“It’s the big question of a movie of this size —will people care if they don’t care about David Foster Wallace?” Jason Segel recently told RogerEbert.com. “It’s not a cradle to grave biopic. It’s just these four days. What it really rests on is creating this character tension between two guys. Between [screenwriter] Donald Margulies curating the actual interview into a narrative and [director] James Ponsoldt creating tension out of active listening. It’s really hard to do.”
However, Segel, along with co-star Jesse Eisenberg, pulls it off with “The End Of The Tour,” a drama that brings a slice in the life of famed writer Wallace to the big screen. Ron Livingston, Joan Cusack, Mamie Gummer and Mickey Sumner co-star in the movie about the four day interview between Wallace and Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky. Here’s the official synopsis:
THE END OF THE TOUR tells the story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter (and novelist) David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel), which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace’s groundbreaking epic novel, Infinite Jest. As the days go on, a tenuous yet intense relationship seems to develop between journalist and subject. The two men bob and weave around each other, sharing laughs and also possibly revealing hidden frailties – but it’s never clear how truthful they are being with each other. Ironically, the interview was never published, and five days of audio tapes were packed away in Lipsky’s closet. The two men did not meet again. The film is based on Lipsky’s critically acclaimed memoir about this unforgettable encounter, Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace, written following Wallace’s 2008 suicide. Both Segel and Eisenberg reveal great depths of emotion in their performances and the film is directed with humor and tenderness by Sundance vet James Ponsoldt from Pulitzer-Prize winner Donald Margulies’ insightful and heartbreaking screenplay.
Below you can check out an exclusive clip from the movie, showing the unique personalities of both Wallace and Lipsky. “The End Of The Tour” opens in New York and Los Angeles on July 31st and will roll out nationwide in August.