Stronger is now in theaters, and I was recently able to speak with director David Gordon Green about it at the Toronto International Film Festival. If you haven’t seen the trailers, the drama — based on a true story — stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who became a symbol of heroism and strength after losing both of his legs during the tragic 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Unlike the Mark Wahlberg vehicle Patriot’s Day, this film is mostly focused on what happened after the bombing, and how the event and the public attention affected Bauman and his ex-girlfriend Erin (Tatiana Maslany), who was running the marathon at the time. The film also stars Miranda Richardson.
During the interview, David Gordon Green talks about why he responded to the story, why he didn’t want to make a traditional inspirational story, balancing entertainment with the importance of telling a true story faithfully, deleted scenes, Sean Bobbitt’s fantastic cinematography, what it was like filming at a Bruins game, and more. In addition, while he was very guarded about saying too much, we did talk about the Halloween reboot towards the end of the interview and meeting with John Carpenter.
Check out what he had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by the official synopsis. You can also read Adam Chitwood’s very positive review here.
David Gordon Green:
- Did he have an idea it would play like a tearjerker? Talks about why he responded to the story and not wanting to make your traditional inspirational story.
- Why it was important to make this movie right now.
- Talks about balancing entertainment with the importance of telling a true story faithfully. What aspects of the story were fictionalized?
- How long was his first cut? Deleted scenes talk.
- What did he learn from test screenings?
- Talks about including Dunkin Donuts.
- The cinematography. Discusses working with few storyboards and natural lighting.
- Talks about filming at the Bruins game.
- Halloween reboot talk. Says he had a script meeting with John Carpenter the other day and talks about Carpenter’s involvement.
Here’s the official synopsis for Stronger:
Stronger is the inspiring true story of Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become the symbol of hope following the infamous 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Jeff, a 27-year-old, working-class Boston man who was at the marathon to try and win back his ex-girlfriend Erin (Tatiana Maslany). Waiting for her at the finish line when the blast occurs, he loses both his legs in the attack. After regaining consciousness in the hospital, Jeff is able to help law enforcement identify one of the bombers, but his own battle has just begun. He tackles months of physical and emotional rehabilitation with the unwavering support of Erin and his family. It is Jeff’s deeply personal account of the heroic journey that tests a family’s bond, defines a community’s pride and inspires his inner courage to overcome devastating adversity. Filled with raw emotion, humanity and humor, Stronger is the inspirational real-life story of the man who became the living embodiment of “Boston Strong.” The film also stars Academy Award® nominee Miranda Richardson and is directed by David Gordon Green.