Director James Gray on ‘Ad Astra’ and Why Zero Gravity Scenes Are Incredibly Difficult

     September 24, 2019

James Gray’s new movie Ad Astra is currently in theaters. Brad Pitt plays astronaut Roy McBride, who is tasked with trying to communicate with his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones) when his father’s work threatens all life on Earth. It’s a surprisingly emotional and somber picture with one of Pitt’s best performances as he portrays a stoic, reserved man coming to grips with his past and his weaknesses.


Image via 20th Century Fox

I got to speak to James Gray on the red carpet before the film played at the National Geographic Theater in Washington, D.C. During our conversation, we talked about the film’s themes, the challenges of filming scenes set in zero gravity, the film’s genesis as The Odyssey told from the perspective of Odysseus’ son Telemachus, the influences that shaped the narrative, and more.

Check out my interview with Gray above. Ad Astra is in theaters, and I highly recommend seeing it. Click on the respective links for my interviews with Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones. The film also stars Liv Tyler, Ruth Negga, and Donald Sutherland.

Here’s the official synopsis for Ad Astra:

Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.



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