The second feature from Eadweard helmer Kyle Rideout, Public Schooled has nothing in common with that film. “The first film that I did was an epic period film in the 1880s, so there’s definitely not much of a through line to Public Schooled,” the director joked, sitting down with his Public Schooled stars—including Judy Greer, Russell Peters, and TIFF Rising Star Daniel Doheny—at Deadline’s Toronto Studio. “With this one, I was really wanting to do something that was a little artistic with the style of putting it together, but then wanted it to still have a nice commercial feel, and quick story, and keep it nice and tight, and fun.”
The Canadian romantic comedy follows Liam (Doheny), an awkward teenager who “drops out” of his homeschooling to attend public school, where he will chase the one-legged girl of his dreams. Portraying Liam’s mother, Claire, Greer views the project as a simple, charming story of learning to let go.
“I really loved the script when I read it. I also loved that this character was not a victim—it’s unusual to read a female character in this situation, a single mom, hard working, that doesn’t ever whine about it, or complain about it,” she says. “I liked that she was a strong character.”
For his part, Peters plays Mr. Germaine, a “lovable creep” of a guidance counselor with whom Liam interacts. “He’s very creepy, yet not creepy where you’re not rooting for him,” the comedian says, wryly. “You kind of want him to win, but at the same time, you’re not sure if you should.”
Speaking of their takeaways from the project, Greer joked, “I took away a lot of my wardrobe.”
“I gotta get my wardrobe back,” Doheny realized. “Some of it’s my actual clothes.”
To view Deadline’s TIFF conversation with Public Schooled stars Judy Greer, Daniel Doheny and Russell Peters, and director Kyle Rideout, click above.
Deadline Studio at TIFF 2017 is presented by Calii Love, Watford Group, Philosophy Canada, and Equinox. Special thanks to Dan Gunam at Calii Love for location and production assistance; and Ontario Camera for equipment assistance. Video producer: Meaghan Gable; lighting and camera: Neil Hansen; design: Dialla Kawar; sound recording: Ida Jokinen.