Robert D. Siegel Exclusive Video Interview BIG FAN

     March 1, 2009

Written by Steve ‘Frosty’ Weintraub

Another of the many movies that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer/director Robert D. Siegel’s debut film “Big Fan”. Like “The Wrestler”, which he wrote but didn’t direct, this film deals with the sports world and it feels just as real and authentic. Here’s the synopsis:

Patton Oswalt plays a 35-year-old parking-garage attendant from Staten Island, and is the self-described “world’s biggest New York Giants fan”. He lives at home with his mother, spending his off hours calling in to local sports-radio station 760 The Zone, where he rants in support of his beloved team, often against his mysterious on-air rival, Eagles fan Philadelphia Phil. His family berates him for doing nothing with his life, but they don’t understand the depth of his love of the Giants or the responsibility his fandom carries.

One night, Paul and his best friend Sal spot Giants star linebacker Quantrell Bishop at a gas station in their neighborhood. They impulsively follow his limo into Manhattan, to a strip club, where they hang in the background, agog at their hero. Paul cautiously decides to approach him, stepping into the rarefied air of football stardom–and things do not go as planned. The fallout of this chance encounter brings Paul’s world crashing down around him as his family, the team, the media and the authorities engage in a tug of war over Paul, testing his allegiances and calling into question everything he believes in. Meanwhile, the Giants march toward a late-season showdown with the Eagles, unaware that sometimes the most brutal struggles take place far from the field of play.

As I said when I posted the clips, I absolutely loved “Big Fan”. It was one of my favorite films at this year’s festival and Patton’s performance was a real surprise. That being said, if you go into this expecting to see Patton making you laugh all the time, you’ll be very disappointed. While there are some very funny parts, this is a drama first. The humor is a result of real life situations and not from Patton doing stand-up.

Anyway, while at this year’s Festival I managed to speak with Patton Oswalt (here’s the link) and I also spoke with writer/director Robert D. Siegel.

During our pretty extensive interview we talked about why he wanted to make this movie as well as would he ever consider making a comedy (he comes from the world of “The Onion”). Of course we covered tons of other subjects and I think it’s a great interview with this up and coming filmmaker.

While I don’t know when “Big Fan” will be released, as soon as I hear anything I’ll let you all know. It’s definitely a film worth checking out.

Robert D. Siegel part 1

  • When did he find out he got into Sundance with his first film

  • Was it his dream to premiere at Sundance

  • What was it about both wrestling and sports radio that made him want to tell these stories

  • We also talk about previous films that have been made on both subjects

  • Did he grow up listening to sports radio

  • What was it about Patton Oswalt that made him want to cast him

  • We talk about how no matter what you are obsessed with, you’ll relate to this film

Robert D. Siegel part 2

  • Since he comes from the world of The Onion, I ask if he’d ever want to make a comedy

  • I ask him what else he loved when he was growing up that he could use as a movie

  • He talks about wanting to be a New York filmmaker

  • What will be on the Big Fan DVD/Blu-ray

  • What is he thinking about for the future

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