Exclusive: Alexander Payne Gives More Nebraska Details


It’s still early in award show season, but Alexander Payne is already receiving a lot of attention and accolades for his latest film The Descendants starring George Clooney as a father trying to reconnect with his daughters after his wife’s tragic accident. The Oscar winner was being honored at the National Board of Review Gala in New York for the film’s screenplay, and he spoke exclusively with ComingSoon.net about his next project Nebraska, which he plans on shooting this year.

“It’s a father/son road trip from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska, but it gets waylaid at a crappy town in central Nebraska where the father grew up and where he has some old scores to settle,” Payne told us. “It’s just a little comedy. It’s nothing fancy. Nothing too ambitious. It’s a nice little comedy.”

So why did Payne choose this as his next film?

“I’m always just so damn desperate to find anything that can make a movie. I’m serious,” he said quite candidly. “I also get questioned about what statement are you making and what themes are personal to you and I’m always thinking I’m so grateful to have barely found a story that you can make a movie. I’m not eating humble pie. I just want to keep doing it and making movies. This one is not a grand statement and it’s not particularly important to me. “The Descendants” wasn’t entirely personal to me. I just thought it was make a decent movie and it would be fun to make. I also think about what would be fun to make.”

While Nebraska hasn’t been cast, Payne does have an idea of who he wants, but he won’t say. “I cannot announce it because I don’t even think the actor has received the script yet. It’s in the process right now.”

While he has worked with big names like Jack Nicholson, Reese Witherspoon and George Clooney, don’t always expect him to cast a well-known actor, since Payne likes discovering new talent. “I don’t see a lot of contemporary American films. I also look forward to being educated about more actors out there and having an actor presented to me whom I never could have imagined.”

In the meantime, expect to see Payne and the cast of The Descendants receiving more awards in the coming week and possibly even getting a good number of Oscar nominations.