It was an exciting evening at the TCL Chinese Theaters in Hollywood a few weeks ago – not only had we just seen the touching drama “The Tender Bar”, there was also a Q&A with the stars Ben Affleck, the producer. Grant Heslov and writer Bill Monahan, as well as actors Daniel Danieri, Tye Sheridan, Christopher Lloyd and Lily Rabe, with one of the fastest exchanges I’ve ever seen.
The conference host began by asking what it was like working with George Clooney (who directed the film).
“George loves actors, his directing is such a joy, he surprises me,” Rabe said.
Heslov joked, “I’m going to say negative things about George, he looks terrible when he wakes up in the morning (laughs).”
When asked if Lloyd’s character was a “sweet old man,” he exclaimed, “Sweet old man? I did not understand. I loved the movie, what’s not to love? And Clooney is a great guy.
Asked about his first big movie, the child actor Ranieri said: “It’s awesome, George is the best director I’ve ever worked with, I got so close to the cast, to George, Lily – they were all as one family, I have an older brother now, right here in Tye (Sheridan).
Sheridan added, “There are a lot of things that I can relate to; I worked on my first film when I was 11, on the film “The Tree of Life”. I grew up with a crazy family like JR (his character) in Texas, I used to go to a cabin with adults where they would stay up all night drinking.
Heslov said he met Clooney in acting class, “When I was 19 and he was 21. He was part of my coming-of-age story.”
Regarding Affleck, he said, “On the one hand, my dad was a bartender and didn’t go to college, but he really loved books and writing. I had great mentors like my godfather Jack and a great high school drama teacher. (Damon) and I met in his class and I was fortunate to have a great teacher who really cared about them, a role model you wanted to be like. His name was Gerry Speca. In the same way that Uncle Charlie framed JR (Uncle Charlie was Affleck’s character), Gerry framed me. There is wonderful writing in the book.
Sheridan added, “I’ve had a lot of Uncle Charlie, I still have people calling me on my shit and telling me to come back down to earth.”
Rabe said: “I had wonderful parents and a wonderful English teacher. These voices come back to you and get you back on track, I try to amplify them when I look at decisions based on fear.
Related Affleck, “This movie is also a testament to working single moms – JR learns things from his uncle Charlie, but he’s what he is because of his mom.”
Lloyd said, “I’ve had a few mentors and one person that comes to mind is a drama teacher. I didn’t have a lot of self-confidence and didn’t really know how to act. Sandy Meisner, my teacher, attended two classes a night and he was right. “
“It was a very rare opportunity to work on something so complicated and rich, which is more and more important to me in life, and with people watching movies again, it struck me that this film manages to be compassionate, present and loving, ”Affleck added. .
There was a wonderful after party at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel across the street, made to look like “The Tender Bar” set with pool tables and books on shelves, which this Moviehole writer really enjoyed!
“The Tender Bar” is on Amazon Prime January 7th