‘Clara’: Patrick J. Adams, Ari Lantos, and Director Akash Sherman on Their Grounded Sci-Fi Film

     May 6, 2019


With Clara now playing in theaters and available On-Demand, we’re reposting my interview from the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.

My favorite part about getting to attend a film festival are the movies that come out of nowhere and completely surprise you. At this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, one of those films was the sci-fi drama Clara. Written and directed by Akash Sherman, it follows an astronomer consumed by the search for life beyond Earth (Patrick J. Adams) who starts working with an artist (Troian Bellisario) who shares an attraction for the wonders of space. As they search the stars for distant worlds, they stumble onto a discovery that could change everything we know about our place in the Universe. Clara also stars Ennis Esmer, Kristen Hager, and R.H. Thomson and is produced by Ari Lantos.


Image via TIFF

As someone that considers sci-fi his favorite genre, I especially love movies that try and ground their stories in real-world science and make you believe what you’re watching on screen could actually happen. Which is why I had such a great time watching Clara. At only twenty-three years of age, Akash Sherman has helmed an optimistic science fiction feature that not only got me interested in learning more about astronomy, but made me leave the theater thinking about what else is out there in our universe. Which is not an easy thing to do. Of course it helped that Patrick J. Adams and Troian Bellisario delivered fantastic performances and helped make me believe what I was seeing on screen was real. While I don’t know when Clara is getting released, I absolutely recommend checking it out down the road when you get the chance.

Shortly after seeing the film, Patrick J. Adams, producer Ari Lantos, and director Akash Sherman came into the Collider studio at TIFF to talk about the film. During the wide-ranging interview they talked about how they got Clara made, what it’s about, how Sherman grounded his film in real science, what they discovered in the editing process that impacted the finished film, a day or two that each of them will always remember from shooting Clara, how Adams and co-star/wife Troian Bellisario spent a large portion of their honeymoon working on the film, and a lot more. In addition, towards the end of the interview they played “Get to Know Your TIFF Attendee”, which includes questions like what TV show they’d like to guest spot on, what film scared them as a kid, what is the background photo on their phone, what TV show have they watched all the way through more than once, have they watched a movie more than 20 times, and more.


Image via TIFF

Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about. For more on Clara, you can watch the trailer at the very bottom of this article.

Patrick J. Adams, Ari Lantos, and Akash Sherman:

  • Shooting Suitsin Toronto.
  • What Clarais about.
  • How Lantos and Sherman connected on this project, and what it took to get Clara
  • Where the idea of Claracame from, and how Sherman grounded his sci-fi film in real science.
  • What they discovered in the editing process that impacted the finished film.
  • What drew Adams to the story and the character.
  • clara-patrick-j-adams-akash-sherman-ari-lantos-interview-tiffHow Adams and co-star/wife Troian Bellisario spent a large portion of their honeymoon working on Clara.
  • A day or two that each of them will always remember from shooting Clara.
  • How Sherman almost became a teacher and how that influenced his film.
  • The realism of all the science in the film.
  • They play “Get To Know Your TIFF Attendee” which includes questions like what TV should they would love to guest-spot on, what film scared them as a kid, if there’s anything they collect, if they own any movie or TV show props, what TV show they have watched all the way through more than once, what the background is on their phones, what movie they have watched more than 20 times, if they have a favorite pair of shoes, and what made them want to get into the entertainment industry.
  • What it means for each of them to be a part of TIFF.

Finally, big thanks to the partners who made our TIFF interviews possible:

Aurora, Presenting Partner, one of Canada’s largest federally licensed cannabis companies and an official partner of the Toronto International Film Festival. Aurora’s involvement is anchored by its passion for the arts and commitment to providing financial support for the creative community.

Diageo Canada joins as the official spirit sponsor and will be showcasing cocktails featuring brands from their luxury portfolio including Ciroc Vodka,Tanqueray™ No. TEN Gin, Johnnie Walker Black Label and Bulleit Bourbon.

Toasting the evening’s festivities will be La Marca Prosecco, an elegant, luxurious sparkling wine. The premium wines of California’s Ghost Pines Winery will also be served!

Dutch beer brand Grolsch, the official beer sponsor of the Toronto Film Festival recognizable by its iconic swingtop bottle, will tap into the House of Aurora to extend its VIP footprint at the Festival. Grolsch has long been a champion of creativity and independent thinking.

Frank Rea Event Designs Toronto’s top event florist and ambient designer Frank Rea creatively lends his support with décor statements and floral designs through Forget Me Not Flowers & Frank Rea Event Designs.

The Collider Studio at the House of Aurora was produced by A-list Communications and The Substance Group.

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