On Monday, August 10, 2015, atombash.com was on the scene for the New York Premiere of The Film Arcade’s “People Places Things” at Sunshine Landmark theater. From the film: Jemaine Clement, Regina Hall, Stephanie Allynne, Gia Gadsby, Aundrea Gadsby, Celia Au, and writer/director Jim Strouse were all in attendance. They were joined by additional celebrity guests Gloria Steinem, Ramin Bahrani, Tig Notaro, Debra Winger, Marin Ireland, Joel Marsh Garland of “Orange Is The New Black” fame, Catherine Curtin, Lolita Foster, and Annie Golden, Isiah Whitlock Jr. of “Veep” fame, Adam David Thompson, Wesley Taylor, Rachel Schur, Johnathan Fernandez and Arden Wohl. Following the screening, guests headed over to Dempsey’s for cocktails and light bites. The film will be released in theaters and on demand this Friday, August 14. It is 86 minutes.
Jemaine Clement plays Will Henry who is a graphic novelist and a professor in the great city of New York. At his beautiful twin girls’ fifth birthday celebration, Will’s life is turned upside down when he walks in on the mother of his children, and longtime girlfriend, Charlie, (Stephanie Allynne) with their friend Gary (Michael Chernus). A year later, Will is still alone and trying to put his life back together. He finds unexpected challenges when his talented student Kat (Jessica Williams) tries to set Will up with her accomplished mother Diane (Regina Hall). In this thoughtful comedy, Will is forced to navigate the unknown landscape of single fatherhood and dating in New York City, while remaining an inspiration for his students and coming to terms with himself both as a father and an artist. Read our exclusive red carpet interviews below:
How did you discover the film?
Jemaine Clement: Jim asked me to be a part of the film. My agency sent me the script and I read it and I liked it.
Do you connect with your character at all?
Jemaine Clement: I’m a dad like the character, I write but in a different form. The character writes comics and I write music sometimes. I do understand it’s hard to get things on paper.
Did Jim say this is the film I saw you in which inspired me to choose you to be the lead character?
Jemaine Clement: Let’s ask him, what did you see in me?
Jim Strouse: I just heard about you (laughs). “Flight of The Concords,” “Dinner for Schmucks” and “Eagle vs Shark.”
Any new projects?
Jemaine Clement: I’m acting in a TV show in New York, Sarah Jessica Parker’s new show.
What is your favorite scene in the film?
Regina Hall: I like the scene while they are talking after they’ve been intimate. It’s such a quiet scene and it’s a bit revelatory about her history. It’s a very soft scene but I like it.
How’s it like working on an indie film as opposed to a motion picture?
Regina Hall: You know they are both great. The way that set was run it was so amazing. Jim was so great and everyone in the production was so professional. Everything is just scaled down a bit, you really get to the notes and bolts of why you are there. You have a holding room which is really nice, you get to spend time with everyone. But truthfully outside the budget and very obvious, there’s not a lot of difference and it’s working as a team to get everything done.
How did you discover the script?
Regina Hall: My agent sent it to me. I liked it, I thought it was great. Jim did such an amazing job writing it and I love Jemaine so I liked everybody involved.
Any new projects coming up?
Regina Hall: I have a film that I just finished “When the Bough Breaks” and it’s a thriller with Morris Chestnut. I have another one, “Barbershop 3.” They both come out in 2016.
Do you feel like you connect with the character? How do you prepare for that?
Stephanie Allyne: The character is intense. It’s someone who is trying to figure everything in her life out and was going a certain way and every decision that would happen she would wake up and wasn’t happy with. I definitely understood that feeling of like I’m angry and I want to re-do everything … it’s like is it too late, can you? Do you mess up everything you’ve created if you’re a parent and in a relationship and trying to go I’m going to work on myself – people view you as horrible which I understand. Even watching it, someone interviewed me and said “so you’re the villain in this”. God, I never thought of her as the villain in it but it’s how everyone interrupts it.
Any new projects?
Stephanie Allyne: I’m currently writing on Tig Notaro’s new Amazon show. The pilot’s going to air and we are writing future episodes. I just did a film called “The Runaround” with J.K. Simmons and Emile Hirsch.
When did you come up with the concept of the film?
Jim Strouse: I wrote the script years ago and I put it away after writing it and kinda thought it was too close to home to actually try to make but then I talked about it with friends and classrooms and stuff. It was actually in a class that I was teaching that I was encouraged by one of my students that said “that looks like an interesting premise, you should try to make that story.” I started to share it with certain students, I have to give credit to some of my screenwriting students of mine encouraging me. “People can relate to this, you should try and make it.”
Is it sort of autobiographical?
Jim Strouse: A little bit. I teach at the School of Visual Arts just like Jemaine’s character only in the film department, not cartooning. And I have two kids. I’m similarly kind of bumbling.
Is there a reason why you chose to film in New York?
Jim Strouse: It just felt right. I’m from Indiana and I have been in New York for 15 years and I avoided trying to write in New York for a long time because I still don’t feel like a New Yorker, but this story in particular just felt right for it.