Dan Fogelman is as prolific a writer as they come. The scribe who started off at Pixar has since added a bevy of films to his resume: Tangled, Crazy Stupid Love, The Guilt Trip & Last Vegas. This isn’t even taking into account his work on television – as creator of the critically well regarded The Neighbors & Galavant. Danny Collins, though, marks Fogelman’s first foray into the writer/director field. It’s a suitably personal film about the limitations of success, what it means to be an artist and the toll that has on family.
Al Pacino stars as the titular Collins, a Barry Manilow-esque rock star in the twilight of his career. He still plays to sold-out shows – but now all the groupies tend to be hooked on life support and the only song anyone wants to hear is that same stupid hit Collins didn’t even write to begin with. After receiving a long-lost fan letter from John Lennon, Collins begins to reconsider the life choices that have led him to this particular impasse. He flees from his mansion in California, shacking up in a Hilton in New Jersey where his long-abandoned son now resides with a family all his own. It’s the setup for what could be a particularly schmaltzy Lifetime movie – but Fogelman’s even-handed script and a game cast keep the movie from ever tilting too far over that saccharine line. Fogelman’s smart enough to know that when you have Pacino, Annette Bening & Christopher Plummer in your cast, perhaps its best to step away and let them do their thing.
In the following interview with Fogelman, he discusses his approach to working with actors, his rewriting process and how faithful he was to the script on set. In addition, Fogelman gave an update on Galavant and the likelihood of a Season Two (Spoiler: he seems fairly optimistic). For all that and more, watch the interview below.
Danny Collins opens in select theaters March 20th
- Why are music interviewers so much cooler than film interviewers?
- What did Fogelman learn from past sets for his directorial debut?
- Fogelman on his rewriting process…
- On his directing process with actors and remaining faithful to the script…
- What’s the status on Galavant Season 2?