Click here to listen to the interview.
The first thing I wanted to talk to Har’el when we spoke on October 10, 2019, was how tender the film. This despite portraying the harrowing, real-life childhood and adult struggles with anger and addiction of the film’s writer and co-star, Shia LeBeouf. Entwining parallel stories of LeBeouf’s experiences as a child television star and as an adult in rehab stemming from his fraught relationship with his father, played by LeBeouf himself, it is brutally honest about a father’s inability to parent the son he loves, and that son’s coming to terms with his contradictory feelings about the frailties of the father he loves back.
We went on to talk about the difference between factual truth and emotional truth; triggers as a toolbox; how serendipity led LeBeouf to ask the Israeli director to helm his very personal project; and how a ceremony helped them cope with subject matter that cut very deep.
We finished up with why we hear, but never see LeBeouf’s mother; subverting the male gaze; and why the circus informed the film’s color palette.
The film co-stars Noah Jupe, Lucas Hedges, Laura San Giacomo, FKA Twigs, Clifton Collins, Jr. and Natasha Lyonne. Har’el’s previous work includes LOVE TRUE and BOMBAY BEACH.