Belfast Telegraph

Braff: This film is my life's quest

Zach Braff has admitted his character's failure to succeed as an actor in new movie Wish I Was Here reflects his own frustrations about the film industry.

The Scrubs actor stars in and directed the comedy-drama, which he co-wrote with his brother, about a 35-year-old failed actor and father-of-two, who comes to a crossroads in his life where he must choose between his career and his family.

Zach said: "I've had success as an actor, but I wanted to write about when I was struggling to be an actor.

"And I thought audiences, would, because I think audiences are a lot smarter than most people give them credit for, insert their own quest.

"Most people aren't struggling actors, but they can relate to going after that thing that they really want in their life. Whether that's love or career or passion projects or whatever it is.

"For me that was dreaming of becoming an actor.

"It also continues on to be a metaphor for the Herculean task of trying to get a film made, past all the may, many loops."

The 39-year-old struggled for years to make the film - released a decade after his hit directorial debut Garden State - and asked fans to donate money via Kickstarter to help him fund the project.

Zach said he could not have made the movie - which features an impressive cast including Kate Hudson, Joey King, Mandy Patinkin and Ashley Greene - without appealing to his fans.

He said: "Hollywood doesn't really make films like this. You wouldn't even bring that to a studio because they're not going to make a movie about these issues.

"Ultimately today everything is run through a test audience, anything of a substantial amount of money that is going to be released is tested and tweaked depending on what the test audience thinks.

"It can be useful - 'That joke isn't working, no one's laughing at that joke by me, we should cut it.' That stuff's great.

"But if the director doesn't have final cut and he's given graphs and data, and told, 'Here cut along these lines.' That's the antithesis of art - that's horrible.

"If you're going to make a personal memoir about your thoughts on spirituality and love and family, to have to swallow not having the final say of the edit was ludicrous.

"And so, since it was a movie so personal for me, and also one I thought the fans would enjoy since it has such roots in Garden State and Scrubs in terms of the mix of comedy and drama, t he idea was why don't we make it with the fans. It wasn't about making money."

:: Wish I Was Here is released in cinemas on Friday September 19.


From Belfast Telegraph