Robin Swicord on Directing Bryan Cranston in Her Adaptation of ‘Wakefield’

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In the film Wakefield, an adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s short story from writer-director Robin Swicord (The Jane Austen Book Club), Bryan Cranston stars as a successful lawyer and family man who has a breakdown and decides to secretly move into his garage attic and disappear without a trace. Hidden away, he secretly observes the lives of his wife (Jennifer Garner), children, and neighbors, while scavenging for food at night.

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Image via TIFF

Shortly before the TIFF premiere, I sat down with Robin Swicord for an exclusive video interview. She talked about how the project came together, what the story is about, what she learned from friends and family screenings, her limited shooting schedule, what she worked on in the nine years since her previous film, future projects, and more. Check out what she had to say in the video above, and below you’ll find the full list of what we discussed.

Robin Swicord:

  • When she found out that the film was coming TIFF.
  • What people should know about the story.
  • How the project got off the ground.
  • What kind of cameras they used.
  • What she learned from friends and family screenings.
  • The length of the first cut.
  • How much the finished film differs from the original script.
  • What she worked on in the nine years since her previous film.
  • How she prepared for The Jane Austen Book Club.
  • How they handled the long takes in Wakefield.
  • Her work on the screenplay for The Promise.
  • If she has a notebook full of ideas for what she wants to write.

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