Known in indie circles for his acting in films by Jeremy Saulnier, including Blue Ruin and Green Room, Macon Blair took some inspiration from those experiences in penning his feature debut, I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore, which took the U.S. Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival last night. Starring Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood, the film follows a depressed woman who has her home burglarized, finding a new sense of purpose in the pursuit of violent vigilante justice.
“She’s frustrated by the lack of official response and she takes it upon herself to track down the perpetrators on her own, along with her weirdo neighbor named Tony,” Blair told me at Deadline’s 2017 Sundance Studio presented by Applegate.
For Wood, the chance to work with Blair was the clear selling point. “I was a huge fan of his work in Blue Ruin, and met him I think at Fantastic Fest in Austin, and he said, ‘Hey, I’ve got this thing that I’ve written, do you mind if I email it to you?’
“I was so excited, and just immediately fell in love with it. It was unlike anything I’d read, and it was probably the best thing I’d read in a long time,” Wood continued, adding, “And I kind of fell in love with the character of Tony, who’s kind of unlike anybody I’ve played before.”
In making his directing debut, Blair didn’t feel the pressure until finding out that the film would bow at Sundance. “I just had such a good time making it, and felt like I had gotten away with something,” he said, adding, “And all a sudden, it’s at a film festival, and it became terrifying at that point.”
To hear the conversation with Blair and the film’s stars in full, click above.