Looking for a way to avoid the heat this weekend? Grab your favorite refreshing cocktail at the Sundance Kabuki theater and embrace your inner movie critic. We recently did just that and sat down with actor, Dennis Quaid, and director, Ramin Bahrani, to learn about the making of their new film At Any Price, which debuts at the Kabuki this Friday.
You may recognize Bahrani as director of the New York documentary Chop Shop, and Quaid from hollywood films like The Day After Tomorrow and Vantage Point. So the question is, how do two professionals from completely opposite ends of the industry wind up collaborating on a film? The guys explain it all during a sit-down interview with 7x7 at the Ritz-Carlton this past month.
What was it like working with professional actors for the first time?
Ramin Bahrani: I would try to rehearse scenes with Dennis and he would mumble. I was terrified. I'm making my first film with professional actors and I didn't know what to do. But when I turned on the camera, he delivered. He had a way he wanted to talk. He had a way he wanted to walk. He had a way he wanted to hold his shoulders. He had it all planned out. I asked him, "How did you do that?" and he replied, "Thirty years, kid."
What was it like meeting Dennis?
RB: I remember calling him from my hotel the first night and I said, "Dennis, I'm so happy we're doing this film together. I really want you to be recognized because I think you're such a great actor. I hope this could be a role that can do that." He said, "I don't want any of those things," and I thought to myself, this is a dream.
Zac Efron co-stars alongside Quaid in this film. How did he compare?
RB: I said to Zac, "Dennis said he's not doing hair and makeup," and Zac was like, "Well me neither!" And I said to myself, now we're making a movie!
Dennis Quaid: Zac's performance in this film was just great. It's not the Zac Efron that everyone thinks of. He's so dedicated to his craft and becoming the best actor he can be. He nailed it.
Why were you interested in making this film?
DQ: I was really interested in it because of Ramin and his storytelling. This is basically Wall Street in an Iowa cornfield–the corruption of the American dream. It’s not a traditional farm story with inspirational music. This is a very different type of story. You think it’s going to go one way, and it makes a turn. I think Ramin asks as many questions as he has answers in his movies. That’s what makes you think about them the next day.
Quaid and Bahrani continued to feed off of each other throughout the interview just as they did while making the film, resulting in a perfect combination of Hollywood and indie talent at work. Now we challenge you to choose a theater and critique away!
Opens May 3
Sundance Kabuki - San Francisco
Rialto Elmwood - Berkeley
Regency Cinemas - San Rafael
CineArts at Santana Row - San Jose
CineArts at Palo Alto Square - Palo Alto
Century Five - Pleasant Hill
Opens May 17
UA Emery Bay - Emeryville
Nickelodeon - Santa Cruz
Opens May 24
Osio Plaza Theatre - Monterey
Summerfield Cinemas - Santa Rosa
Sebastopol Cinemas - Sebastopol