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Meet the 2013 Tribeca Filmmakers #31: Clark Gregg Discusses His Joss Whedon-Approved Dramedy 'Trust Me'

By Indiewire | Indiewire April 15, 2013 at 10:28AM

Clark Gregg credits stumbling into an acting class at NYU taught by William H. Macy and David Mamet as the foundation for his career. When his class graduated, they formed the Atlantic Theater Company together and did plays where he was able to act, direct and write. Robert Zemeckis made his first script, "What Lies Beneath," and allowed him to participate in the shoot and observe his process. Gregg shared that writer and director Joss Whedon was enormously helpful and supportive with "Trust Me." Gregg also spoke about directing his first feature, "Choke", sharing that "I felt surprisingly prepared and completely clueless, often within the same moment. When I think about, I suppose I've created a kind of Continuing Ed film school for myself by making small films with a small group of very talented and generous friends."
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"Trust Me"
"Trust Me"
Clark
Gregg
credits stumbling into an acting class at NYU taught by William H. Macy and David Mamet as the foundation for his career. When his class graduated, they formed the Atlantic Theater Company together and did plays where he was able to act, direct and write. Robert Zemeckis made his first script, "What Lies Beneath," and allowed him to participate in the shoot and observe his process. Gregg shared that writer and director Joss Whedon was enormously helpful and supportive with "Trust Me." Gregg also spoke about directing his first feature, "Choke", sharing that "I felt surprisingly prepared and completely clueless, often within the same moment. When I think about, I suppose I've created a kind of Continuing Ed film school for myself by making small films with a small group of very talented and generous friends."

What it's about:

"Trust Me" is about love, death and the all consuming drive for stardom as seen through the eyes of Howard Holloway, agent for child actors.

What else should audiences know?:

"It's funnier than it sounds, more emotional than you'd expect and it's not really about the movie business at all. We were also fortunate to gather an incredible indie ensemble in Amanda Peet, Sam Rockwell, Felicity Huffman, Allison Janney, Niecy Nash, William H. Macy, Molly Shannon, Paul Sparks and brilliant 13 year-old newcomer, Saxon Sharbino."

On the challenges: "Well, first I had to convince people to invest in a tragi-comic noir fable about a loser agent for child actors that I planned to direct and star in. Once producers, Mary Vernieu, Keith Kjarval and Aaron Gilbert put together that hearty band of heroes, it was all about forming an ensemble that could nail the film's unusual dark comic tone. Fortunately, my producer and creative partner from day one, Mary Vernieu, still moonlights as the best casting director in the business. She and Lindsay Graham put a cast together that was more than up to that challenge. My most strenuous job was trying to live up the performances happening daily around me."

What he hopes audiences will walk away with: "A great sense of relief that they never went into show business."

Films that inspired him: "Many. My ridiculously brilliant DP, Terry Stacey, and I talked a lot about the style of "The Limey", which we both love. Also, "Broadway Danny Rose," "Black Swan," "Chinatown." During the writing I watched some classic noir, "The Big Sleep," "Sunset Boulevard," and some neo-noir, "Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang," "Brick," Altman's "The Long Goodbye."

What's next: "
I recently completed a pilot for ABC/Marvel called "SHIELD" which would represent the resurrection of Agent Phil Coulson of the Avengers series. Also, writing a period Mafia movie for Fox about the most famous mobster you've never heard of. I would tell you who it is, but then I'd be sued. Or rubbed out. And, as I said, you've probably never heard of him."

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 2013 festival.



Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch of the festival on April 17 for the latest profiles.


This article is related to: Meet the 2013 Tribeca Filmmakers





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