Joel Edgerton will be familiar to audiences from films like Warrior or Animal Kingdom and certainly his star is on the rise with roles in upcoming high profile films like Zero Dark Thirty and The Great Gatsby. Edgerton stars in writer director Peter Hedges’ The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Hedges and Edgerton passed through Houston a couple of weeks ago and spoke to Free Press Houston about what Hedges described as “an adult story that children will understand.”

“Disney wanted us to shoot Timothy Green on digital. I said there’s no way. We’re not hiring John Toll, arguably one of the greatest cinematographers who walks the Earth to come shoot digital for the first time. This is a movie about people and what captures people better than film,” began Hedges, whose previous credits include Dan In Real Life as well as the novel and screenplay for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?

“I shot a film on video and it was a good experience and I’m not against it,” Hedges said regarding Pieces of April, noting that his debut film as a director was inspired by the Dogme film Celebration.

Edgerton adds: “If I come on to work on a project quite often I’m asking question about not just who’s involved but how much money it’s being made for. Not because I’m worried about my slice of the pie. It’s about the right budget and money for the right story. The right format is as important as who’s in the movie.”

When asked about the structure of Timothy Green Hedges emphasized the number of scripts he wrote in order to come up with a story that was both entertaining and also a fable with some parts displaced from reality. “Real life issues were part of the first draft, but as I re-wrote and re-wrote some of those things fell away because they became less important. If you try to re-invent every moment all the time this thing’s going to go on forever. I’m banking on the goodwill of a majority of the audience. Is the story about watching a boy come out of the ground with leaves on him and expecting people to believe that it happened or is it about a couple who really want to have a kid, and get a child for a magical period of time?”

“If you take on a project where the only research you can do is read the script, that’s a good thing,” adds Edgerton. “If a writer has done their job the world of the film exists within the pages of that script.”

— Michael Bergeron