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CS Video: Edward Burns on The Fitzgerald Family Christmas

Source:   Edward Douglas
December 3, 2012


There are many reasons why we like talking to Edward Burns.

First of all, he's a filmmaker who has strived to make his fairly low-budget movies all over New York using local actors and crews, but he's also a straight shooter who doesn't dance around with questions as similarly experienced actors and filmmakers sometimes do.

His latest movie is The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, his 11th independent feature film, this one a big ensemble piece that returns him to the world of his first film The Brothers McMullen. It’s centered around an Irish-American family, the Fitzgeralds, who are getting together for Christmas when they discover that their long-absent father, who deserted them 20 years earlier, may be returning, looking for forgiveness as he faces a terminal disease.

Burns assembled an amazing cast made up of actors who have worked with him in the past like Connie Britton and Michael McGlone from "McMullen," Anita Gillette from She’s the One, Noah Emerich, and Marsha Dietlein Bennett, Kerry Bishé and Caitlin Fitzgerald, all returning from Burns’ previous film Newlyweds.

ComingSoon.net has spoken with Burns a number of times over the years and when we spoke to him last year for Newlyweds and he told us about "Fitzgerald Family Christmas," we assumed it was a comedy. In fact, it’s far more dramatic than some of Burns’ other recent films but also one that's really something that can be watched with your own family (teen and older) and be able to relate to some of the situations.

In the video interview below, Burns talks to ComingSoon.net about:

* How a conversation with Tyler Perry got him started writing "Fitzgerald Family Christmas"
* How it took him less time to write this than other movies
* How the movie is more dramatic than some may presume from the title
* The influence of It’s a Wonderful Life had on the film
* Assembling the cast, including a number from The Brothers McMullen and She’s the One, making it a family reunion from his past films
* How he’s still making movies fairly cheap and how it’s easier these days
* We tangent into a discussion about shooting digital vs. film and the doc Side By Side
* Balancing all of the characters and their history
* Working with the actors on those characters
* How he met Noah Emmerich and got him to play a role
* Reuniting with Caitlin Fitzgerald from Newlyweds with her doing a more dramatic role
* Casting Ed Lauter as the father
* His thoughts on releasing his movies on VOD and how it’s saved indie film
* They’re a long way from launching Three Nights, a movie he will star in and produce
* How his dream from back when he had Brothers McMullen is the same as today

And then back to talking about Tyler Perry and whether or not we might see his character Tommy Kane in the planned sequel, Double Cross

"The whole idea of that final scene was set up for a sequel and I think James Patterson is trying to figure out which one of the books would be right for the sequel, but that’s the last I’ve heard. Tyler and I hit it off really well—I think we had a good chemistry."


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