Director Jeffrey Blitz said filmgoers shouldn’t read too much of him into Hal Hefner, the shy, stuttering boy who’s the protag in his semiautobiographical feature “Rocket Science.”
“The emotional truth of it is real, but that’s about it,” he said at the pic’s preem in Gotham on Tuesday. Blitz showed no signs of his childhood impediment during the after-party held at the Meatpacking District’s Fig & Olive to which partygoers arrived in chartered school buses (a prominent feature in the film).
“Hal stutters so he doesn’t express what he’s thinking,” Blitz said. “I was too interested in being the class clown — I made the jokes even with the stutter.”
Nearby, the teen who played the Blitz character, Reece Thompson, said that it was a little surreal to portray the helmer as a boy. “Before we started shooting he told us all these stories of his childhood,” Thompson said. “So when something would happen on the set I’d say, ‘Wait, I remember this.'”