×

Toronto: Rob Reiner Talks Donald Trump, Teaming With Son on ‘Being Charlie’

In a career that’s explored everything from fairy tale romances to obsessive fandom, “Being Charlie,” a character-based drama, may be the most personal project that Rob Reiner has made.

The director of “Misery” and “The Princess Bride” teamed with his son, Nick Reiner, on the story of a drug abuser (Nick Robinson) who falls in love with someone he meets in rehab (Morgan Saylor). It’s a film made by a father and son that, in shades of art imitating life, explores the fraught relationship between Charlie and his father (Cary Elwes).

“Being Charlie” premieres at the Toronto Film Festival Sept. 14. Both Reiners spoke to Variety about the fight to get funding, the benefits of working with family, and Donald Trump’s political future.

Was it hard to get this movie made?
Rob Reiner: It’s always difficult to get financing for any film. I’ve made close to 20 movies and not a single one would get made by a studio today, and that includes “A Few Good Men.” To finance them, I’d have to do it independently.

Do you despair about the future of movies?
Rob Reiner:
I do. What’s happened is that the studios only make one kind of movie — these comic book movies. That’s pushed aside the kind of movies that I used to make, the romantic comedies, the dramas, the thrillers. They used to make all different types of pictures, now they only make one kind of movie and the audience is shrinking. “Breaking Bad,” “Rectify,” “The Wire,” they’re all on TV. People who want to do creative work are going there.

How did you develop this project?
Nick Reiner: I spent a lot of time in these programs. No one had ever told it in the way I had experienced it, in ways that highlighted the ridiculousness.

What did you learn from each other?
Rob Reiner: Something would happen in the script and that would trigger stuff that was going on with us. He had written things between the father and the son that had happened. I had said to him, “I’d rather you hate me than you be dead in the street.”

Nick Reiner: Our relationship grew making the movie. Towards the end of shooting, we were doing a scene, and I said, “Why doesn’t Charlie go up and hug his dad.” That meant a lot to my dad, because it was sort of like I was accepting him back in.

Would you work together again?
Nick Reiner: I love working with my dad, but I need to be independent and do my own stuff.

Are you supporting Hillary Clinton for president?
Rob Reiner: She’s the one that’s the most qualified. She may be the most qualified person to ever run for office, including her husband and Barack Obama. This stuff she’s going through with the emails, she’ll get past it and she’ll win. She’s in Clinton World, they attack you for anything.

Will she run against Donald Trump?
Rob Reiner: He’s not going to be the nominee, but if he was, it would be a dream for Democrats. Two thirds of his support comes from white supremacists who think Barack Obama is a Muslim who wasn’t born in this country. We’re in silly season.

More Film

  • For web story

    Transgender Immigrant Pic 'Lingua Franca,' Thriller 'Only Beasts' to Bow at Venice Days

    New York-based Filipina filmmaker Isabel Sandoval’s “Lingua Franca,” about a transgender immigrant, is among 11 competition entries, all world premieres, that will launch from the Venice Film Festival’s independently run Venice Days section. The only U.S. entry set to compete in the section modeled on Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, “Lingua Franca” is Sandoval’s third work. It [...]

  • Female-Led and LGBTQ Narratives Win Big

    Female-Led and LGBTQ Narratives Win Big At Durban FilmMart Awards

    DURBAN–Female-driven narratives and daring portraits of queer culture around the continent were the big winners at this year’s Durban FilmMart (DFM), the industry program of the Durban Intl. Film Festival, which handed out awards at a ceremony Monday night at the Southern Sun Maharani Hotel. Among the prize-winners were the story of a Zimbabwean woman [...]

  • Oscar Nominations Reactions Phyllis Nagy

    Screenwriter Phyllis Nagy Runs for Writers Guild Presidency, Citing Agency Stalemate

    Oscar-nominated screenwriter Phyllis Nagy is challenging Writers Guild of America West’s incumbent president David Goodman, citing his handling of the bitter stalemate between the WGA and Hollywood agents. Nagy announced her candidacy online Monday night, a day before the deadline for filing. She made the announcement  in a private online group as part of Writers for [...]

  • Klaudia-Reynicke

    Locarno: Summerside Picks Up ‘Love Me Tender’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Rome-based Summerside Intl. has acquired international sales rights to Klaudia Reynicke’s “Love Me Tender.” The second feature from Peru-born and Switzerland-based filmmaker will receive its world premiere at the Locarno Festival in its Filmmakers of the Present competition, which focuses on first and second features. Summerside Intl. is the world sales agent, excluding and Lichtenstein [...]

  • Elsie Fisher and Bo Burnham2019 Writers

    Writers Guild Announces 2020 Awards Show Date

    The 72nd Annual Writers Guild Awards will take place in coinciding ceremonies in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton and the Edison Ballroom in New York on Feb. 1, the Writers Guild of America announced. The WGA will begin voting in November and will reveal this year’s TV nominees Dec. 5 and film Jan. 6. [...]

  • Tarantino Movies Ranked Illustration

    All of Quentin Tarantino's Movies Ranked

    In the history of cinema, has any director done more to elevate the idea of movies as cool than Quentin Tarantino? Certainly, the idea that films could be made by fans dates back at least to the French New Wave, when a group of die-hard critics stepped behind the camera. A few years later, Spielberg, [...]

  • A Stranger on the Beach

    Anonymous Content Wins Film Rights to Michele Campbell's 'A Stranger on the Beach' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anonymous Content has won the adaptive rights to the forthcoming Michele Campbell novel “A Stranger on the Beach.” In a competitive situation, Anonymous outbid multiple players for the thriller, which it will adapt for the big screen with in-house producers Alex Goldstone and Rosalie Swedlin. “Stranger” has been likened to sensual thrillers like “Fatal Attraction” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content