‘Last Flag Flying’s Steve Carell on What Makes Richard Linklater Such a Unique Filmmaker

     November 22, 2017

Now playing in limited release is director Richard Linklater’s fantastic new film Last Flag Flying. Based on the novel of the same name by Darryl Poniscan, the film takes place in 2003 and follows three Vietnam War veterans played by Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, and Laurence Fishburne who reunite under unfortunate circumstances. The son of Carell’s character has just been killed serving in the Iraq War, and instead of burying him at Arlington Cemetery, he enlists his veteran buddies to help bring the casket up the east coast to suburban New Hampshire.

The other day I got to sit down with Steve Carell to talk about the making of the film. He talked about why Richard Linklater is such a special director, the benefits of having a two-week rehearsal process and what that did for all the actors, when he realized he made it as an actor (he shares a great story about getting cast in Get Smart), and how he’s about to start filming Adam McKay’s next film, Backseat, where he plays Donald Rumsfield.


Image via Amazon Studios/Lionsgate

Check out what Steve Carell had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about and the official synopsis. You can also read Chris Cabin’s Last Flag Flying review here.

Steve Carell:

  • What was it like working with Richard Linklater?
  • How they had a two-week rehearsal process and how unusual it is nowadays when making a movie.
  • How Linklater’s dialogue makes you think it’s being improvised in the moment but it’s all scripted.
  • When did he realize he’s made it as an actor?
  • Tells a great story about going in for Get Smart.
  • How he’s about to start shooting Adam McKay’s next film, Backseat, where he plays Donald Rumsfield. Says it’s going to be a kindred spirit movie to The Big Short.

Here’s the official synopsis for Last Flag Flying:

In 2003, 30 years after they served together in the Vietnam War, former Navy Corps medic Larry “Doc” Shepherd (Steve Carell) re-unites with ex-Marine Sal Nealon (Bryan Cranston) and Reverend Richard Mueller (Laurence Fishburne) on a different type of mission: to bury Doc’s son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War. Doc decides to forgo burial at Arlington Cemetery and, with the help of his old buddies, takes the casket on a bittersweet trip up the East Coast to his home in suburban New Hampshire. Along the way, Doc, Sal and Mueller reminisce and come to terms with shared memories of the war that continues to shape their lives. Amazon Studios presents, a Detour film production, a Zenzero Pictures/Cinetic Media production, a Richard Linklater film.

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