Director Chad Hartigan Talks 'Morris from America,' Craig Robinson, and Coming-of-Age Films

Director Chad Hartigan Talks 'Morris from America,' Craig Robinson, and Coming-of-Age Films

The coming-of-age drama Morris from America was the Closing Night Presentation of the 2016 Atlanta Film Festival, and director Chad Hartigan was in attendence to introduce his film to a sold-out audience. We spoke with Hartigan on the red carpet before the film where he discussed getting Craig Robinson on board and what sets his film apart from the others in the genre.

Shakefire (SF): What made you want to do a coming-of-age film such as this?
Chad Hartigan (CH): I love coming-of-age films. And actually very specifically I love American mainstream teen comedies, and I love European arthouse coming-of-age films. I feel like they’re very different, and I like the idea of trying to combine the two into something that maybe felt like no other movie you had seen before so that’s what I tried to do.

SF: So what would you say sets Morris from America apart from the other coming-of-age films we’ve seen before?
CH: I think it’s just the very specific character of Morris is not one we usually see get his own movie. Then on top of that, putting that character in a place like Heidelberg, Germany which you don’t usually get to see. So right off the bat you’re watching somebody that you feel is unique in a unique circumstance, and so you’re already invested, hopefully.

SF: How did getting Craig Robinson attached to the film come about?
CH: I have the same agent as Craig so when we were having the script going around his team found out about it, read it, and thought it would be something good for him. I of course love his stuff. I got to meet him, and we talked about it. He felt like it was something he could really do and was excited about it; it’s a different kinda role for him. I think he’s great in the movie.

Morris from America currently does not have a release date, but it has been picked up for distribution by A24.

Matt Rodriguez
Interview by Matt Rodriguez
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