL THAT KIND OF STUFF IS LIKE WRITING ON THE BACKS OF A LOT OF -- RIDING ON THE BACKS OF A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WENT THROUGH PAIN AND SUFFERING.

>> SO MUCH OF THE STRENGTH OF THE CHARACTER IS EVEN IF YOU WERE DYING AND COMING -- COMING OUT AND TELLING -- TELLING YOUR TRUTH COULD MAKE IT WORSE, YOU COULD DIE WITH LESS DIGNITY THAN YOU WANTED TO DIE WITH.

>> ABSOLUTELY. AND BEING GAY AND HAVING AIDS BACK THEN WAS SUCH -- IT WAS SEEN AS THE SAME THING IN MANY WAYS, YOU KNOW. I MEAN, FOR ME PERSONALLY, I WAS -- I FELT LIKE I WAS INDIRECTLY IMPACTED BY THE EPIDEMIC IN THE '80s BECAUSE I WAS 10-YEARS-OLD IN 1985. YOU KNOW, I -- I HAD AN INCLINITION I WAS GAY AT THAT TIME. AND I JUST THOUGHT MY LIFE AHEAD WAS JUST GOING TO BE FILLED WITH PAIN AND SUFFERING AND OPPRESSION, YOU KNOW. IT WAS LIKE ALWAYS HAD THIS BAGGAGE OF THE DISEASE. AND I THINK EVEN TO THIS DAY, I THINK THE -- THE HIV/AIDS STIGMA IS STILL A VERY REAL THING. YOU KNOW, WHERE -- WE'RE NOT COMPLETELY DONE WITH IT YET IN MANY WAYS.

>> YEAH. CORY, I WANT TO GO BACK SOMETHING ABOUT THE CHARACTER I SAID, HAVING SO MUCH STRENGTH. I THINK YOUR PERFORMANCE IS BEAUTIFUL. AND YOU CAPTURE THE AMOUNT OF STRENGTH THAT THIS PERSON HAS GOING HOME AND KNOWING THEY'RE HOLDING ON TO THIS THING AND TRYING TO LOVE EVERYBODY AS MUCH AS THEY CAN EVEN THOUGH THERE'S THE SENSE THAT THEY MIGHT NOT LOVE HIM THE WAY THAT HE LOVES THEM. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT CALIBRATING THAT PERFORMANCE AND FIGURING THAT OUT AND FINDING THAT STRENGTH?

>> YEAH. I APPRECIATE YOU USING THE WORD BRAVERY. SOMETHING THAT STRUCK OUT TO ME IN THIS -- THAT STUCK OUT TO ME IN THIS FILM. A LOT OF AIDS FILMS IN CINEMA HAVE THAT BEEN POWERFUL HAVE BEEN ABOUT ACTIVISM, POLITICS, THE MELODRAMA. AND YOU SEE BRAVERY IN A VERY DIFFERENT WAY. SOMEONE ON THE FRONT LINES FIGHTING FOR GAY RIGHTS, FIGHTING FOR THE RIGHTS OF SOMEONE THAT'S -- THAT'S ILL TO GET MEDICATION. BUT I WAS REALLY INTERESTED IN THIS STORY BECAUSE THIS IS SOMEONE, THIS IS SOMEONE WHO'S A BIT MORE QUIET, WHO MAYBE ISN'T A FIGHTER IN THE TRADITIONAL WAY. BUT I SEE HIM WANTING TO END HIS LIFE GOING HOME AND SEEING HIS FAMILY AND SAYING GOOD-BYE IN HIS OWN WAY. AND MAKING SURE THAT HE GIFTS SOMETHING TO EACH ONE OF THEM, AND ALSO HE'S -- HIS CHOICE TO STAY SILENT WHETHER YOU AGREE WITH IT OR NOT IS, YOU KNOW --

>> HIS CHOICE.

>> IT'S HIS CHOICE. AND THERE IS A BRAVERY IN THAT, RIGHT. HE DOESN'T WANT TO INFLICT PAIN OR SUFFERING ON ANYONE ELSE. AND HE'S MAKING A DECISION THAT HE THINKS IS PROTECTING HIMSELF AND PROTECTING THE ONES THAT HE LOVES. AND I FOUND THAT TO BE -- THAT SORT OF RESILIENCE AND THAT KIND OF CARE AND LOVE FOR A FAMILY, AGAIN, NO MATTER HOW YOU -- HOW ANYONE HAS LIVED THEIR LIFE, I FOUND THAT BRAVERY REALLY TOUCHING AND HEARTRENDING.

>> HE'S WEIGHING SUCH A HORRIBLE DECISION TO WEIGH WHICH IS HOW DO I SUFFER LESS, DO I SUFFER LESS BY NOT TELLING THEM, OR WOULD I SUFFER LESS BY TELLING THEM MY TRUTH.

>> AND HOW DOES MY FAMILY SUFFER LESS, HOW DOES MY LITTLE BROTHER SUFFER LESS. YOU KNOW, HOW DO I PROTECT -- HOW DO I PROTECT EVERYONE THAT I LOVE SO THAT EVERYONE CAN GO ON AND BE OKAY.

>> YEAH. AND THE TWO OF YOU, I THINK, DO A WONDERFUL JOB OF SHOWING TWO PEOPLE WHO I THINK WANT TO LOVE THEIR CHILDREN UNCONDITIONALLY BUT ARE SO AFFECTED BY CULTURAL STIGMAS OF THAT TIME. YOU KNOW, WE SEE IT'S NOT NECESSARILY JUST ABOUT THE SORT OF STIGMAS SURROUNDING THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY. BUT OTHER KIND OF CULTURE WARS AND STIGMAS THAT ARE HAPPENING FOR A CHRISTIAN FAMILY. YOU KNOW, AND -- IN TEXAS AT THIS TIME. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT FIGURING -- FINDING THESE PEOPLE AND WHERE YOU FOUND THEM?

>> SURE.

>> EITHER ONE. WHOEVER --

>> GO AHEAD.

>> WELL, FIRST OF ALL, JUST HEARING YOU SPEAK OF IT MAKES ME REALLY, REALLY HAPPY BECAUSE NO -- NO, IT JUST HIGHLIGHTS THAT YOU GET IT. YOU SEE IT. AND IT'S THERE. I WAS CONCERNED WHEN CORY FIRST CALLED ABOUT IT AND SAID, CHIKLIS, I WANT YOU TO PLAY MY DAD --

>> THAT HAPPENED?

>> THAT'S EXACTLY THE EXACT VOICE THAT I USED. [ LAUGHTER ]

>> CHIKLIS, IT'S CORY.

>> NO, COME ON -- I MEAN, I --

>> I WANTED CHIKLIS TO PLAY MY DAD.

>> COOL.

>> INITIALLY, COMPLETELY FLATTERED OBVIOUSLY. BUT WHEN HE TOLD ME WHAT THE FILM WAS ABOUT, I WAS A LITTLE WORRIED THAT IT WOULD BE, YOU KNOW, FULL OF OVERWORKED CLICHES AND I WOULD BE THE, YOU KNOW, THAT SORT OF TWO-DIMENSIONAL, YOU KNOW, HATEFUL, YOU KNOW, SUPER CONSERVATIVE JUST, YOU KNOW, I HATE YOU BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU ARE. AND I DIDN'T -- I WASN'T INTERESTED IN THAT. WHEN I READ THE SCRIPT, I WAS VERY MOVED BY IT. FOR PERSONAL REASONS, YOU KNOW. I -- I WATCHED THIS PLAY OUT IN -- WITH A COUSIN OF MINE AND HIS FATHER. BUT BEYOND THAT, YOU KNOW, I -- I SAW LOVE IN IT, IN THE COMPLEXITY OF A FAMILY. AND THAT IT WAS -- YOU KNOW, LIKE YOU JUST SAID, SO ELOQUENTLY, THAT THESE ARE TWO PEOPLE WHO WOULD LOVE TO -- TO LOVE THEIR SON UNEQUIVOCALLY. THEY'VE BEEN RAISED IN A CERTAIN WAY, AND IT'S JUST COMPLICATED. IT'S REALLY INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT. AND AGAIN, YOU KNOW, LIFE IS VERY COMPLICATED, AND FAMILIES ARE SO COMPLICATED. AND WE LIVE IN REALLY, REALLY COMPLICATED TIMES. AND WHEN THERE'S -- THERE'S SUCH LOVE PRESENT AND SUCH -- SUCH SUBTLETY AND NUANCE IN THE SCRIPT, I JUST FOUND IT SO BEAUTIFUL. YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES, YOU KNOW, IT'S SO LOUD OUT THERE, IT'S HARD TO GET ATTENTION FOR ANYTHING RIGHT NOW. AND PEOPLE ARE JUST POUNDING YOU IN THE HEAD WITH MESSAGES AND EVERYTHING. AND SOMETIMES A WHISPER MAKES PEOPLE LEAN IN AND LISTEN. AND THIS IS JUST SUCH A -- AN ELOQUENT WHISPER.

>> YEAH. I AGREE. VIRGINIA?

>> SORRY, THAT WAS GOING TO MAKE ME CRY. [ APPLAUSE ] IT'S BEAUTIFUL.

>> WELL REALLY.

>> WHAT WAS THE -- SORRY, I'M JUST REALLY LOST IN THAT. I JUST --

>> THAT'S OKAY.

>> THAT WAS VERY MEANINGFUL TO ME. BECAUSE IT IS SO LOUD RIGHT NOW. AND -- AND -- AND I, TOO, SAW SUBTLETY IN THIS SCRIPT IN A VERY REAL STORY OF RELATIONSHIPS AND ULTIMATELY OF LOVE. AND I THINK THAT IT HAS A HOPEFUL -- I FEEL LIKE THERE WAS A HOPEFUL STORY HERE FOR MY YOUNG SON BECAUSE YOU CAN SEE THE DIFFERENCE MAYBE IN WHAT HIS YOUNG ADULT LIFE WILL BE AS OPPOSED TO WHAT YOURS IS.

>> DO YOU EVER USE THE WORD "AIDS" IN THE MOVIE OR "GAY"?

>> NO, THEY'RE NOT USED IN THE FILM.

>> WHY IS THAT?

>> BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T.

>> IT'S --

>> IT WAS SPOKEN ABOUT -- IF AT ALL IN HUSHED TONE. TALKED AROUND IT -- ALSO IT DIDN'T HAVE A NAME FOR MANY YEARS. NOBODY KNEW WHAT THIS WAS. THAT THERE WAS EVEN A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIV AND AIDS. IT WAS SO FRIGHTENING BECAUSE IT WAS A MYSTERY. AND THAT -- THAT IF YOU WERE TO BE LABELED, YOU MIGHT NOT -- YOU MIGHT BE OSTRACIZED AND LOSE YOUR JOB AND LOSE YOUR FRIENDS, LOSE YOUR COMMUNITY BEFORE YOU LOST YOUR LIFE. SO IT WAS -- AND THE -- I OFTEN SAY THAT THE DILEMMA THAT CORY'S CHARACTER IS FACING IS WHAT MANY YOUNG PEOPLE FACE TODAY. THEY CAN'T GO HOME FOR CHRISTMAS AND REVEAL THEIR -- THEIR OWN IDENTITY. THEY MAY NOT BE THAT THEY'RE SICK, THAT THEY HAVE AIDS OR, YOU KNOW, THEY -- BUT THEY CAN'T REVEAL --

>> THEIR TRUTH --

>> THEIR TRUTH. THEY CAN'T REVEAL IF THEY'RE TRANS OR IF THEY'RE LGBTQ 2S, PLUS S, THERE'S SO MANY LETTER. BUT YOU CAN'T -- THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT ARE LIVING IN SECRET OUTSIDE OF THEIR FAMILY BECAUSE THEY DON'T -- THEY'RE TOO AFRAID TO COME OUT AND BE WHO THEY ARE.

>> YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I LOVE ABOUT THE FILM IS THAT HIS DILEMMA IS SOMETHING THAT IS SORT OF SLOWLY REVEALED THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF THE FILM. IT'S NOT SOMETHING WHERE WE START AND KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THE DILEMMA WAS AND WE'RE JUST WONDERING WHEN IS HE GOING TO DO THIS THING OR IS HE GOING TO DO THIS THING. WE SLOWLY REVEAL THIS. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT SHAPING THAT INTO THE SCRIPT? I THINK SO OFTEN A MOVIE WOULD OR A FILMMAKER WOULD BE LIKE, NO, THIS IS -- OUR HERO GOES HOME, AND THIS IS WHAT HE HAS TO FACE AND WHAT HE WANTS. HOW DOES HE GET THERE? WHEREAS YOU SORT OF STRUNG IT OUT NICELY THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE MOVIE.

>> YEAH. I MEAN, IT'S DEFINITELY DESIGNED IN A WAY WHERE I EXPECT THE AUDIENCE TO BE AHEAD OF IT, YOU KNOW. SO IN OTHER WORDS, WHEN PEOPLE WATCH IT AND THEY FIGURE OUT WITHIN FIVE MINUTES THAT HE'S EITHER CLOSETED OR SICK, IT'S NOT LIKE, OH, I WISH YOU FOUND IT OUT LATER. IT'S PRETTY MUCH LIKE YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE AHEAD OF THE GAME.

>> IT WAS A REALLY TOUGH THING --

>> RIGHT.

>> -- TOO COMMIT YOURSELF TO AS A STORYTELLER. YOU'RE OFTEN TOLD ONE OF THE FIRST MAJOR RULES OF STORYTELLING IS STAY AHEAD OF THE AUDIENCE.

>> OF COURSE. THE GOOD THING ABOUT BEING AHEAD OF THE GAME IN THIS SITUATION IS THAT I THINK YOU IMMEDIATELY ZONE IN TO WHAT IS ADRIAN'S EXPERIENCE LIKE BACK HOME. AND YOU CAN SORT OF REALLY EXPERIENCE IT THROUGH HIS POINT OF VIEW WHICH IS PRETTY MUCH WHAT THE FILM, THE STORY IS TOLD FROM HIS POINT OF VIEW. AND SO I THINK THAT'S THE BENEFIT OF BEING ABLE TO MAKE LIKE AN AIDS DRAMA TODAY IN 2018 BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE TO -- THERE'S A LOT OF THINGS WE DON'T HAVE TO REVEAL. AND I THINK PEOPLE WATCH IT, AND THEY CAN FIGURE IT OUT, YOU KNOW, LIKE THE FACT THAT WE NEVER USE THE WORD "AIDS" AND "GAY," WHICH IS TRUE OF ITS TIME. AS A NARRATIVIST WE DON'T HAVE TO SAY IT, BUT IT'S IN THE BACK OF YOUR MIND. WE UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT AND DON'T HAVE TO EXPLAIN ANY OF THOSE THINGS ANYMORE.

>> I THINK ALSO, WE'RE FOCUSING A LOT ON WHAT ADRIAN'S SECRETS ARE, THAT HE'S HOLDING CLOSE TO HIS CHEST. WHAT I FIND SO INTERESTING AND BEAUTIFUL ABOUT THIS FILM IS THAT, YES, IT'S VERY MUCH ABOUT HIS STORY AND IT'S TOLD FROM HIS POINT OF VIEW. BUT AS WE GO THROUGH, WE REALIZE THAT EVERY CHARACTER IN THE STORY HAS A SECRET, A BIG SECRET, OR SECRETS THAT THEY'RE KEEPING FROM EVERYONE ELSE. AND ADRIAN IS FINDING OUT ALL OF THESE SECRETS FROM EVERYONE. AND THERE'S SOMETHING REALLY -- I WAS REALLY STRUCK BY THIS. I'M FROM A FAMILY WHERE -- FROM OHIO, FROM THE MIDWEST. YOU DON'T BRING -- YOU DON'T GIVE OTHER PEOPLE YOUR PROBLEMS. YOU BUCK UP AND DEAL WITH IT. THAT'S HOW A LOT OF US WERE RAISED. AND YOU JUST WONDER WHAT WOULD THIS FAMILY BE LIKE IF EVERYONE WOULD JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER. YOU KNOW, AND IT TAKES -- IT TAKES A WHILE TO UNDERSTAND THAT THERE'S SO MUCH LOVE IN THIS FAMILY, BUT THERE'S SO MUCH FEAR. AND WE ALL LIVE WITH SO MUCH FEAR THAT SOMEONE'S GOING TO BE OFFENDED BY OUR GENUINE FEELINGS OR BY OUR GENUINE EXPERIENCE. AND I THINK SOMETHING --

>> OR THAT SOMEONE'S GOING TO OUT YOU FOR NOT BEING THE NORMAL PERSON THAT YOU SHOULD ESSENTIALLY BE OR DEFINED BY HOWEVER WE DEFINE WHATEVER NORMAL IS.

>> YEAH. AND I THINK THIS FILM IS SO MUCH ABOUT EVERYBODY'S SECRETS AND THE HEALING THAT WE ARE KEEPING OURSELVES FROM BY NOT -- BY NOT SHARING THOSE THINGS.

>> YOU TALKED ABOUT THAT. ACTUALLY NEVER REALIZED THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THIS. AND THERE'S ANOTHER LAYER OF SECRETS THAT'S REVEALED BETWEEN THE INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERS AND THE AUDIENCE AND THE CLOSING MONTAGE. WHICH IS THIS OTHER THING OF LIKE WHERE THE CHARACTERS ARE BY THEMSELVES AND ONLY THE AUDIENCE CAN SEE, BUT THE CHARACTERS IN THE FILM DON'T KNOW ABOUT EACH OTHER. I THINK THAT MAKES IT EVEN MORE HEARTBREAKING BECAUSE IT'S LIKE, FOR INSTANCE, YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU PUT ON THE JACKET, THE END OF THE FILM --

>> THAT'S THE REASON I TOOK THE MOVIE.

>> AND HE NEVER KNOWS -- HE NEVER KNOWS ABOUT IT.

>> RIGHT.

>> ADRIAN DOESN'T KNOW THAT HIS -- OR EVEN THAT YOU TURN OFF THE CHRISTIAN RADIO IN THE CAR, IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT HE KNOWS --

>> I WAS QUITE CERTAIN YOU WERE GOING TO CUT THAT. AND I'M SO GLAD THAT YOU DIDN'T. ALL THE -- THOSE TAGS WHICH, AS CORY HAS SAID, IT WAS LIKE THAT'S EVERYONE TAKING A STEP FORWARD IN THE STORY.

>> AND THE OPTIMISM AT THE END OF THE FILM --

>> ABSOLUTELY --

>> THE TRAGEDY. THE IDEA THAT AS MUCH AS ONE STORY IS OVER, THIS -- THERE'S A WHOLE OTHER JOURNEY THAT IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN FOR THESE TWO CHARACTERS. AND, YOU KNOW, THE GREATER -- FOR THE COUNTRY, AS A WHOLE, AS WELL.

>> HEARING YOU SPEAK OF THIS FILM MAKES ME SO HAPPY. NO, I -- IT JUST DOES. SERIOUSLY. IT -- YOU KNOW, BECAUSE WE SAW IT ON THE PAGE, WE KNEW THAT THIS WAS WHAT WAS -- BUT YOU KNOW, YOU WORRY THAT IT WILL TRANSLATE AND THAT IT WILL BE EVIDENT ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU'RE DOING IT WITH SUCH NUANCE AND SUBTLETY. EVERYBODY PROSELYTIZES NOW, EVERYBODY SMASHES YOU IN THE READ WITH EVERYTHING. AGAIN, YOU KNOW, TO DO SOMETHING JUST -- WITH BRUSHSTROKES, TO KNOW THAT IT'S THERE AND YOU SEE IT, MAKES ME FEEL GOOD, THAT'S ALL.

>> IT'S A GOOD MOVIE. YOU GUYS DID A GREAT JOB. AND IT'S SHOT IN AND AROUND DOLLARS, RIGHT?

>> YES.

>> ARE YOU FROM -- AROUND DALLAS, RIGHT?

>> YES.

>> ARE YOU FROM THE AREA?

>> I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN MALAYSIA, AND I'VE LIVED IN THE STATES SINCE -- SINCE THE '90s. AND I'VE LIVED IN TEXAS FOR LIKE 20 YEARS ALREADY. I WAS IN DALLAS AND AUSTIN WHICH IS WHERE I'M AT NOW. SO I MEAN, IN SOME WAYS I FEEL -- TEXAS IS VERY MUCH LIKE A SECOND NATURE THING TO ME NOW.

>> ONLY ASK THE QUESTION BECAUSE I LOVE THE LOCATION WHERE WE LEARN HIS TRUTH WHEN HE'S TALKING TO JULIE AND I THINK IT'S SUCH A BEAUTIFULLY SHOT PIECE WHERE HE'S GOT THAT WHOLE -- THE LAYERS BEHIND HIM, LIKE UNDER AN OVERPASS --

>> LIKE UNDER AN OVERPASS BASICALLY. LIKE ONE OF THOSE PLACES WHERE IT'S LIKE A -- A NIGHTMARE FOR SOUND. BUT THEN I THINK WE DELIBERATELY WANTED A PLACE THAT'S NOISY IN THE BACKGROUND. SO THAT IT -- THERE'S A SENSE. LIKE WHAT THEY HAVE TO TALK ABOUT IS SO TABOO THAT IT NEEDS TO BE DROWNED OUT BY SOMETHING ELSE. YOU KNOW, WHICH IS VERY MUCH SYMBOLIC OF THE WAY -- THE WAY THESE THINGS WERE TALKED ABOUT BACK THEN, YOU KNOW.

>> SHOUT OUT TO HUTCH --

>> YES --

>> -- CINEMATOGRAPHER. HE WAS ONE OF THE MOST PASSIONATE I'VE WORKED WITH.

>> AN ANOMALY, BUT WE ALL WORE MANY HATS IN THIS FILM, TOO, BECAUSE IT'S SUCH A SMALL PRODUCTION.

>> HE SAID THAT HE HAD INTERVIEWED AND SORT OF WORKED WITH LOTS OF MEN WHO HAD EXPERIENCES AT THIS PARTICULAR PERIOD OF TIME. OF COURSE, YOU GO BACK AND DO ANY RESEARCH ON -- ON WHAT IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN LIKE?

>> I DID. I SPENT MOST OF MY TIME IN PREPRODUCTION. I JUST FOCUSED ON THE HISTORY OF AIDS AND WHAT USED TO BE CALLED GRID UP INTO THE END OF '85. WHAT WAS MORE --

>> GRID UP UNTIL THE --

>> GRID RELATED --

>> OKAY --

>> IMMUNODEFICIENCY DISORDER.

>> I NEVER HEARD IT -- YEAH, I'VE HEARD.

>> BUT I REALLY WANTED TO FOCUS ON WHAT THE EXPERIENCE WAS LIKE BOTH FOR PEOPLE BEING TO THE HOSPITAL. SO I SPOKE TO SOME DOCTORS IN NEW YORK CITY WHO WERE ON THE FRONT LINES IN THE '80s, AT THE BEGINNING OF THE EPIDEMIC. AND LISTENED TO SOME STORIES ABOUT WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL WITH YOUR FRIEND WHO WAS DYING AND THEY DIDN'T QUITE KNOW HOW IT WAS TRANSMITTED, IF IT COULD BE AIRBORNE, AND YOU HAD NURSES WHO SOME WERE TERRIFIED AND DOCTORS BASICALLY HAD TO SAY, YOU KNOW, LOOK, IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE BEING IN THIS ROOM WITHOUT MAKING THIS PERSON FEEL COMFORTABLE AND SAFE, THEN I NEED YOU TO NOT BE IN THIS ROOM. AND WHAT THAT MUST BE LIKE TO BE SOMEONE WHERE A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL WALKS INTO A ROOM AND LOOKS AT YOU AS IF YOU COULD BE THE PERSON THAT IS SO DANGEROUS THAT YOU'RE A RISK TO SOMEONE'S LIFE. I TRIED TO PUT MYSELF IN A HEAD SPACE OF HAVING LIVED, YOU KNOW, ADRIAN HAVING LIVED LIKE THAT FOR YEARS. AND NOW IT'S HIS TURN, AND TO NOT REALLY HAVE PEOPLE, MANY PEOPLE LEFT IN HIS LIFE THAT HE COULD RELY ON. AND SO I SPENT MOST OF MY TIME JUST TRYING TO PUT MYSELF IN A -- IN A PLACE WHERE I WAS, YOU KNOW, THINKING OF ALL THESE PEOPLE. THERE'S A REALLY WONDERFUL INSTAGRAM CALLED THE AIDS MEMORIAL THAT I SPENT A LOT OF TIME READING ON. AND THEY'VE BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF THE FILM RECENTLY. AND IT BASICALLY THEY'LL SHOW A PICTURE OF SOMEONE WHO -- WHOSE LIFE HAS BEEN LOST FROM AIDS, AND IT TELLS A STORY THAT A FRIEND HAS TOLD OR A FAMILY MEMBER. IT'S A COLLECTION OF LIVES BEING HONORED AND REMEMBERED. AND SO I JUST TRIED TO -- JUST TRIED TO REPRESENT THOSE PEOPLE AS BEST I COULD.

>> THERE'S ALSO A SENSE OF HIM GOING TO HIS FAMILY WHICH ARE THE PEOPLE WHO -- WHETHER AS MUCH AS YOU KNOW THAT THEY ARE NOT THOSE PEOPLE, THERE IS AN INSTINCT THAT THEY SHOULD KNOW YOU BETTER THAN ANYBODY. THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HIS LIFE AND CAN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HIS LIFE. THAT MUST BE SO DEVASTATING FOR THAT PERSON TO BE LIVING WITH IN THAT MOMENT WHILE TRYING TO SMILE AND MAKE THEM HAPPY CONSISTENTLY THROUGHOUT THE FILM.

>> THE PEOPLE YOU WANT SUPPORT FROM THE MOST, YOU CAN'T ASK FOR IT. AND I -- I'M VERY CLOSE WITH MY FAMILY. AND I KNOW -- I KNOW, YOU KNOW, THEY ARE, AS WELL. AND -- JUST THE CONSIDERATION OF NOT BEING ABLE TO RELY ON YOUR PARENTS OR TO BE ABLE TO REALLY SAY GOOD-BYE TO THEM IS JUST ABSOLUTELY -- IT'S JUST HEARTBREAKING TO ME.

>> YOU KNOW, AND THE LAST FEW YEARS, THERE HAVE BEEN MAJOR STRIDES IN THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY. IN THIS PAST YEAR WE'RE SEEING ROLLBACK ON THE PART OF THE ADMINISTRATION, SPECIFICALLY IN TERMS OF TRANS RIGHTS. I WONDER WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE RELEASING A MOVIE THAT'S LGBTQ CENTERED AT THIS TIME. DOES IT FEEL DIFFERENT THAN FIVE, SIX YEARS AGO?

>> NO, ABSOLUTELY. I MEAN, THE SCRIPT WAS WRITTEN DURING WHAT I CALL THE COMFORTABLE OBAMA YEARS, YOU KNOW. AND I THOUGHT I WAS REVISITING HISTORY, AND THEN BY THE TIME WE FINISHED THE FILM AND THE MOVIE IS COMING OUT IN THESE DAYS, WHICH IS -- I MEAN, ONE OF THE SORT OF LIKE -- IN MANY WAYS IT'S A WONDERFUL THING TO TALK TO AUDIENCES WHO ARE DRAWING MODERN PARALLELS TO WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE FILM TO WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY. AND HOW THEY'RE SEEING LIKE THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS THAT'S KIND OF UNFORTUNATE IN THAT WE MIGHT BE FACING, YOU KNOW, THINGS THAT WE WERE FACING BACK THEN IN TERMS OF LIKE LOSING RIGHTS AND THESE KIND OF THINGS. SO I THINK IT'S INTERESTING THAT LIKE -- THAT THIS FILM EVEN THOUGH -- WHEN WE NEED, IT -- THAT WAS NOT INTENT, IT'S COMING TO THE POINT AND KIND OF BECOMING IN A WAY AN ACT OF RESISTANCE. YOU KNOW, WHICH I THINK IS WHAT WE NEED THESE DAYS. YOU KNOW, ANYTHING THAT WE CAN PUT OUT THERE TO INSPIRE SOMETHING GOOD IS -- IS GREAT FOR ME, YOU KNOW.

>> ABSOLUTELY. THE STOKING OF FEAR OF OTHERS TODAY IS SO DISHEARTENING. AND IF THIS FILM IS IN ANY WAY A SMALL REPRESENTATION THAT THE OTHER IS NOT TO BE FEARED, UP, DIVERSITY AND DIFFERENCES SHOULD BE -- YOU KNOW, DIVERSITY AND DIFFERENCES SHOULD BE EMBRACED AND CELEBRATED, AND WE SHOULD LIVE HARMONIOUSLY IF WE HAPPEN HELP AND -- IF WE HELP AND EMBRACE EACH OTHER. I HOPE THE FILM CAN SUPPORT THAT THOUGHT.

>> THE REASON I TOOK THE FILM IS JUST THAT. I MOVED TO NEW YORK IN THE SPRING OF 1985. AND AS A MEMBER OF THE THEATER COMMUNITY HERE, IT WAS A TERRIFYING TIME. AND HAVING SEEN MY COUSIN SUCCUMB, YOU KNOW, SOME YEARS LATER AND -- IN '90 I BELIEVE IT WAS AND SEE THE DENIAL IN HIS FAMILY AND THE INABILITY TO TALK, TO COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER. TO SEE MY CHARACTER EMBRACE HIS SON IN SPITE OF ALL OF HIS OWN FEAR, HIS OWN INABILITY TO COMMUNICATE, HIS OWN INABILITY TO UNDERSTAND BECAUSE OF HIS UPBRINGING, BECAUSE OF THE RELIGIOUSITY AND THE WAY HE'S LOCKED UP. THE FINAL MOMENT OF PUTTING ON THE JACKET, REPRESENTED TO ME, A STEP FORWARD IN, YOU KNOW, NOT BEING AFRAID. AND -- AND HAVING LOVE OVERCOME ALL OF THOSE NEGATIVES. THAT WAS -- THAT'S TO ME EVERYTHING THAT THIS FILM HAS TO OFFER.

>> WELL, LET'S TAKE SOME QUESTIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE. WHO HAS A QUESTION? HI.

>> HI. THIS MOVIE FOR SURE HAS MANY EMOTIONAL MOMENTS. AND I WANT TO KNOW HOW WAS THE PROCESS LIKE GETTING TO THAT VULNERABLE MINDSET.

>> VULNERABLE MOMENTS?

>> YEAH.

>> YEAH.

>> I WILL SAY WITH OUR -- OUR BUDGET AND OUR TIME CONSTRAINTS, WE DIDN'T HAVE TIME FOR REHEARSAL. WHICH FOR ANYONE THAT STARTED IN THE THEATER, YOU'RE USED TO HAVING A MONTH MINIMUM. AND THEN TV IS SO MUCH FASTER. THEN TO DO A FILM WHERE YOU'RE WORKING WITH SOME PEOPLE FOR FIRST TIME, OTHER PEOPLE YOU MAY HAVE WORKED WITH BEFORE, BUT THERE'S NO TIME. YOU SPEND A LOT OF TIME PREPARING IN OUR OWN WAYS. I KNOW FOR ME, I -- I SPENT A LOT OF TIME READING ABOUT PEOPLE'S LIVES AND THEIR EXPERIENCES. OR -- OR THEIR TRIBUTES TO FAMILY OR FRIENDS. AND I LOOKED AT A LOT OF PICTURES. AND I DIDN'T SPEAK TO MY FAMILY WHILE I WAS DOING THIS. I KIND OF HAD TO SEPARATE THAT A LITTLE BIT. ONCE WE STARTED WORKING, IT WAS EASY. WHEN YOU WORK WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY AVAILABLE AND WHO ARE YOU JUST REALLY DAMN GOOD, IT'S KIND OF A LOT EASIER. YOU COME IN WITH YOUR EMOTIONAL LIFE, AND YOU'RE READY TO GO AND TELL YOUR STORY. AND WHEN YOU GET PAIRED WITH OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THE SAME POSITION, IT JUST -- JUST KIND OF FLOW. AND THEN IT'S HIS JOB TO MAKE IT LOOK --

>> TO JUST LET YOU GUYS DO THE WORK, YOU KNOW.

>> I MEAN, I'M HONESTLY CURIOUS BECAUSE I KNOW I DIDN'T TALK TO YOU MUCH WHEN YOU HAD TO DO YOUR HEAVY-DUTY STUFF.

>> WE WERE JUST LIKE SO -- JUST IGNORED US --

>> NO.

>> I'M KIDDING.

>> YEN WAS GREAT ABOUT GIVING US SPACE. HE WAS GENTLE ABOUT GIVING US SPACE AND CALIBRATING THINGS AS IT NEEDED -- AS IT WAS NECESSARY. I THINK -- I THINK WE WERE REALLY FORTUNATE. THERE WAS JUST -- IT WAS A REALLY SAFE, COMFORTABLE, SOFT SPACE THAT WE WERE ALL ABLE TO LIKE MEET EACH OTHER.

>> WE DIDN'T HAVE ANYWHERE -- WE SPENT ALL THOSE HOURS ALL DAY LONG TOGETHER BECAUSE IN THE BUDGET --

>> NO FRILLS.

>> NO TRAILERS.

>> BASICALLY HIS BEDROOM IN THE MOVIE WAS LIKE THE ONLY PLACE TO HANG OUT ON THE SET.

>> THE GREEN ROOM.

>> THAT WAS OUR GREEN ROOM. AND WITH THE SHARED BATHROOM.

>> SHE LOVED.

>> YEAH. YEAH. OH, YEAH.

>> PREGNANT PAUSE.

>> YEAH. AND SO WE HAD TO CHANGE -- WE ALL HAD TO CHANGE IN THERE, AND THEN -- THEN IF THEY WERE SHOOTING THERE, WE'D GO AND SIT IN THE LIVING ROOM SET. AND SO WE WERE IN -- WE WERE WITH EACH OTHER FOR 12 OR MORE HOURS A DAY JUST GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER. AND MICHAEL TELLS THE BEST STORIES.

>> THE BEST.

>> THE BEST. AND SO I THINK THAT WE BECAME CLOSE, AND THERE WAS SO -- THERE WAS A NATURAL, EASY, FAMILY FEELING THAT WE HAD IN REAL LIFE, AND I THINK THAT WORKED REALLY WELL THEN WHEN IT CAME TO DOING A SCENE. WE HAD -- WE WERE RELAXED, AND WE HAD AN EASE OF FAMILIARITY WITH EACH OTHER.

>> YOU KNOW, THE WHOLE PRODUCTION HAD A BIT -- THE FEELING OF A LOT'S RENT A BARN AND PUT ON A SHOW. YOU KNOW, IT'S A TRULY INDEPENDENT SPIRIT FILM. IT TRUE -- TRULY. SO YOU KNOW, IN THE CASE OF DOING A FILM LIKE THAT, YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN THE MATERIAL. AND YOU KNOW, LOOK, YOU KNOW -- I DIDN'T KNOW YOU YET AT ALL. AT ALL. SO IT'S A LEAP OF FAITH YOU HAVE TO TAKE WITH SOMEBODY. AND YOU HAVE -- AND FROM HAVING A CONVERSATION, YOU LISTEN TO SOMEONE AND THEIR VISION. IT'S A TRUST EXERCISE, RIGHT. THAT'S WHAT WE DO AS ACTORS ALL THE TIME. WE TRUST EACH OTHER OR WE DON'T. AND IN THIS CASE, IT REALLY FELT LOVING AND TRUSTING AND -- AND A LITTLE FILM THAT WE WERE TOGETHER FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS. AND I'VE WORKED ON MASSIVE PRODUCTIONS THAT YOU'RE WITH PEOPLE FOR MONTHS, AND YOU DON'T FEEL ANY KIND OF A CONNECTION LIKE THAT. AND THAT -- THAT SPEAKS VOLUMES TO THE TYPE. PRODUCTION IT WAS BECAUSE OF IT'S FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS. [ APPLAUSE ]

>> WOW.

>> GETTING APPLAUSE, WOW. I LOVE YOU PEOPLE.

>> OUR NEXT QUESTION. WHO HAS A QUESTION? RIGHT HERE?

>> HI. I STUDY FILM MYSELF, AND I ALWAYS FIND THAT WHENEVER -- WHATEVER PROJECT I'M WORKING ON, WHETHER WRITING, DIRECTING, OR ACTING, IT TAKES ME A LONG TIME IT TAKES ME UNTIL I'M DEEP INTO THE PROCESS TO LIKE FIND MY FOOTING WITH WHATEVER PROJECT I'M WORKING ON AND LIKE FIND THAT PROJECT. LIKE FIND WHAT IT'S ABOUT. I'M CURIOUS IF YOU GUYS FEEL THE SAME WAY ABOUT THE STUFF THAT YOU DO. AND IF SO, WHEN IN -- WHEN WITH THIS FILM DID YOU FIND YOUR FOOTING?

>> YOU CAN START THAT. WRITER/DIRECTOR.

>> I DON'T KNOW. THE OTHER SORT OF THING THAT'S UNCONVENTIONAL ABOUT THIS FILM ALSO THAT WAS LIKE REALLY NOT AVAILABLE TO US AS AN OPTION WHICH IS -- IT'S NOT LIKE THESE GUYS PUT THEMSELVES ON TAPE AND WERE LIKE, OH, HE OR SHE'S RIGHT FOR THIS WHATEVER. IT'S LIKE WE OFFERED THE ROLE TO THEM BECAUSE WE KNOW THEIR BODY OF WORK. I HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH THEM. THEN WE HAVE TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT EACH OTHER IN THAT CONVERSATION FOR THEM TO SAY, YES, WE WANT TO DO THIS. AND THEN THEY COME TO THE SET, AND YOU JUST HAVE TO TRUST THAT THEY ARE, YOU KNOW, BRINGING THEIR A GAME AND HAVE DONE THEIR HOPE -- HOMEWORK. WE WOULD BLOCK THE SCENE AND SHOOT IT. I THINK IN HINDSIGHT, THERE'S TWO MIRACLES HERE. WE CAST THE RIGHT PEOPLE. AND SECONDLY, YOU GUYS ACTUALLY LIKED EACH OTHER. I REALIZED, MY GOSH, IF YOU HATE EACH OTHER, THAT WOULD BE ANOTHER LAYER OF NIGHTMARE.

>> STUCK IN THE CHILDHOOD BEDROOM. OH.

>> GET ME OUT OF HERE.

>> YEAH. I MEAN, IT WAS LIKE -- HATS OFF TO THEM. LIKE THEY JUST REALLY KNEW THE MATERIAL IN A VERY DEEP AND PROFOUND WAY. AND THEN THEY JUST DID IT.

>> I LOVE THIS QUESTION, THOUGH. IT'S A GREAT -- A REALLY GREAT QUESTION. AND I -- I -- ON DIFFERENT PROJECTS, I FEEL LIKE I'VE KEYED INTO THINGS AT DIFFERENT TIMES. THE THING THAT'S BEEN CONSISTENT WHEN I FEEL THE BEST ABOUT MY WORK THROUGH A PROCESS AND USUALLY WITH THE RESULT OF THE PROCESS IS WHEN I HAVE AN EMOTIONAL RESPONSE IMMEDIATELY TO IT. WHEN THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT THE CHARACTER, ABOUT THE STORY, THAT I JUST AM OVERWHELMED BY. I ALWAYS LIKE LET THAT BE THE THING THAT I TRUST AND THAT GUIDES ME. AND THEN SECONDARY TO THAT OR MAYBE ON PAR WITH THAT IS THE PEOPLE INVOLVED. AND SOMETIMES YOU DON'T HAVE THE PRIVILEGE TO LIKE -- THE PEOPLE YOU'RE GOING TO WORK WITH OR FOR, YOU DON'T HAVE -- ALWAYS GET TO SPEND TIME WITH THEM TO GET TO KNOW THEM. LIKE I TALKED TO YEN FOR THE FIRST TIME WE SPOKE A LITTLE OVER AN HOUR. IT WAS PRETTY OBVIOUS THAT WE HAD -- WE WERE LIKE ON PAR WITH THE TONALITY OF IT AND THE CHARACTER AND HAD THE SAME VIBES ABOUT THE WHOLE THING. AND HIS EXPERIENCE OF HIS -- HIS OBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE OF LOOKING AT AMERICAN FAMILIES, BEING, YOU KNOW, HAVING GROWN UP IN MALAYSIA VERSUS MY VERY SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE GROWING UP IN MIDDLE AMERICA, I WAS LIKE, YOU KNOW, HIS OBSERVATIONS ABOUT MY FAMILY, OH, MY GOD, THIS -- I CAN LIVE IN YOUR PICTURE OF A -- BUT THOSE KEY THINGS LIKE REALLY KIND OF LIKE PIERCE YOU, THOSE ARE THINGS I LATCH ON TO QUICK FOR ME. AND THEN EVERYTHING SORT OF LIKE FILLS AROUND THAT.

>> DID YOU SAY YOU WERE A DIRECTOR?

>> YES.

>> OKAY.

>> YEAH, I WAS GOING ASK LIKE WHAT ASPECT OF FILM. YOU'RE DIRECTING. ARE YOU WRITING, AS WELL? BECAUSE I THINK -- I THINK THAT WHEN YOU, AS YOU SAY, KEY INTO IT, WHEN YOU FIND YOUR FOOTING, IT'S GOING TO BE DIFFERENT DEPENDING ON WHAT DEPARTMENT YOU ARE WORKING IN. AND I THINK WITH EVERY PROJECT, IT'S LIKE YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE TIME TO TAKE A COUPLE OF WEEKS TO GET USED TO IT. YOU MIGHT HAVE TO GET GROUNDED IN A COUPLE OF DAYS. BUT EVERY SHOW, THERE IS AN ADJUSTMENT PERIOD, AS PEOPLE ARE GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER, THEN IT GETS A LITTLE BIT EASIER. AND EVERYTHING -- WHEN YOU'RE IN THAT RARE EXPERIENCE LIKE WE WERE, EVERYTHING BEGINS TO GEL. SO YOUR LEADERSHIP IN THAT IS GOING TO BE REALLY KEY TO GET PEOPLE CLOSE, TRY AND HAVE AS MUCH OF A FAMILY FEELING BECAUSE THE WORK IS BETTER WHEN PEOPLE CAN RELY ON EACH OTHER AND THEY GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER. YOU KNOW, SO IT'S LIKE THEY'RE GOING TO BE -- IT REALLY IS FROM THE TOP DOWN. SO YOU'RE -- WHATEVER POSITION YOU PLACE YOURSELF IN, YOU GOT TO DO THAT FROM DAY ONE IN PREPRODUCTION SO PEOPLE ARE LIKE, OH, OKAY. IT DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE BEING A TASKMASTER. MAYBE YOU HAVE TO DO THAT AT TIMES. BUT YOUR EASE, EVEN IF YOU DON'T REALLY FEEL THAT WAY, IF THEY THINK YOU DO, IT'S GOING TO HELP EVERYONE SETTLE IN QUICKER.

>> YEAH. PIGGYBACKING OFF OF THAT, LIKE CORY SAID, STARTS WITH THE MATERIAL. IF IT'S GREAT ON THE PAGE --

>> YEAH -- -- IT HAS A CHANCE RIGHT AWAY. IT STARTS WITH THAT. BUT THEN I'M GOING TO -- SHARE SOMETHING THAT THE LATE-GREAT SCOTT BRAZIL, OUR EXECUTIVE PRODUCE OR "THE SHIELD," TRAGICALLY PASSED AWAY. BUT I ASKED HIM -- BECAUSE I WAS A PRODUCER ON "THE SHIELD." I ASKED, WHAT'S YOUR CRITERIA FOR HIRING AND FIRING AS A PRODUCER? AND HE SAID SOMETHING THAT -- HAS ALWAYS STUCK WITH ME. HE SAID, LISTEN, IF YOU'RE THE MOST TALENTED PERSON IN THE WORLD, BUT YOU'RE HATEFUL AND A DRAG TO WORK WITH, YOU'RE NOT GETTING THE GIG. CONVERSELY, IF YOU'RE NOT TALENTED BUT THE LOVELIEST PERSON IN THE WORLD, YOU'RE NOT GETTING THE GIG. WHAT I LOOK FOR ARE LIKE-MINDED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE TALENTED. WHO ARE GOING TO COME TOGETHER AND BE PULLING THE SAME CART. YOU KNOW. HE USED TO MAKE THAT SKULLING ANALOGY. THAT YOU'RE -- YOU'RE ROWING IN TANDEM, PULLING THE OARS AT THE SAME TIME. IF YOU CAN START WITH GREAT MATERIAL AND SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LIKE-MINDED SPIRITS, PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO BE COOPERATIVE. THE REASON THIS FILM WORKS IS BECAUSE WE ARE LIKE-MINDED INDIVIDUALS WHO UNDERSTOOD THE MATERIAL FOR WHAT IT WAS. OTHERWISE IN THE CONTEXT OF THE AMOUNT OF TIME AND MONEY THAT WE HAD, WE NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO MAKE THIS PICTURE. LIKE YEN SAID EARLIER. WE HAD TO COOPERATE AND IMMEDIATELY -- ALL HANDS ON DECK, RIGHT. YOU JUST HAVE TO ROW TOGETHER.

>> I THINK I HAVE TIME FOR ONE MORE QUESTION. RIGHT HERE. HI.

>> HI. CORY, THERE IS FOR YOU. I KNOW THIS IS YOUR DEBUT AS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER. AND I WANT TO KNOW, HAVE YOU HAD EXPERIENCE BEFORE? HOW DID THEY APPROACH THE JOB TO YOU, AND IF YOU WOULD DO IT IN THE FUTURE AGAIN FOR ANY PROJECT.

>> FIRST OF ALL, YOU KNOW, I WANT TO SAY, YOUR SHIRTS ARE AWESOME. BECAUSE IT'S A PICTURE OF ME FROM 1985. AND IT IS IN RAINBOW COLORS. THANK YOU FOR MAKING THAT --

>> THAT'S SO GREAT.

>> AWESOME.

>> A ""1985" AND CHARLIE -- SORRY, I'M TAKING TIME TO DO THIS. AND SHE ALSO GOT A TATTOO.

>> WOW.

>> SHE DID THIS ON TWITTER, HOW MANY RETWEETS DO I NEED TO GET -- TO GET A TATTOO ABOUT ME? AND HER FRIEND POSTED IT. AND I WAS LIKE, I'M GOING TO RE-TWEET THIS. AND I GOT ENOUGH RE-TWEET TO HAVE HER GET A TATTOO. SHE FOLLOWED THROUGH. SO KUDOS TO YOU. WELL, I JUST WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW, YOU'RE BOLD AND DARING, AND I APPRECIATE IT. SHE REALLY FOLLOWED THROUGH. LOVE SOMEONE WHO FOLLOWS THROUGH. I'M SORRY. SO THEY -- THEY BASICALLY MADE ME AN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER IN LARGE PART BECAUSE I -- I HELPED WITH SOME CASTING WHICH HELPED GET THE FILM GOING, AND -- AND SOME MONEY. AND THEN I FELT LIKE I -- I MEAN, THIS IS REALLY -- I FELT LIKE I PULLED MY WEIGHT ON SET IN A WAY OF HELPING --

>> YES, YOU DID -- -- HELPING PRODUCTION MOVE SMOOTHLY.

>> I DARE YOU TO DISAGREE WITH THAT --

>> THIS IS LIVE.

>> ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW --

>> EVERYONE LOVES A BOXING MATCH, SO WE CAN TURN THIS INTO --

>> NO, HONESTLY, GOING BACK TO THE WHOLE THING ABOUT HOW IF YOU GUYS DIDN'T LIKE EACH OTHER IT WOULD BE REALLY BAD. I THINK IT WAS IMPORTANT THAT EVERYONE ELSE BELIEVE IN YOU IN THE ROLE, REALLY. LIKE I MEAN, I THINK -- IF THERE WAS UNCERTAINTY THAT YOU WERE NOT NAILING THIS, I THINK YOU WOULD BE LIKE, OH, CRAP, WHAT HAVE WE GOTTEN OURSELVES INTO, RIGHT?

>> IT CAME FROM YOU. AND I -- RIGHT AWAY I'M GOING TO PAY ATTENTION.

>> RIGHT.

>> I HAVE TREMENDOUS RESPECT FOR HIS COMMENT. HIS ABILITY. WE HAD WORKED TOGETHER. AND I LOVE HIM AS A PERSON.

>> YEAH.

>> THAT MADE ME GO, OKAY, I'M CERTAINLY READING. THEN IT BECAME ABOUT THE MATERIAL. WHICH MADE ME CRY. THEN IT WAS -- AMAZING. AND THEN IT BECAME THE LAST BIT WAS YOU.

>> BUT TO FINISH YOUR QUESTION, I REALLY -- I HAVE NO IDEA HOW PRODUCING WORKS. YOU JUST KIND OF MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. PEOPLE PULL THEIR WEIGHT AND COME TOGETHER. AND YOU FIND LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE AND BUILD A PROJECT TOGETHER. YOU CONTRIBUTE IN WHATEVER WAYS YOU CAN, AND YOU WANT EVERYONE TO PULL THEIR OWN WEIGHT IN WHATEVER WAYS YOU CAN. I LOOK FORWARD TO HOPEFULLY A LONG CAREER WHERE I CAN HELP PULL AS MUCH WEIGHT AS POSSIBLE AND HELP GET THINGS DONE. AND I THINK THAT THE IDEA IS LIKE, YOU KNOW, I -- HOPEFULLY THINGS GET MORE EXCITING AND -- AND I'M ABLE TO --

>> DESCRIBE WHAT BEING A PRODUCER IS. BRINGING ELEMENTS TOGETHER TO MAKE A GREAT PRODUCTION AND GREAT STORY.

>> THERE ARE A LOT OF STORIES THAT I LOVE THAT I WOULD LIKE TO BE TOLD THAT I DON'T SEE BEING TOLD. THERE ARE -- THERE ARE PEOPLE IN AMERICA WHO I GREW UP AROUND OR MY FAMILY LIVES AROUND, THAT ARE MY IN-LAWS, THAT ARE MY BROTHER'S IN-LAWS, THAT I DON'T SEE STORIES ABOUT THESE PEOPLE. A LOT OF AMERICANS, I JUST DON'T SEE STORIES ABOUT. AND SO I'VE -- MY GOAL IS TO EVENTUALLY HAVE ENOUGH POWER AND CLOUT THAT SOME OF THESE PEOPLE I WANT TO BE IDENTIFIED, AND I WANT THEIR STORIES TO BE SHARED.

>> GUYS, CONGRATULATIONS ON THE FILM. AS I SAID, IT'S BEAUTIFUL, INCREDIBLY WELL DONE. IT OPENS IN NEW YORK AND L.A. THIS FRIDAY. IT WILL EXPAND THROUGHOUT NOVEMBER. I BELIEVE IT'S CULMINATING IN A SPECIAL EVENT SCREENINGS ON WORLD AIDS DAY ON DECEMBER 1st, RIGHT, AND PEOPLE CAN LOOK FOR THOSE AND LOOK FOR WHERE THEY'RE HAPPENING. I'M SURE THAT'S AVAILABLE ON LINE WHERE THE SCREENINGS WILL TAKE PLACE.

>> BUT IF YOU'RE IN NEW YORK OR L.A., GO SEE IT THIS WEEKEND.

>> WE NEED YOU TO SPREAD THE WORD.

>> IF YOU'RE IN NEW YORK, I'LL BE AT EVERY SCREENING. I KNOW THESE GUYS WILL BE AT SOME OF THEM. I'LL BE AT EVERY SCREENING DO I Q&A. COME THERE.

>> THE FILM IS CALLED "1985." IT'S WONDERFUL. GO SEE IT, AND GIVE THEM A BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR COMING BY.

>> THANK YOU, GUYS. THANK YOU. [ APPLAUSE ]

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