May 19, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Emilio Estevez Talks About His Career And Latest Film “The Way,” Starring His Father, Martin Sheen:

Emilio Estevez is the eldest son of movie icon Martin Sheen. He has three siblings, one of whom is Charlie Sheen. Estevez has piled up a long list of acting, writing, and directing credits that go back to 1980. Although he really lit up the screen for the first time as the punk rocker Otto in the cult classic “Repo Man,” one of his most memorable roles is that of Andrew in John Hughes’ seminal film, “The Breakfast Club” in which he co-starred with his fellow “Brat Pack” members Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy. In that same era, Estevez co-starred in Joel Schumacher’s “St. Elmo’s Fire” with other “fellow brats,” Demi Moore and Andrew McCarthy.

Since those early days, Estevez has co-starred in many films including “Young Guns” (I and II,) “Stakeout,” and “The Mighty Ducks.” He also appeared in numerous television shows including “Two and a Half Men,” “The West Wing,” and “The Wonderful World of Disney.” Estevez has become a respected writer/director having written and directed the award-winning film “Bobby,” a portrait of Robert Kennedy. The film starred Anthony Hopkins, Demi Moore, and William H. Macy. Following the screening at the Venice Film Festival, “Bobby” received a long, standing ovation. He also wrote and directed “Men at Work,” in which he co-starred with his brother Charlie.

Estevez’s latest film is “The Way,” an inspirational, poignant film, beautifully written and directed, and stars Martin as Tom, an ophthalmologist who lives a very cushy, insulated California life. While playing golf, Tom receives a call that his son has been killed in the French Pyrenees while attempting the famous walk – The Camino de Santiago. Tom goes to Spain to claim his son’s body, (played by Estevez) but instead of returning home, decides to honor his memory by doing the trek, leaving his son’s ashes along the way. Estevez assembled a wonderful cast including Deborah Kara Unger, James Nesbitt, and a most delightful Yorick van Wageningen.

The following interview was conducted in the Tavis Smiley Green Room and has been edited for print purposes. The fascinating Martin Sheen interview will be published separately next week.

How much did you know about Spain before your movie and how did the locals react to your filming?

Emilio: It’s interesting in that we don’t know that much about the culture in Spain. We know a lot about the Italian and French cultures – their food and wine and even the Greek and British cultures, but Spain has remained somewhat of a mystery. Probably thanks to the reign of Francisco Franco, they kind of built a wall around themselves. When we were filming, we tried to get support from local businesses by telling them that we were making a movie and were going to put their bodegas (stores) in the film showing their food and a bottle of wine on the table. Since they don’t understand marketing, they would respond by saying that people already loved their food and why would they want to be in a movie. It’s really beautiful when you think about it because they’re not exploiting themselves.

What’s the genesis of “The Way” and why did you want to make this movie?

Emilio: It started in 2003 when my son was working as my father’s assistant on “West Wing.” He went off to Spain with two other people, including Matt Clark, a long-time friend of my father’s. They were woefully unprepared to do the pilgrimage – no backpacks, no walking sticks, no proper shoes, and no sense. They arrived in a town called Bergus, a beautiful city on the Camino. They checked into a pilgrim’s bed and breakfast and sat down for supper. A gal came in, took a look at my son, and they fell madly in love. Eventually they married and my son has been living in Spain for over eight years. We like to call that the first miracle on the Camino. I thought that if I wanted to spend time with my boy, I’d better figure out how to work in Spain because it didn’t look like he was coming home any time soon. That’s when my dad and I began a dialogue on what a movie could look like. We tossed around some ideas, none of which were particularly interesting. Then it dawned on me that I kind of lost my son in Spain and that was the hook that the story needed. It became the impetus that my dad’s character needed to go to Spain and reluctantly immerse himself in that country and have a “stranger-in-a strange-land, fish-out-of water” experience. So that was the beginning and I began to write and create the character of Tom for my dad.

How closely did you work together in developing the screenplay?

Emilio: It was a real collaboration between the two of us. We worked together around seven times in the past and this is the third time I’ve directed him, but this is the first time we’ve worked together from the beginning. I wrote the first 15 pages and gave them to my dad. He said he thought the movie should open on a golf course and I agreed.

What were some of the difficulties in getting financing and shooting?

Emilio: You talk to your agents and managers, but with a movie like this, you just see their eyes glaze over. They really couldn’t get their minds around it because there’s no CGI (computer-generated imagery) or overt sexuality, and there wasn’t a bunch of young people. The story wasn’t doing something that was particularly interesting to the “suits” in this town. My dad and I both have Irish citizenship so we can work as EU citizens. So my producer, David Alexaney, and I went to Spain to try to find some believers and found a Spanish partner. We hired an entirely Spanish crew. When we interviewed them, we asked two questions: Are you fit and how is your English? They all said “fine” to both, but when we started filming, we found that wasn’t necessarily the case. However, it turned out to be one of the most extraordinary film crews I’ve ever worked with.

What was your shooting schedule like?

Emilio: We shot in sequence starting in France and shot 900 kilometers along the way. We wanted to honor every single region and really you could point the camera in any direction and get something gorgeous. There was truly an embarrassment of riches.

Did you actually do the entire walk and how long did it take?

Emilio: The shoot was 40 days and that’s about what it takes the average person to complete the walk and that’s moving at a good pace. That’s averaging 25–30 kilometers a day, which is very fast. In the interest of budget and shooting schedule, we had to drive most of the way.

What kind of reaction have you been getting to the film?

Emilio: We’ve screened the film for around 40,000 people, with some audiences as small as 250 and some as big as 3,000 and are encouraged by what we’re seeing. The reviews, particularly for my dad, have been lovely. Our challenge now is to get people to the theatres.

I know you have to leave so we’ll talk about your role as a vintner at your vineyard, Casa Dumetz another time.

Emilio: Quickly, we just bottled our Syrah and our Grenache and my gal made a pink sparkling for the first time called “Sonja’s Suds.”

You were quoted as saying that you wanted to become successful through drive, ambition, and hard work and not because of your bloodline. Since your days as a member of The Brat Pack you’ve built up an impressive string of acting, writing, and directing credits. What are your thoughts about your work?

Emilio: I started out as a storyteller. When I was seven years old I submitted a story to NBC-Universal. It was a movie-of-the week I had handwritten in pencil. It was rejected, of course, which it should have been, because it was awful. Then in the sixth grade I wrote a play about George Washington and the school put in on for Washington’s Birthday. I played the narrator. When I was at Santa Monica High School, I couldn’t get cast in any of the school productions so I thought the hell with it, I’m going to write my own play, which I co-wrote with my friend Lee Arenberg. So in terms of ambition and drive, that has a different meaning for me. It’s always been about the work and that’s something I learned from my father. The money will come, I’m still waiting, and the stardom will come. All if it will come if you dig in and just do the work.

You’ve used your genes well.

Emilio: Thank you so much.

Related Posts

Film Review: The Northman

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

FILM REVIEWTHE NORTHMANRated R137 MinutesReleased April 22nd If the Vikings of 800-1000 AD had the technology, The Northman is the...

Murray Mednick’s “Three Tables”- Existentialism Meets Theatre of the Absurd

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

Murray Mednick’s THREE TABLES is the newest work from the famous poet/playwright who spearheaded New York’s off-off-Broadway movement in the...

Film Review: “The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent”

April 27, 2022

April 27, 2022

FILM REVIEWTHE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENTRated R107 MinutesReleased April 22nd Watching The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, I got...

Santa Monica Auctions Showcasing World Class Fine Art at Bergamot Station Auction event.

April 22, 2022

April 22, 2022

Santa Monica Auctions is hosting its bi-annual live outdoor art auction on May 15th at Bergamot Station Arts Center. See...

Help Recruiting for Good Give Back and Join the Fun at the Sweetest Earth Day Parties Ever

April 20, 2022

April 20, 2022

By Susan Payne  Earth Day is around the corner.  For Carlos Cymerman, founder of Recruiting for Good, that means the...

Santa Monica Bead & Design Show Returns to the Fairmont Miramar!

April 13, 2022

April 13, 2022

The Santa Monica Bead & Design Show will showcase a fine selection of handcraft and artisan supplies at the Fairmont...

Santa Monica to Host Venice Family Clinic’s Art Walk & Auction Gallery

April 1, 2022

April 1, 2022

43rd annual Venice Family Clinic Art Walk & Auction re-emerges with an art gallery and NFT auction April 15 –...

Honoring Women’s History Month With ‘Yarn Bomb’ Art Exhibit at Village Green

March 23, 2022

March 23, 2022

Local Palisadian Michelle Villemaire creates the sixth annual ‘Yarn Bomb’ exhibit at Village Green Park. See the exhibit in this...

Local Artists Honored at Legendary Women of Venice Awards

March 22, 2022

March 22, 2022

Venice Art Crawl hosts the 3rd annual Legendary Women of Venice Awards, find out who was honored in this video...

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Stairway of the Stars Returns for in-Person Concert

March 16, 2022

March 16, 2022

March 19 concert will feature nearly 900 elementary, middle, and high school students By Sam Catanzaro For the first time...

Young Musicians Take the Stage at John Adams Middle School for the First Time Since March 2020

March 2, 2022

March 2, 2022

Over 150 students in grades 3–8 will be performing across six different large ensembles Nearly two years after the pandemic...

Interview With Aero Theatre’s Gwen Deglise

February 22, 2022

February 22, 2022

American Cinematheque’s Gwen Deglise talks about what the theatre has to offer community By Dolores Quintana The Aero Theatre at...