Not What We Say

Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Peter Hedges
Writer-director Peter Hedges discussing his latest movie, Dan in Real Life, with Elvis Mitchell on KCRW's The Treatment (11/07/07):

"Good writing is often what you don’t write…My stories are always about people—usually good people—trying to do the right thing, but not necessarily capable of doing it. Theater at its best teaches us how to talk to each other again and film at its best makes us feel less alone. For me [with] movies I love, I go, Oh, I know. I know what they’re feeling. I’ve felt that way. Oh, I’m afraid to feel that way. Oh, now I’m not so afraid to feel that way because I saw them feel that way.

I like stories that are not hard to understand. At their best, they may be difficult to handle, but not because they’re cryptic. They’re very clear. What’s interesting is when a character can’t speak, we find ourselves wanting to speak for them. We know what they’re saying. So I feel that those silences pull and audience in. Not from a manipulative standpoint, it’s more from this is what’s true…Ultimately it’s what we do in film, and not what we say, that matters."

Dan In Real Life director Peter Hedges and Sondre jamming in between scenes on set in Newport, Rhode Island, December 2006.