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
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.
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