Roland Emmerich Talks ‘Stonewall,’ the Theme of Unrequited Love and Self-Financing

     September 24, 2015

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Director Roland Emmerich’s been pretty busy dominating the disaster genre with White House Down, Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, just to name a few, but finally Emmerich found the time to tackle a project especially close to his heart, Stonewall. The movie stars Jeremy Irvine as Danny Winters, a high school student who is forced to leave his family behind when the town finds out that he’s gay. With no home and no money, Danny moves to New York City, befriends Ray (Jonny Beauchamp) and joins his band of homeless street kids who are at the heart of the building unrest leading up to the Stonewall Riots.

With Stonewall making its way into select theaters on September 25th, I got the opportunity to talk to Emmerich about the story’s evolution from script to screen, the importance of casting, choosing to build the set rather than shoot on location, investing his own money into the project, and loads more. You can check it all out in the video interview below.


Roland Emmerich:

  • 00:04 – The challenge of getting Stonewall off the ground.
  • 01:08 – Why he chose to tell the story from Danny’s perspective.
  • 01:50 – What happened during Jeremy Irvine’s audition.
  • 03:03 – The importance of the casting process.
  • 03:42 – Casting the ensemble; casting first-time feature actors.
  • 05:00 – How the story changed from outline to script to set to screen.
  • 06:40 – The theme of the movie is unrequited love.
  • 07:53 – Choosing to shoot on a RED camera.
  • 09:13 – Choosing to build the set indoors.
  • 10:06 – The pros and cons of shooting that way.
  • 11:24 – Choosing to invest his own money into the movie.

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