The gritty world of New York City’s 1980s straight-edge punk rock scene comes to life in “Ten Thousand Saints,” which had its L.A. premiere Tuesday at Picnik Restaurant in Century City.
The film follows three teenagers (Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld and Avan Jogia) in the punk rock world of drugs, parties and sex.
Jogia said his character Teddy is central to how the story develops. “(My character) dies early on in the film, and it launched Asa (Butterfield)’s character into this whole world of the straight-edge punk rock scene,” Jogia said. The straight-edge punks don’t do drugs or drink, a response to the hard-partying lifestyle that often resulted in overdoses and deaths.
Even with the heavy nature of the film, producer Celine Rattray of Maven Pictures said the story arc allows for deep human connection. “We were attracted to this story because it’s about family,” she said. “Family isn’t genealogy or lineage. Family is the people you choose to embrace in your life and the people you choose to love unconditionally.”
Following the screening, the cast went to the Churchill in West Hollywood for cocktails.
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Steinfeld, who also starred in “Pitch Perfect 2,” said music has been a huge part of her acting life and she expects it to continue. Her debut single “Love Myself” was released Friday. “It’s nice to have people listen to it that aren’t my family and friends,” said Steinfeld, laughing. “As amazing as that is, I’m really glad that it’s out there and people can interpret it how they want and do what they want with it.”
“Ten Thousand Saints” is based on Eleanor Henderson’s 2011 novel of the same name. “My husband was involved in the straight-edge scene in New York City in the late 1980s, and he really inspired the world of the story,” Henderson said. “It’s not based on his life, but it’s based on the stories he observed during that time.”
“Ten Thousand Saints” was directed by “American Splendor” filmmakers Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. It premiered at Sundance in January and opens August 14 through Screen Media.
(Pictured: Avan Jogia, Hailee Steinfeld and Emile Hirsch at the “Ten Thousand Saints” L.A. premiere)