On April 15, byteclay.com was on the red carpet for the Tribeca Film Festival world premiere of Katie Holmes’ directorial debut “All We Had” at BMCC. Josh Boone (director of “The Fault In Our Stars”) co-wrote the script with Jill Killington. The film stars Stefania Owen, Katie Holmes, Luke Wilson, Richard Kind, Mark Consuelos, Judy Greer and Eve Lindley. It is based on Annie Weatherwax’s 2014 novel of the same name. It tells the story of a mother who struggles to make a better life for her daughter. Holmes spoke about working with Stefania and juggling directing and acting. “It was amazing to work with Stefania. She’s so talented and it was just incredible … It was just doing two jobs. It was tiring, but I was really excited to play this character and to have a shot at directing.”
Shaina Moskowitz: When you first wrote the book did you think that you would be here at Tribeca Film Festival?
Annie Weatherwax: Never. I’m a visual artist and I just have always loved to write and never thought I could do it. I didn’t even think that I would ever have a book published let alone a book made into a movie.
SM: What inspired you to write this book?
AW: I don’t know. Like I said, I’m a visual artist. I’m also actually quite dyslexic. I think for me, writing is just another form of visual art because you’re creating a picture in the reader’s mind. I was compelled to write about economic inequality and the struggles of people trying to get ahead in this country, which I think has become a real issue and a real problem.
SM: How did you and Katie connect?
AW: Katie apparently reads a lot. She went to the literary department at ICM and asked for books. They presented her with a number of books and she chose mine … When I finally did meet her, I was just so grateful to her. She’s just a lovely person. Super talented.
SM: Tell us about your character.
Stefania LaVie Owen: Ruthie is sweet, she’s sensitive, and she cares about everyone but at the same time she’s tough and she doesn’t take any crap from anyone. I really do wish that I was her in real life.
SM: What do you have in common with this character?
SO: I think we’re both extremely strong. We don’t get swayed by other people’s opinion. We follow through with things.
SM: How was working with Katie?
SO: Katie is so amazing. She’s an incredible actor. I had to really try hard to stay in character because I just wanted to watch her. Also, as a director, I’ve never had that experience when a director just takes so many things out of you. I didn’t even realize that I could do the things that I ended up doing on screen. I’m excited to actually see the film because I haven’t seen the full thing yet.
SM: How was tackling the material?
SO: Before we started filming Katie said, “You have to feel like a 14 year old. Start watching movies. Start listening to music that you listened to when you were 14.” It was the first time that I really felt like the character for that filming period. By the time I finished, I was exhausted. I was so tired. It was incredible.
SM: What else do you have coming up?
SO: I just started filming a new TV series called “Chance.” It’s Hugh Laurie’s new show and we’re filming in San Francisco now.
SM: How did you get involved?
Berry Welsh: I’m a producer on the film, it really started with Katie’s vision. She read a book, loves to read, fell in love with the book, and the characters, and the world. I think it really resonated with her. The story of a mother and a daughter both kind of coming of age together, and holding fast to each other in tough circumstances, and making the most of it, and finding an unlikely family along the way.
SM: Did Katie surprise you at all during this process?
BW: I don’t know that surprised is the right word, but impressed is the right word. Katie is somebody who brings 110% to everything she does, and had a vision from day one. I think as we kept going over the course of production, the vision only became stronger and more impassioned. She’s a really great filmmaker. I’m excited for people to actually finally get to see it as an audience.
SM: What about the script made you say yes to this project? What resonated with you?
BW: I think that the two screenwriters had great material to work from with Annie’s book, but I think they found those little quiet moments between two characters in the book. The characters in the book were already very vivid and their journey was emotional, but I think were able to translate that to screen, and the script which is really where the heart of the movie begins. I think with performances, Katie was able to get out of her cast, and it really comes through.
After the screening Katie Holmes, Judy Greer, Mark Consuelos, Kelly Ripa, Stefania Owen, Eve Lindley and Zac Posen celebrated at the official after-party sponsored by Bai Beverages at Vandal. Holmes wore a Zac Posen for Brooks Brothers suit. When asked if one day he would like collaborate with Katie on costuming for a film, Zac said “You never know. It depends on the right project. I feel like a great friendship is like a collaboration. We share books, we share art exhibitions. I think what makes her so special is that she took a great risk and challenged herself to take her creativity to the next level. I think that’s a great role model for any performer, or any person in a creative discipline to develop your own work. To be in front and behind the camera. I visited her on set, and she had such full command over it, and knew exactly what she wanted to do in the editing room, and like a great artist, perfected until the end.”
Nearby, “Awol“ stars Lola Kirke, Breeda Wool, director Deb Shoval, and special guests including Julia Garner attended a party at the Smyth, a Thompson Hotel, to celebrate the film’s Tribeca Film Festival debut. “Awol” is about a young woman named Joey (Lola Kirke) who is in search of direction in her small town. A visit to an army recruiting office appears to provide a path, but when she meets and falls in love with Rayna (Breeda Wool) that path diverges in ways that neither woman anticipates.