On April 19, “The Meddler” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. After her husband’s death, Marnie (Susan Sarandon) heads to the west coast to spend more time with her screenwriter daughter Lori (Rose Byrne). When Lori demands boundaries, Marnie puts her interfering tendencies to uses that range from invasive to genuinely altruistic. The heartwarming film also stars Billy Magnussen, J.K. Simmons, Jerrod Carmichael, Cecily Strong and Lucy Punch. It was written and directed by Lorene Scafaria.
When asked about working on the film Susan said, “It was great. She assembled an amazing cast and it’s always the actor’s job to be very specific about things so they will be universal. I wore her mother’s clothes and pocketbook and jewelry. There was a wealth of details that she had for me and also just this funny, funny cast that could play everything very straight, and so it could be based in reality and not commented on and not winked at or anything and I really appreciated that.”
Byrne added, “The script was so funny and moving and I loved the characters were really specific and it was a very intimate story, which I just loved to play. It was something that I could relate to and I think everybody could relate to. It was also challenging because it was a responsibility to play this real person. I loved it. I really enjoyed. It was only a few weeks but I really enjoyed it.” Billy Magnussen plays one of Lori’s rebound boyfriends. “It was great. Rose has such a warm heart and a great person, how can you complain, she was just lovely,” he said.
Shaina Moskowitz: What inspired you to write this film?
Lorene Scafaria: My mom, my sweet mom who can meddle sometimes but is also absolutely wonderful and generous and has a lot of love to give. It’s really about her moving from New Jersey to Los Angeles to be close to me after my dad died. Then of course we had to give some fiction and wish fulfillment and a love interest that doesn’t exist and things like that but it was really inspired by my mom.
SM: Is she currently still with you in Los Angeles?
LS: She is, she’s right down the road.
SM: Was she on set with you or did she see the film yet?
LS: She’s seen the film a lot, she saw every cut of it but no, she wasn’t allowed on set.
SM: What did she think?
LS: It’s her favorite movie. She loves that Susan Sarandon plays her and she says, “Oh, Daddy would have loved to be married to Susan Sarandon.” She’s having the time of her life.
SM: Speaking about casting Susan and why she was right for the role?
LS: She’s so warm and maternal and wonderful and giving and generous. I think she’s sort of like a super Marnie. She’s this incredible humanitarian and saves lives. I think it’s the kind of thing Marnie or my mom would want to be and she actually does it.
Following the screening, guests attended the official after-party sponsored by Freixenet Cava at Parlor.