One of the greatest health risks for medical professionals is an accidental needle puncture. If the needle has just been used on a patient with AIDS or another disease, the care giver risks infection. As an opening ER scene in "Puncture" depicts, such an accident is not uncommon if a patient is thrashing in a seizure.
"Puncture" dramatizes this dilemma with its based-on-life story about two low-rent Houston lawyers who take on the personal injury case of Vicky (Vinessa Shaw), a nurse who contracts AIDS after an accidental stick. They learn that her friend Jeffrey Danfort (Marshall Bell) has designed a retractable needle that could not stick a second person, but that the safety needle faces an unofficial national boycott by medical suppliers and hospitals who object to its slightly higher cost. Anyone who has ever looked at the itemized printout of what hospitals charge for everything will find that incredible, but the movie is based on fact.
The lawyers are Mike Weiss (Chris Evans) and Paul Danziger (Mark Kassen). Kassen and his brother Adam co-directed "Puncture"; the real Danziger co-wrote the story. He's seen as a serious family man, concerned about their joint practice. Weiss, his friend from college days, is his polar opposite: an out-of-control cokehead who often misses meetings and court dates, and in a few fascinating scenes, test-drives his court summations before audiences of pimps and druggies. His marriage breaks up near the start of the movie, and as he plunges more deeply into drugs, the amazing thing is that he manages to show up at all.
But he does. With a frenzied energy perhaps fueled by crack, he becomes obsessed with the case, risking the firm itself in the process. He's brilliant; that seems clear enough. Time and again, all seems lost, and he pulls it out of the fire. The movie becomes a showdown between his brilliance and his addiction.
That's a problem, in a way. Weiss is played so well by Chris Evans that his character upstages the issues. It seems clear that the health-care system is corrupt, and that health industries will spend unlimited funds to avoid a court defeat in this case. One of the industry's high-priced lawyers is Nathaniel Price (Brett Cullen), who is all confidence and polish, surrounded by mahogany and brass, and tends to refute Weiss by his very presence. But he and the other supporting actors, good as they are, find themselves upstaged by Weiss and by Evans' performance.
It's unfair to complain that Weiss seems over the top. The portrayal seems to be accurate. Weiss died at 32 of a drug overdose, and an online obituary says he achieved wonders "working only a couple of hours a day." Electrifying in the role, Evans reminds me of other great out-of-control druggies played by Al Pacino and Nicolas Cage. A movie like this is a reminder that box-office success can be unfair and limiting to gifted young actors. Evans is famous in great part because of "Captain America: The First Avenger" and "Fantastic Four." They give little hint of his powers. Movies like this can be career-changers.
Yet I read in one review that the "pic might prove too commercially downbeat for Evans' 'Captain America' fans, while purists might prefer a straight-ahead docu approach." I suspect "Puncture" was made for neither "Captain America" fans or purists, and though it's not a complete success, he's always riveting onscreen, and the story is yet another parable about our venal health-care industry.
The Houston secrets of Puncture: How Captain America came to star, why Bono jumped in & local locales By Cynthia Neely 9.23.11
Houston attorney Paul Danziger had a true story to tell. An urgent, life and death true story. He wanted to honor the vigilant efforts of his friend and former law partner Michael Weiss who tried, possibly at the cost of his own life, to expose a wholly rotten conspiracy in the health care supply industry.
(In this instance, the word “care” has no business being associated with the word “health.”)
Danziger, who had never written a screenplay in his life, was determined that the best way to get his story out there was through a motion picture. (Never mind a little thing like inexperience and no Hollywood connections.)
His drama begins when a young Danziger and then-partner Weiss were personal injury lawyers, representing clients in neck braces — accident victims. In 1997, however, an emergency room nurse brought their first big case through the door and irrevocably changed their lives.
It was a case they didn’t even want.
Ironically, the nurse didn’t want to be their client either, she wanted to be a whistleblower. She wanted Danziger and Weiss to take down a very big, very powerful bad guy.
“Vicky,” portrayed by actress Vinessa Shaw (3:10 to Yuma, Eyes Wide Shut) in Danziger’s resulting movie Puncture, which opens Friday at the River Oaks Theater, had contracted HIV and Hepatitis C from an accidental needle prick on the job. The single mother of two little children was now incurably sick.
A family friend, heartbroken by Vicky’s death-sentence-by-needle-prick, was moved to use his structural and mechanical engineering skills to develop a spring-loaded syringe that retracted its needle after use. His safety needle meant no more pricks, no more re-used needles (hugely responsible for the spread of disease, especially AIDS and HIV, and subsequent deaths worldwide).
From Vicky, the two lawyers learned a horrifying truth — kickbacks and greed in the medical supply world were preventing the fledgling Texas-based safety needle manufacturer from getting into the market. People were still getting pricked and still dying even though a preventative was readily available.
(Stop and think about this. The last time you had a shot or vaccination, did the needle safely retract into the syringe? Nope? Not mine either. )
It was Goliath whom Vicky wanted Danziger & Weiss, LLP to take on — the behemoth Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) who controlled which supplies were used by hospitals and doctor’s offices — and which weren’t. Apparently, what was best for the patient’s health had absolutely nothing to do with the buying process.
As a budding law firm, Danziger & Weiss had no clout; they weren’t “big shot lawyers.” Mike Weiss, however, was gripped by the case — heart, mind, and soul. He argued with Danziger that this was such an obvious case of right vs. wrong, about a good needle that could save millions of lives. How could they lose?
Well, for starters, one major roadblock was that Weiss was a serious drug addict.
A genius and functioning addict, but still an addict. Weiss died of a drug overdose during the case.
What follows is a gripping, OMG-hold-your-breath movie shot entirely in Houston last year. The performances are stunning and the subject matter so compelling that after seeing Puncture, movie-goers should exit the theater with both a new appreciation for the acting chops of Chris Evans (of Captain America fame) and with a shocking realization that our health care is in the hands of money grubbers who don’t give a flying you-know-what about our health care.
(OK, maybe that's not such a surprise but watching blatant proof on screen is.)
This film is about a Goliath that I never knew existed, and made me mad as hell.
Turning real life into a movie
How Paul Danziger’s own life experience became a feature film is a lesson for anyone who has ever wanted to become a filmmaker.
Fast forward 12 years from the real safety needle case to 2008. Danziger and his new law partner, Rod de Llano, have offices in the handsome Lyric Center, downtown on Louisiana, neighboring the prestigious Wortham Center.
The lawyers, whose practice still focuses on personal injury cases, are about get into the movie business as executive producers — the driving forces and primary investors.
Danziger began the journey by reading three legal drama screenplays. Using Good Will Hunting, A Civil Action, and Erin Brockovich as writing samples, he produced a rough draft of his intensely personal story.
Knowing what he didn’t know, he searched the Internet for a professional screenwriter to turn his script into a polished, industry-worthy document. He and de Llano (who had also been a friend of Mike Weiss) hired New York screenwriter Ela Thier. After about a year and a couple more drafts, Safety Point, as it was originally titled, was ready to market.
The harder part, they learned, was getting “Hollywood” to take notice.
“The way people talk to you in LA is extremely rude,” Danziger says in a whopping understatement.
Danziger sent out the script to the usual suspects — agencies and production companies in LA and New York — to receive the usual rejections. Not because the script wasn’t good (it wasn’t even read) but because unsolicited scripts are automatically rejected.
The lawyer learned he needed an agent to do his submitting, but it’s the old chicken and the egg thing. You can’t get an agent if you are nobody in the business, yet you are nobody if you don’t have an agent.
Fox Searchlight and other big dogs responded in their rejection letters with such missives as, “Your unsolicited submission has not been, and will not be disclosed to any executive or other employee of this agency or any other person. You should be aware that many ideas are generated by our employees and our clients or other sources. To the extent that any projects are generated which contain elements similar to what you submitted, the similarities are purely coincidental.”
That’s legal speak for covering the agency’s ass so the writer can’t later claim they stole his/her idea.
But, wait. Somehow, in one of those marvelous miracles that just happen, a couple of brothers making their way into the business did read the script.
Adam and Mark Kassen liked it, wanted to meet Danziger, and wondered if he would allow them to make some changes to the script?
The duo was looking to co-direct the film and one of the brothers, Mark Kassen, actually wanted play the part of Paul Danziger.
In a trip to Houston, the Kassens were shown around the city, including its gritty side, which would become the film’s screen-life setting. Danziger was relieved that the Kassen brothers were “nice and very unaffected.” A handshake deal gave the filmmakers 12-18 months to re-write the script and attach an actor.
The Kassens brought in screenwriter Chris Lopata to take the script to the next level. His draft was titled Retractable.
After actor Chris Evans came on board to play genius/drug addicted attorney Mike Weiss, the project became a true Texas venture with several local investors, in addition to Danziger and de Llano. “Once Chris was attached,” Danziger says, “he became the linchpin to attract other actors.”
One of those actors, a personal favorite of mine, is native Houstonian Brett Cullen. Cullen, a 32-year veteran of the industry, recently finished a role in the newest Batman and is a recurring character in ABC Family’s Make It or Break It.
In Puncture, he rides a horse of a different color. He's Nathaniel Price, the smooth senior partner of a “white shoe law firm” representing the medical supply purchasing industry (the bad guys). The script describes his character as having a “commanding presence, radiating success” and one who doesn’t “so much walk across his plush carpet, he glides.”
Cullen nails it — and then some.
The Hollywood Reporter deliciously described his character as “a heavyweight Texas corporate attorney who is so oily, big-bucks corrupt that you almost like the guy for his undisguised sense of sleaze.”
Cullen got a kick out of that. This role let him play the guy audiences love to hate. (He’s visiting his hometown, by the way, for private screenings this weekend).
According to Danziger, Cullen’s Nathaniel Price character is actually a composite of several real Houston corporate lawyers with whom he has worked.
Scary. There’s more than one!
With the exception of Mao’s Last Dancer (2009) and a few scenes for Tree of Life (2011) Houston hasn’t been much of a feature film location for a long time. We lost our formerly booming big film business in the late 1990s when other states created financial incentives to draw filmmakers to their areas. Texas finally got back into the ballgame about six years ago with our own incentive lures.
Though Houston’s incoming feature films have diminished, locally produced films have proliferated, according to Houston Film Commission director Rick Ferguson. These independents include Playing House, Spirit Camp, Cook County, The Preacher’s Daughter, Thunder Soul and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which came out this summer.
It felt doubly good to have Puncture shot here; a Houston story, produced in Houston.
According to Danziger, about 50 of the 60 or so people in the crew were locals from Houston and Austin. Some of those I recognize are Rona Lamont, costume supervisor; Craig Busch, location manager; Joe Grisaffi, extras casting; and Scott Szabo, sound mixing. Houston should be proud to see our professionals in the credits.
On screen you may recognize former local TV news anchors Bob Boudreaux and Linda Lorelle playing (surprise) TV news people. Houston actors in Puncture include Cheryl Tanner, Marc Isaacs, Kelly Burns Smith, Jake Messinger and Jennifer Joseph.
Another familiar Houston face, attorney Mark Lanier, played himself — convincingly. Lanier's home was also the setting for character/lawyer Nathaniel Price’s swanky digs.
Both Rod de Llano and the real Paul Danziger have cameos. In fact, for those who know attorney Danziger, one surreal scene is when he shakes hands with his actor self (Mark Kassen). Mr. Danziger, meet . . . Mr. Danziger.
Locations all around H-Town included a little bungalow in The Heights that posed as the real Montrose home for Weiss and his pets — a Gila monster lizard and an alligator (you’ve got to see this!) — and Park Plaza Hospital had a significant role. Ferguson, gave high praise to the hospital for being so incredibly cooperative and perfect for what the production needed.
When initially scouting for the hospital scene locations, Ferguson experienced a sense of déjà vu. “I thought I had seen the location before,” he remembers. “As it turns out, I had. It was the same as used for the ‘Give my daughter the shot’ scene with Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger in Terms or Endearment (1983).”
That movie won five Academy Awards. Maybe some of its mojo will rub off on Puncture.
When shooting wrapped, at the end of March 2010, the Kassen brothers headed to New York for editing. Danziger didn’t see any of it until the rough cut that July. Pleasantly surprised, he realized, “Hey, this is not bad!”
After the film's completion last fall, Danziger accepted the invitation from New York’s Tribeca Film Festival to host Puncture’s world premiere. That’s an important endorsement for an independent film. What’s more, singer, musician and humanitarian Bono was so taken by the story’s connection to one of his charities that he hosted a post-premiere party.
Bono’s Project Red helps to stop the spread of AIDS, HIV and other communicable diseases in Africa. Needle re-use is the main carrier; safety needles could wipe out the spread completely.
All this positive exposure helped get a distribution deal for the film with Millennium Entertainment, which means it is going to be shown theatrically. In addition to Houston, Puncture opens in New York and Los Angeles today, and with good reviews and word of mouth, its release will spread.
Houston, get thee to Facebook!
All in all, Puncture took about a year and a half to produce. That’s warp speed for a first-time film by “unknowns.” It was also a low budget film, under $10 million, which goes to show a riveting, meritorious drama can be successfully produced without sacrificing anyone’s first born.
Houston seriously helped make that happen. Danziger said many locations were used for free, people opened up their homes, and the city welcomed the production with open arms. When a scene called for young students outside a school, Danziger’s wife Susan sent out an email and 40-50 kids showed up.
When courtrooms were needed, Judge Michael Englehart helped make sure they got approval for shooting. The Lyric Center, where the real Danziger & de Llano law offices are located, allowed the lobby and other office spaces be used. Many of Danzinger and Rod de Llano’s friends became extras. (Danziger's mother, Avril, was on set nearly everyday to watch the progress, and he and de Llano spent at least half their time on location.)
The co-director Kassen brothers were equally taken by Houston, fully admitting,"When we came to start shooting in Houston, we were worried we wouldn't have the same support and expertise as in LA. After receiving all kinds of support from the Houston Film Commission and the people of Houston we said ‘Thank God we filmed in Houston!’ It made a huge difference to the movie."
For many of us who work in and support the industry here, we say Amen!
Since I am admittedly an unabashed cheerleader for Houston as a film location, I asked my friend and colleague Neal Hamil for his unbiased opinion of the movie following a press screening. He agreed the movie was great and kindly wrote, “Puncture shines a glaring light on a critical topic that is sad, shocking, infuriating and deadly. It’s beautifully shot, masterfully acted, written and directed.”
Chris Evans In ‘Puncture’: From Super To Anti-Hero
By Jordan Zakarin 120 There’s just something about Chris Evans and needles.
Over the summer, a set of experimental injections turned the 30-year old actor into iconic comic book hero Captain America, ripped with muscle and fueled by the earnest virtue of his unblinking moralism. The film earned strong reviews and opened number one at the box office, catapulting his star to new heights. But for all the newfound success and accolades, it’s a different needle that truly pierces Evans’ heart.
Downshifting from 3D stadium seating to indie picture houses, Evans next stars as a frenetically brilliant, drug addicted lawyer in “Puncture.” The film, the true story of a pair of small town Texas lawyers that take on an evil medical conglomerate, sees Evans play a functioning drug addict who lives life on the very edge. If Captain America action figures stretch stars and stripes over a super soldier body, a plastic model of attorney Mike Weiss would be its demented twin, instead covered in tattoos and scruffy beard wet with cocaine nose bleeds.
It was a part Evans was set on taking almost immediately after he began reading the script.
“Twenty pages in, it’s one of those movies that I read that, if you really start liking something, I find that i just get on my feet and just start saying lines,” Evans told The Huffington Post. “You almost start acting it, just feeling what it feels like with the words in your mouth. Halfway through, before I even knew where the movie was going, I was like, I wanna do this, I like this guy, I like this character.”
Weiss and his partner, Paul Danzinger, are hired as the only firm willing to take on a lawsuit brought on by a nurse pricked by an HIV-positive patient’s syringe. Now dying from the disease, she’s suing to help make sure the ingenius accident-proof needles invented by her friend are used in hospitals to help others avoid her fate. Thanks to an array of secret kickbacks and bribes between hospitals and Group Purchasing Organizations, the inventor can’t even get a meeting. The film sees Weiss cascade between philandering junkie to whip-smart crusader fighting passionately for the cause, even as the powers that be — and his own, more cautious partner — urge him to drop the case.
That juxtaposition, the often violent clash of his selfish and selfless ways, was part of the role’s great appeal.
“It’s a fun balance between — he’s such a vile guy. He has so many horrible qualities, but he still has to be likable,” Evans explained. “So it’s fun trying to toe the line between someone who you kind of want to strangle and someone you don’t want to cut out of your life. He’s still got this genius, he’s still brilliant, he’s still charismatic, he’s still all these fantastic things, but kind of a dick. It’s fun to try to find that balance.
Brought the story on a cold submission by Paul Danzinger himself, directors Adam and Mark Kassen warmed to it immediately. “Our assistant read it and said, You’ve really got to pay attention to this. It’s raw but there’s something here. And we really felt, wow, you know, if we can really take it and maybe give it some great structure, we can do some things,” Mark explained. It helped that there was an emotional hook to it, too; their father owned a medical supply company and mother who worked as a nurse for over four decades.
Once they began their search for a star, their agent brought up Evans’ name. Having seen him in the acclaimed but rarely seen Danny Boyle-directed space drama, “Sunshine,” they decided to give him a look. What they saw was a dramatic actor waiting for his opportunity to reach beyond the poorly reviewed budget busters in which he had largely found himself cast.
“We wanted to make sure that someone in this role, you could fall in the trap of being self indulgent performance,” Adam Kassen said, “and we wanted someone who could go deep, who could be touching, who could be thoughtful, but also could be charismatic or exciting and electric. And in Chris you have all of those combinations.”
That the story was a true one presented unique challenges for both the Kassens and Evans in their strive for authenticity. Luckily for the directors (Mark also starred, playing Danziger), having gotten the story from his partner in the first place, Weiss’s family and friends were eager to help make the movie as real as possible.
“His brother was in the movie, his family came down with them. Judges, lawyers, doctors, people consulting on how he actually dressed,” Adam said. “They’d judge, they’d stop and say ‘He wouldn’t stand like that,’ so people brought a real high level of authenticity. And we find, when you’re going to have all these true stories, as producers, it’s actually usually more interesting than stuff you make up.”
The participation was a mixed blessing for Evans, who had never played a real life character before. He often called upon those who knew Weiss best to pick their brains, with the information proving both helpful and daunting.
“I don’t know Mike. I can’t watch — it’s not like I’m playing JFK where I can watch video and get a cadence and a tone and a posture and dialect,” he continued, frustrated but careful to express his gratitude for their openness. “You’re just telling me stories. I can tell you a billion stories about my best friend, what are the chances you’re going to get up and be him, even with all the stories in the world? So like I said, part of my brain is eating this information, loving it, and the other half of my brain is panicking like, man, I hope I do this justice. I’m never gonna be Mike, but I hope I get somewhere close.”
One recurring comment did make a lasting impression and helped to guide Evans’s performance: Weiss was a polarizing figure.
“He was a dick. He was a complete dick. He was the kind of guy you wanted to kill. Everyone I talked to, everyone I talked to that knew him, had some sort of beef with him,” Evans laughed, recalling some awkward conversations. “They were all kind of like, f*cking Mike. Mike was kind of a piece of sh*t. Everyone thought he was kind of a dick. But I think that’s what comes with that level of brilliance. Anyone I know that’s that clever and that intelligent, it’s isolating. There’s a seclusion that comes with that that type of intellect, and oftentimes, it’s selfishness, and they leave a wake. A lot of times, people dear to them are left in it, unintentionally.”
In the film, that dark side pushed him to an oblivion of drug abuse, philandering, thoughtlessness and incessant partying, while his fierce intellect turned him into a ceaseless problem solver; his vices often fuel his endless work ethic. To wit, Evans’ first scene as the anti-hero lawyer sees him in a motel room amidst a crowd of hookers, dealers and other assorted characters, ignoring the cacophony for his case files, taking bumps in an almost absent minded refresher. He even organizes the shady assembly into a mock courtroom to run through a case that he will soon win.
During those drugged up scenes, which become more intense and desperate as the movie lurches forward and Weiss’ downward spiral spins more out of control, Evans rushes to manic highs and crashes to vacant stares, gripping onto the case as his world crumbles. Playing those scenes came more naturally to Evans, who noted — fortunately or unfortunately — that he had taken sad mental notes as so many of his friends and family fought battles with addiction. Those moments allowed him to play those scenes with a more subtle touch than most. “You never want to overplay drugs,” he said.
While Weiss continues his crusade, risking all to go toe to toe with a fearsome lawyer (Brett Cullen) representing the hospital conglomerate, he should at the same time become harder to root for as he is engulfed by his personal demons. That he remains a sympathetic hero as he reaches his lowest points — falling asleep and missing crucial meetings he promised he’d attend, bringing a “sex therapist” to Danzinger’s baby shower and propping up the illegal economy of Colombia himself — is a testament to Evans’ willingness to stretch himself and simultaneously channel both deep sadness and kinetic charm.
The way he sees it, even those positive traits and the unending devotion to the seemingly hopeless case were subject to internal conflict.
“Unfortunately, I hate to say this because you don’t want to talk ill of the dead, but I really don’t know if he’s doing [the case] because he’s this amazing guy. I think the truth is, like I said, he’s a selfish man — in my opinion, this case was like some sort of redemption for him,” Evans explained, sighing at his frank admission. “I think it made him feel better about the way he’s treated a lot of people in his life. He didn’t make a career out of doing these type of cases, he wasn’t known for being this incredibly compassionate guy, this is the one case that actually had some substance, and I think that, in my humble opinion, I think he might have liked the way it tasted in his mouth, doing something good. I don’t think he did it too often, so I think he kind of ran with this one.”
Shot on a shoestring budget and guaranteed only limited release, the multi-layered character and complex moral judgments offered by the role meant that Evans the actor still preferred to the blowout tent pole pictures in which he’s so often found himself involved.
“I like these man, you know what I mean? This is just fun, there’s more meat on the bone, the problem is maybe 100 people will see this movie, which is too f*cking bad. But this is more fun, this is the type of stuff I like to do,” Evans admitted somewhat sheepishly, as if he was afraid to look the gift horse in the mouth.
“Cap was tough because he’s such a good guy,” he continued, noting the hero’s lack of internal conflict and the counter-intuitive difficulty it caused him. “The reason he’s chosen to be Captain America is because there’s very few things that you could present to him that he won’t be able to take on the chin. If you’ve got a guy who is really able to handle conflict, it’s difficult to create a conflicted character, because he’s like, I got it, I’m good, I’m Cap, I can handle it.”
Still, Evans is not ungrateful for the impact that playing the hero has had on his career. Famously reluctant to take the part — he actually rejected it while filming “Puncture” — Evans was afraid of the longterm, multi-sequel commitment, as well as the months of press he’d have to do to promote the film.
“I’m happy with it — there’s nothing worse than having to promote a sh*tty movie, believe me, I know all about that,” he laughed, alluding to some of the more poorly received blockbusters of his past. “And I liked Cap, I saw it and I said good, I like this, I have no problem telling people to go out there and see it... And I think I handled the press okay, I didn’t have any meltdowns, no freak outs, they got me to do a f*cking talk show, which I had never done because I was adamant about that.”
For an actor who has traded on his charm for much of his career, his discomfort with the scripted, live nature of those shows is fierce.
“I don’t like doing sh*t with audiences, when you’re on stage when there’s a sh*t ton of people looking at you, how do you not get uncomfortable, I don’t understand that,” he said, almost getting uncomfortable as he explained it. “I’ll never be cool with that, I don’t know how people are. I got, not cool with it, but it wasn’t the worst thing on the planet. I thought it was going to be, I’m going to f*cking shoot myself. I did a talk show and I made it, so I was like, alright, alright, maybe I can handle this.”
Having just finished filming Marvel hero teamup film, “The Avengers,” Evans has at least a few more go-rounds as Captain America on the horizon. The upside, beyond the fame and bigger paycheck, is that the recognition and star power has already begun to help land him better and more tempting dramatic scripts, whether they’re major studio pictures or indies such as “Puncture” that his name helps to finance. Eat on the big feature, breathe off the small.
Evans’ ambitions stretch beyond even the prestige dramas; eventually, he says, he’d like to move behind the camera. It sounds cliche, an actor establishing his artistic with the caveat, “but what I’d really like to do is direct,” but Evans has already been working on a few scripts, fleshing out smaller, intimate stories more on the scale of “Puncture” than “Captain America.” And so when, as he says, someone is “stupid enough” to let him direct, he’s got a plan. And a role model.
“I’m kind of a sap. I like crying at the movies, I do,” he admitted, detailing his love for the little interactions and moments that can be so important on film. “I like relationship stories, between mothers, son, brothers, sisters, boyfriend, girlfriend, I like human stuff, I like wordy scripts, I like Norman Butte dialog, I like a lot of conversation, so that’s the type of stuff I’d love to direct.”
Until then, he’ll continue to grow his star, whether on the world stage or, if he has to, in front of just a handful of people at a time.