One of the many films to world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer-director Alan Ball’s Uncle Frank. The film takes place in 1973 and follows Sophia Lillis’ character as she leaves her rural hometown to attend college in New York City where her uncle Frank (Paul Bettany) teaches literature. Soon after arriving, she discovers her uncle is gay and lives with his longtime partner, Wally (Peter Macdissi). When the family patriarch (Stephen Root) suddenly dies, the group travels home for the funeral and many ghosts from the past are eventually revealed. Uncle Frank also stars Steve Zahn, Judy Greer and Margo Martindale.
Shortly after seeing the film I sat down with Alan Ball, Paul Bettany, Sophia Lillis, and Peter Macdissi for a wide-ranging interview. They talked about why they all wanted to make the movie, the importance of telling stories like Uncle Frank, how the film came together in the editing room, the incredible supporting cast, memorable moments from filming, and more. In addition, Bettany shared a very personal story about his father and his relationship with the material, what it will take to get a Master and Commander sequel, how WandaVision has been going and why he’s excited for fans to see the Disney+ series, and more.
Finally, we have to thank our presenting partner, the Kia Telluride SUV, which was recently named the 2020 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year. Additional thanks to support sponsors Glenfiddich Scotch, Peroni Beer, Marbl Toronto, mou footwear, ic! Berlin sunglasses and clothing lines, Laundry by Sheli Segal and Orginal Penguin.
Check out what they had to say in the player above, and below is exactly what we talked about.
Paul Bettany, Sophia Lillis, Peter Macdissi and Alan Ball:
- What do we need to do to get a Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World sequel?
- Alan Ball talks about the story of Uncle Frank.
Why so many years since Towelhead?
- What was it about the story and script that excited all the actors?
- How did the film change once they got into the editing room?
- The importance of telling stories like Uncle Frank.
- Paul Bettany shares a very personal story about his father and his relationship with the material.
- How you can be locked up or killed for being gay in some countries.
- The incredible supporting cast.
- Memorable moments from filming.
- WandaVision talk and why it’s been so much fun to make.
- How parts of WandaVision take place in a sitcom.