Last week, my best friend and I had the chance to see an early screening of Gifted. The movie, directed by Good Will Hunting’s Marc Webb, stars Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace, Octavia Spencer, Jenny Slate, and Lindsay Duncan.
Chris Evans plays Frank Adler, a single man trying to raise his spirited, math prodigy niece Mary, played by McKenna Grace, in a coastal town in Florida. Mary and Frank lead a happy, normal life with the help of their one-eyed cat Fred and landlady and friend Roberta (Octavia Spencer). Their lives quickly change when Mary’s new teacher Bonnie (Jenny Slate) discovers she’s a math prodigy. This draws the attention of Frank’s mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), who comes back into the picture to try and break Frank and Mary apart.
After seeing the movie, I was also fortunate to join a blogger call with Chris Evans and Mckenna Grace to talk more about their thoughts on Gifted. (Below is an excerpt from each call.)
Chris, can you go ahead and speak a little bit about what it was like working with director, Marc Webb.
Sure. He’s great. I think these kind of emotional, character-driven pieces are his specialty, and he certainly is an emotional guy himself. The best thing about him is that you really feel like you have an ally on those heavy days because if you’re becoming emotional in a scene there’s a good chance when they yell “Cut” and you look over at him he’s probably shedding a few tears. He’s very much in touch with his emotional side and very curious about the human condition and human experience, and I think that’s what he’s constantly looking to show in all of his work.
We’re huge animal advocates over here and we fell in love with Fred, and my sister and her husband sing, “He’s a dude, he’s a guy, and he’s got one eye” all the time. And I was wondering how did you get him on a speedboat, and who owns him?
“Very carefully, is how you get him on a speedboat. He was not happy at first. I don’t think he ever actually became happy, to be honest, he was never happy on that speedboat. And I’m not sure who owns him. He had trainers with him all day, and I’m guessing those trainers owned him, but I actually don’t know who his owner was.
I was wondering what your favorite part was working with Mckenna?
God, tough to pick just one. She’s got a great personality. She always has energy. She’s full of life. She’s nine, so, I don’t know, she’s just a little ball of happiness, she’s always smiling, she knows everybody’s name. It’s really nice to be around that on a film set because you remember how much fun this job can be. I’m fully aware how lucky I am to do something that I love, that’s such a rare thing, but it’s really a wonderful reminder to know how much fun this job is, not just lucky and unfortunate, but truly just fun.
McKenna, what was it like working with the cast and crew on Gifted?
Oh my goodness, I loved the crew, I loved the cast and I loved working with Chris even though I couldn’t go anywhere with him because there were always ladies following him around and screaming. I loved working with Octavia because we’d always have dance parties, and I’m so thankful I got to meet and get to hang out with all of those people for two months.
Can you speak a little bit about what your favorite scene shooting was and maybe why?
One of my favorite scenes to shoot, probably, even though I had a really bad allergic reaction in this, it was probably whenever I got to snuggle Fred inside of the bed. That rhymed, but it really didn’t, I really did not want it to rhyme. But there was a short split scene in the movie, and it was where I was asleep in my bed with the cat. I really enjoyed getting to snuggle him because he’s such a sweet cat.
I just wanted to see what your takeaway of the message of Gifted is. If you had to tell someone why they should go see it, what would you say?
This movie is a really great feel-good movie, and it has a happy ending. I think that it’s a really great movie and carries a great message, and the message that it carries is family, that it comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, beliefs. And you may not be blood relatives with who you stay with, or you may have one mom, or one dad, or two moms, or two dads, or a mom and a dad, or just live with your uncle like Mary does. But at the end of the day I think that family is the people that you love and that love you and who you care about.
After seeing the movie, I can definitely say that Mckenna steals the show. My best friend and I both said we expect great things from her in the future. You can’t help but love her. She’s an incredible little talent.
In addition to seeing the movie and talking to its stars, I was also lucky enough to receive a few goodies from Fox Searchlight. My favorite is the little Fred keychain. You can’t go wrong with a one-eyed plush cat on a keychain or bag clip.
You can watch Gifted for yourself in select theaters April 7th and everywhere April 12th.
For More Information on Gifted from Fox Searchlight
© 2017, Beauty Brite. All rights reserved.