Home > News > 10/30 (Sat) Competition Section "Beautiful Boy" Press Conference: Notes & Quotes
News Index back previous next
[Event Reports]
10/30 (Sat) Competition Section "Beautiful Boy" Press Conference: Notes & Quotes

10/30 (Sat) Competition Section "Beautiful Boy" Press Conference: Notes & Quotes

A press conference featuring Beautiful Boy from the Competition section was held as follows:

Date & Time: October 30th (Saturday), from 13:00 @TIFF movie café
Appearance: Shawn Ku (Director/Writer)
©2010 TIFF

Here are some notes and quotes:

Shawn Ku (SK): This is my first feature film and this is our Asian Premiere. It's just fantastic to be in Tokyo.

Q: The theme of this film is about the conflict between a husband and wife, parent and child, and how they try to mend their relationship. It is based on the shooting that took place at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2007. Did you actually interview those involved in this incident?

SK: It's difficult to get access to these people. As I was doing my research, I found that most of these parents had to live in anonymity so it was difficult to track them down. That's why most of the script writing was done through my self exploration. But a few weeks before we started shooting, a woman named Susan Klebold, who was one of the mothers of the boy who committed the Columbine High School Massacre, did a magazine interview with Oprah Winfrey. Maria Bello and I read the article together and we were instantly convinced that we were on the right track telling the right story. In the interview, Susan was trying so much to maintain the beauty of her son. She defended him and said that she still thought he was a victim of influences by other children. She was trying to keep him her beautiful boy.
Guns are a foreign thing for Japanese and certainly for me as well growing up not ever seeing a gun. Yet, I know for a lot of people in the United States, it's something they have around their homes. So I thought it was important for me to experience that. In the U.S., there are these places called shooting ranges where you shoot at paper targets. Shooting a weapon for the first time was a remarkable experience... it's so easy to pull the trigger and so easy to take a life. It was really a life changing experience for me.
©2010 TIFF

Q: What did you talk about with Michael Sheen about his role?

SK: When I first approached him to be in the film, we had a very long conversation. It was interesting that the approach of the 2 actors was different. Michael is a very cerebral actor in that he does a lot of searching and questioning. He is really internal and does a lot of thought building, trying to understand the person he is playing. I was excited to have him because most of the time he has played iconic people who exist such as Tony Blair and Brian Clough, a famous soccer coach, so it was fun to create someone with him from the ground up. We had a lot of conversations about life, family, children, and broken relationships. Maria and Michael have one interesting thing in common which is that they both are a single parent coming from a broken relationship, so most of our rehearsal sessions were conversational—talking about the time before a relationship goes bad. Michael definitely understood what it's definitely like to be in a relationship that's not perfect so I guess it was quite easy for him to understand this role.
Maria's approach is more visceral. She tends to go by instinct, almost as if she is turning her mind off and just feeling things instinctually as they happen. This might sound negative, but she tends not to prepare and practice as much. She comes and feels her role as a human, mother, and wife. I think Michael and Maria are both appropriate for each of their roles in that way because the father in the role is very much in his head, and the mother is a person who very much reacts.

Shawn Ku also commented on one of his favorite Japanese films, Nobody Knows, directed by Hirokazu Koreeda. The story is about four children, each a child by a different father, who are abandoned by their mother and forced to survive on their own. It is based on the actual events of the four abandoned children in Sugamo, Tokyo, which came to light in 1988. Ku shared his thoughts on the film. "It's a beautiful film. I watched it with my cinematographer as we were thinking about our style. This film is very simple, real, and intimate which was definitely an inspiration for us"

Beautiful Boy
© 2010 Goldrush Entertainment
Film Information

previous next
KEIRIN.JPThe 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
22nd Tokyo International Film Festival(2009)