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Casey Wilson discusses portraying her own, real-life grief in her directorial debut with “Daddio.”

Joined by her cast including Michael McKean, June Diane Raphael and Adam Pally at Variety’s Toronto International Film Festival studio, presented by AT&T, Wilson explained why wanted to tell this personal story.

“I think there’s a lot of comedy in death,” Wilson said. “Your emotions are so all over the place that one second you’re so low, another second you’re kind of flying. [It’s] so out-of-body, things just strike you as so funny. During the time after my mom died, we were in shock. And my father was spiraling, I was spiraling kind of in a depressive state. I just thought that was interesting, to explore the ways in which people deal with grief. Not even right after a death, but a year after is when I think things get really strange.”

Dedicated to her real-life father, played by McKean, one interesting way this short mirrored Wilson’s real life was inspired by an American president. After finding a twenty on the street, Wilson’s father decided to cop Andrew Jackson’s white waves, and gave himself a perm. But you’ll have to see McKean’s “Jackson” lewk in “Daddio” to fully appreciate the homage.

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