You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Playback: Brett Haley on ‘Hearts Beat Loud’ and Wearing Inspirations on His Sleeve

Welcome to “Playback,” a Variety / iHeartRadio podcast bringing you exclusive conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films.

Director Brett Haley has been Mr. Sundance lately, premiering his last three films at the independent film festival. This year his latest, “Hearts Beat Loud,” closed out the festivities in Park City. It was one of the more popular players at the event, perfectly in tune with Haley’s brand of delightful, character-driven storytelling, starring Nick Offerman as a widower who strikes up a band with his daughter the summer before she heads off to college. They cook up a hit track in the process. Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson and Toni Collette also star.

Listen to this week’s episode of “Playback” below. New episodes air every Thursday.

Click here for more episodes of “Playback.”

“I think I wear my inspirations pretty squarely on my sleeve on this one,” Haley says. “There’s a dash of ‘High Fidelity.’ There’s some ‘That Thing You Do.’ There’s a little ‘Inside Llewyn Davis.’ There’s a bit of ‘Once.’ I love those movies. I really feel a connection to those films. [The idea for this movie has] always been kicking around. As a filmmaker I’m constantly thinking about ideas and genres that I kind of want to be in. I’m a huge musical fan, but I also love band movies and movies about music. I’m a bit of a music snob and this was an avenue and a way to kind of get that part of me out there.”

Regarding Sundance, many at this year’s festival felt it was a weak slate, no doubt spoiled a year after an edition that included major Oscar players like “The Big Sick” and “Call Me by Your Name.” But Haley saw the 2018 fest as more in keeping with typicality, featuring a string of films many attendees enjoyed and talked about, rather than one built on one or two monsters that drown out the rest.

“I think it was a good Sundance when the dust settled,” he says. “Everyone was freaking out at the festival like, ‘Oh, things are a little slow.’ There was that feeling. But if you look at it, ‘Sorry To Bother You’ is getting a huge release and ‘Blindspotting’ is getting a massive push. We’re getting a push. It was more spread around. I think that’s good, when there isn’t one movie that everyone is talking about but rather five or six or seven movies where everyone is like, ‘I like these movies.’ That’s more ideal.”

There is also discussion of the independent film landscape, which Haley deems “incredibly healthy” thanks to the various avenues in place for filmmakers to connect their work to an audience. His recent films have often been released by the newer kids on the block — Bleecker Street for “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” The Orchard for “The Hero” and now Gunpowder & Sky for “Hearts Beat Loud” — but he maintains an affinity for movies of all scales, and distribution platforms of all stripes.

“The studio system, and I don’t blame them, is relying on IP and big things everybody knows,” Haley says. “Netflix is giving avenues for big movies to filmmakers and auteurs that maybe normally wouldn’t be there. Amazon is doing the same thing. To me it’s all good. You’re just looking at different stakes, basically. When your movie comes out in the theater, you’ve got to deal with how are the critics going to respond, because that’s going to drive business. How is the box office going to be? And then there is awards at the end of all of that. It’s just stress upon stress upon stress. And there’s something about this idea of, ‘Well, my movie’s on Netflix. There you go. I’m moving on with my life. I’m moving on to the next project.'”

For more, including discussion of Offerman and Kiersey’s chemistry and what it took to get Danson behind a bar again (not as much as you’d think), listen to the latest episode of “Playback” via the streaming link above.

Hear more episodes of “Playback” at iHeartRadio.
Subscribe via iTunes.

More Film

  • Aisling Franciosi

    European Film Promotion Unveils 2019 Shooting Stars

    Aisling Franciosi (“The Nightingale”), Ardalan Esmaili (“The Charmer”) and Elliott Crosset Hove (“Winter Brothers”) are among the 10 actors and actresses who have been named as the European Film Promotion’s Shooting Stars. Previous Shooting Stars include Alicia Vikander, Matthias Schoenaerts, Pilou Asbæk and Baltasar Kormákur. The new crop of up-and-coming talent for the 22nd edition of [...]

  • Jodie Foster'Money Monster' photocall, Palais, 69th

    Film News Roundup: Jodie Foster to Direct, Star in Remake of Icelandic Thriller

    In today’s film news roundup, Jodie Foster is remaking Iceland’s “Woman at War,” the Art Directors Guild honors production designers Anthony Masters and Ben Carre, “47 Meters Down: Uncaged” gets cast and Melissa Takal directs “New Year New You” for Hulu. PROJECT ANNOUNCEMENT Jodie Foster will direct, co-produce and star in an English-language remake of [...]

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal to Star in Remake of Denmark's Oscar Entry 'The Guilty' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bold Films, and Jake Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker’s Nine Stories banner have acquired the rights to remake the Danish thriller “The Guilty,” with Gyllenhaal attached to star. The pic won the world cinema audience award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and was also named one of the top five foreign language films of 2018 by [...]

  • Toxic Avenger

    'Toxic Avenger' Movie in the Works at Legendary

    Legendary Entertainment is developing “The Toxic Avenger” as a movie after acquiring the feature film rights. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz of Troma Entertainment will serve as producers. Alex Garcia and Jay Ashenfelter will oversee for Legendary. Kaufman and Herz produced the original 1984 comedy, set in the fictional town of Tromaville, N.J., and centered [...]

  • Constance Wu

    'Crazy Rich Asians' Star Constance Wu in Negotiations for Romantic Comedy

    “Crazy Rich Asians” star Constance Wu is in talks to join Sony’s Screen Gems’ untitled romantic comedy, with Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman producing. “GLOW” actress Kimmy Gatewood is making her feature directorial debut on the project. She will be directing from a Savion Einstein script about a woman who becomes pregnant with two babies [...]

  • Maggie Gyllenhaal AoA

    Maggie Gyllenhaal on Why a Woman Director Doesn't Automatically Make a Story More Feminine

    Having a female director doesn’t automatically make a story more feminine, says “The Kindergarten Teacher” star Maggie Gyllenhaal, but when it comes to her film with director Sara Colangelo, she says the female narrative is fully encapsulated. “Just because something is written or directed by a woman doesn’t necessarily make it a feminine articulation,” she says [...]

  • Kevin Hart Hurricane Harvey

    Academy Looks Warily at Oscar Host Options as Board Meeting Looms

    Kevin Hart’s abrupt departure as Oscars host has left the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences scrambling to find someone to take the gig. As of now, the situation remains fluid as the group’s leadership explores options, including going host-less, individuals familiar with the situation told Variety. The Academy was blindsided by Hart’s announced departure Thursday [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content