In Tony McNamara’s new film “Ashby,” a teenager named Ed (Nat Wolf) befriends his old next door neighbor Ashby (Mickey Rourke). When Ed learns that Ashby is a former CIA assassin who has led a violent past, their friendship is tested. This is the story of an unlikely bond forged between one man with a life that’s just getting started, and another who’s life is winding down.
Emma Roberts and Sarah Silverman also star in this updated and platonic version of “Harold and Maude,” about companionship that spans generations and overcomes differences.
What’s your film about in 140 characters or less?
Ashby is about an awkward kid Ed (played by Nat Wolf) who is given a school assignment to befriend an old person. He starts next door with Ashby, played by Mickey Rourke. They form an unlikely friendship, where Ed learns some old school lessons in masculinity and truth telling before realizing his wise new friend is a terminally ill killer. It’s a coming of age/facing your death movie.
Now what’s it REALLY about?
It’s about belief. How you have to believe in something, but sometimes it’s hard to choose what. Ed is trying to work out what that is for him as he looks forward to adult life. He ends up believing in an unreliable mentor. Ashby is looking back at the end of his life. a life he lived by a strict code. Some of his beliefs have undone his plans for the afterlife and he is trying to make amends. It’s also about how even an imperfect friendship can bring the things we need.
Tell us briefly about yourself.Answer
I live in Sydney Australia. I started writing plays, and then went into tv and film and have moved between the three ever since. At first I felt like I should choose, but now my indecisiveness seems charming and eclectic.
Biggest challenge in completing this film?
Challenges were budget, budget, budget, Mickey Rourke, weather, Mickey Rourke, my Australian accent in North Carolina.
What do you want the Tribeca audience to take away from your film?
That they spent their night well, saw a great young actor in Nat, and somehow Mickey made them cry.
Any films inspire you?
Rushmore, Harold and Maude, His Girl Friday, and Donnie Brasco.
A holiday in Italy guzzling barolo. I have a couple of tv shows in the works
What cameras did you shoot on?
Did you crowdfund?
If so, via what platform. If not, why?
No. We never thought to.
Did you go to film school? If so, which one?
I went to the AFTRS (Australian Film Television and Radio School) which is Australia’s national film school.
Indiewire invited Tribeca Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they’re doing next. We’ll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2015 festival. For profiles go HERE.