We’ve all seen or heard about the cliché-ridden movies about a teacher who makes a difference whether it’s Mr. Holland’s Opus, Dead Poets Society, Freedom Writers and countless others, but there’s something about Daniel Barnz’s Won’t Back Down that seems like it’s coming out at just the right time to address very real problems in our current school system while setting out to be an entertaining movie rather than being preachy.
The movie takes place in and around the Adams Elementary School in Pittsburgh where a concerned mother realizes her dyslexic daughter can’t get the help she needs to read within the current public school system, so she starts putting together a plan to takeover the school with a group of teachers and try to turn things around.
Last week, ComingSoon.net had a chance to speak with Barnz and his cast at the New York junket for the movie, including Maggie Gyllenhal who plays Jamie Fitzpatrick, that worried mother trying to make a difference, and Viola Davis as Nona Albert, a teacher who hesitantly agrees to help her. We also spoke with Oscar Isaac who plays Michael Perry, one of the more active teachers who uses music in the classroom–something that allows Isaac to get in touch with the musical side we’ve been seeing so much from him in recent movies–as well as Rosie Perez, who plays Breena Harper, another teacher who isn’t so sure she wants to be involved with Jamie and Nona’s takeover plans.
You can watch the video interview below where Barnz and his cast talk about why they wanted to make the movie, Viola and Maggie talk about working with each other on some of the more dramatic scenes, and all of them talk about why they think it’s important for people to see this movie.