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“A Portrait Of A Human”: ‘To Leslie’ Director Michael Morris And Cast On Representing Real Human Life – SXSW Studio

'To Leslie' Director Michael Morris And Cast - SXSW Studio

To Leslie director Michael Morris joined stars Andrea Riseborough, Owen Teague and Stephen Root to discuss the film at Deadline’s Studio at SXSW.

The film follows Leslie, a single mother from Texas played by Riseborough, who wins a life changing amount of money in the lottery only to squander it on drugs and alcohol. To Leslie opens with Leslie being thrown out of her home after failing to pay her bills. She tries to reconnect and live with her son James (Owen Teague), who she abandoned as a child.

“The story is written by Ryan Binaco,” says Morris, “who drew on his own life for really important parts of this. He had a relationship with his mother that was equal parts fraught and incredibly loving.”

“The first thing that struck me when I read this script was that this is somebody who’s clearly been through this kind of experience and who knows this sort of person,” says Teague.

“It’s such a tragedy in film that we over and over again misrepresent human life for the sake of sensational narrative,” says Riseborough. “Thats often quite predictable and not very sensational at all because it follows the same algorithm that everyone is expecting.”

When looking at available acting jobs, Root says “mainly I go by script now and its such a beautiful script. My character Dutch is one of the reasons Andrea’s character doesn’t have her shit together… it’s a dichotomy in and of itself, he’s a biker and a churchgoer… people are not just one thing.”

“I think what this is is the portrait of a human,” says Riseborough, “and it doesn’t hold back in showing all of the different aspects of what this person is going through.”

Click the video above to see the full discussion.

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