Haley’s first musically-oriented film, Hearts Beat Loud follows single dad Frank (Nick Offerman) as he prepares to send his daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) off to UCLA, while confronting the realization that his record-store business is failing. Sharing his love of music with his daughter, Frank turns their weekly “jam sash” into a full-fledged band in the midst of this turning point in Sam’s life.
With Hearts Beat Loud, Haley was excited by the opportunity to let music and lyrics tell his story. “Keegan DeWitt wrote four original songs for this film. He’s the maestro,” Haley said, sitting down at Deadline’s Sundance Studio with stars Offerman, Clemons, Blythe Danner, Ted Danson and Sasha Lane. “I wanted it to be bold indie rock pop, essentially. I wanted it to have an electronic element and an organic element because to me, it was sort of like ‘the older meets the younger.’ I thought that was a great element of bringing the father and daughter together as a band.”
Finding his first leading film role in this feel-good film, providing a nice respite from distressing happenings in the U.S. and around the world, Offerman reflected in studio on what it means to be an artist in 2018—what his concerns are, and what is providing him with hope at the moment.
“I’m very grateful to be an artist right now because there’s so much misinformation. The spread of technology and connectivity has been amazing in a lot of ways, but it also creates a lot of confusion, which has allowed a lot of human foibles to surface that I, in my artistic bubble, thought we had pretty much taken care of,” Offerman said, “certain social ills that are now making themselves very prevalent in our country and in the world.”
“And while it’s upsetting to see that they still exist, it’s exciting to identify them so that we can then address them. It all feels like moving forward,” the actor continued. “I’m just glad to be a part of working artistry telling healthy stories that involve acceptance and consent, and listening and evolution. We’re slowly trudging toward loving everybody, and it’s nice to be a tiny nut on the wheel of that vehicle.”
The Deadline Studio at Sundance 2018 is presented by Hyundai. Special thanks to Calii Love.