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Don’t Make Me Go Interview with Director Hannah Marks – The Hollywood Reporter

Writer and director Hannah Marks, who helped her start acting in projects like Accept, weed, roughness needed and Dirk Gently’s Comprehensive Detective Agencyher feature film directorial debut with After everything, which she also wrote. And she directed another movie that she wrote, Mark, Mary and some othersbefore she directs Don’t make me gocurrently streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video.

For Marks, directing a movie she didn’t write is something she “really enjoys”.

“It was a great experience, because I got an outside look at the document and was really happy to dig into the already existing material,” says Marks. The Hollywood Reporter. “We did some improvisation and played around a bit because everyone was very cooperative and engaged.”

But that doesn’t mean doing Don’t make me go Its not without its challenges. The film stars John Cho and Mia Isaac as a father and daughter embarking on a trip from California to New Orleans, ostensibly for Cho’s Max to attend his college reunion. But the trip is actually a way for Max, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, to reconnect his daughter Wally (Isaac) with her mother and allow him to pass on some useful life lessons. useful.

With New Zealand-based Cho while working on Netflix Cowboy Bebop amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Marks and Co. had to choose between acting and making a movie about an American road trip in New Zealand.

“The borders are closed, and it’s not really possible to have both John Cho and the US, so we chose John Cho because, at the end of the day, although this is an American story, the aspect The most important part of it was the father-son relationship and John was so perfect for the role that we thought we were going to go for him,” recalls Marks. “There were no COVID cases in New Zealand at the time so it was extremely safe for us to go there and make the film. Of course there are many challenges, as you would imagine. “

As for what those challenges are, Marks is quick to tick off a few: “It’s an American road trip movie set in the summer, and we’re in Auckland in the winter. Weather is a challenge. All driving is a challenge. They drive on the other side of the road there. They also don’t have many roads and highways, and you’re not allowed to close them, so that’s tough. “

She added, “Also driving on the left is illegal there unless it’s a vintage car, which is how Max’s Wagoneer was born. That wasn’t originally part of the story. Before he drives a modern Toyota… It’s funny, there’s a lot of random stuff that you wouldn’t expect but just had a strange feeling, like the door – I noticed them all their door handles and door handles are all higher up there. they are here. Trying to sell California, New Mexico, New Orleans, Florida all in Auckland. There is no other New Orleans.”

Despite all those difficulties and tweaking aspects of the story, like cars, due to geography, Marks said that filming in New Zealand “finally” made things “better”.

“We have a really incredible team in the country who are really supportive of trying to make things like America,” she said.

After not writing Don’t make me go and the upcoming film adaptation of John Green’s bestselling novel The turtles all dived belowshe directed HBO Max, Marks identified himself as a scriptwriter for future stories.

“I will probably write a sequel because I didn’t write the last two and I would love to go back to it even though I love the screenplays I have directed and am very grateful, but I really want to. Thirsty is doing some she said.

But that doesn’t mean Marks doesn’t have a personal connection with Don’t make me go. Talk to CHEAPMarks shares how she got into the film, why it resonated with her, making movies for streaming services, and her future as a writer-director .

How did this project come to you and what made you want to direct it?

I had a joint meeting with Peter Saraf at the Big Beach office in New York. I’m a big fan of him because he did Little Miss Sunshine and Suitability and all these great movies. And he sent me the script for Don’t make me go after our meeting, and I read it right away and I love it so much. I was shocked by the twist ending and I thought it was so bold and brave both with the way the movie started and with the twist at the end, so it just brought out so much emotion for me. And I’ve had a lot of connections with it in my own life. So that’s really where it all started.

Can you be more specific about your connections to your own life?

My dad taught me how to drive, and he’s also a cancer survivor.

[The following paragraph contains spoilers from Don’t Make Me Go.]

And on top of that, I have a problem with my heart. That’s why that twist really resonated with me. I really hope and think it won’t kill me, but I have a problem with the heart valves that I monitor and check that I don’t always talk about, but it’s definitely connected. me with the incident occurred.

[Spoilers end]

What do you hope people take from this movie?

I hope they take away that you can grow old at any point in your life. This isn’t just about a 15-year-old girl coming of age, it’s also about her soon-to-be 40-year-old father. It’s never too late to change or try things or take risks. I hope I’m still trying to follow my dreams and different career paths and ambitions as I get older. I want that to be sung at the end of the movie.

This movie is out on Amazon and your next movie The turtles all dived below for HBO Max. What do you think about this movie being released on a streaming platform in this era where the future of movies in theaters is in question?

I love going to the cinema and have a lot of nostalgia about it because I think it’s very important. However, I don’t like trash talk on streaming because it means there will be a lot of artists involved in making the film and I’m lucky enough to be one of them. Streaming allows me to work on projects that would normally not be possible. I have no qualms about streaming or the movie not being released in theaters because it really allows us to tell so many stories and reach such a large audience.

The turtles all dived below been in development for a while, and you’ve been around for a while – first at Fox and now at HBO Max. What would it be like to be a part of that project when it goes through a few twists and turns?

It’s great because I think I was able to grow with the project. When I first started interviewing for this movie, I was 23 or 24 years old and now I’m in my 20s. In my own personal life, I’ve changed and I’ve grown, and it’s interesting that I’ve changed my perspective on the project. The story became even more relevant during a pandemic because the main character was so afraid of germs and infectious diseases, and now that’s something we can all relate to, not just those who are sick. anxiety or hypocrites. I think we’ve all gone through that experience now. So, in a strange way, the movie became even more popular during this time, and I really believe it didn’t have to be made until now.

What kinds of stories do you hope to tell in the future as a writer-director?

I think I will always focus on the central relationship and my characters will always be my main focus. I want to add a higher conceptual aspect to what I write. The last thing I wrote, which I haven’t taken out yet, has a robot and takes place in the near future, and I really, really enjoyed the process, and found it super fun but of course it’s still a movie about relationships. even if it has a robot.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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