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HomeEntertainmentPrisoner's Daughter Director Catherine Hardwicke Discusses Making Her New Emotional Drama Film

Prisoner’s Daughter Director Catherine Hardwicke Discusses Making Her New Emotional Drama Film



What drew you to this story, and were there themes in the material that maybe connected to some of your previous work?

Immediately, the complicated father-daughter dynamics were very interesting. My dad was not in prison, but he had his own complicated things, so seeing these two try to work out their past — this man that has had an incredible, tough life and violent life, how has he changed? How have the 12 years in prison changed him? He’s been in AA, and how has this changed him? How can you bring this new life in a way back to his daughter and his family?

I thought that was fascinating, and yes, a lot of members of my family were in AA, and I had a lot of ex-boyfriends with addiction problems, similar to her ex-husband — the tendency to let the animal brain lash out and become violent before the other brain can take control. These struggles with both men and with her son now being attacked and bullied — is he going to be violent too? How do we unlock this multi-generational trauma and cycle of violence? How do we change? That fascinated me.

What qualities made Kate Beckinsale and Brian Cox right for these roles?

Did you ever see a movie called “Farming”? It was an English movie, and a friend of mine that I worked with at Sundance, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, directed it. It was his life story, and Kate played his foster mom. He was an African foster kid in England, and a lot of women would make money from the government taking foster kids. She was fantastic in that movie, unlike anything you’ve ever seen Kate do. When I saw it, I’m like, “Wow, Kate is really a badass actor and can do so many other things besides her cool action movies.” I thought she was great, and we hadn’t seen her do something like this.

Then Brian … Okay, of course, “Succession,” who isn’t enthralled by him? We knew he had that toughness and the intelligence, and then to see him go to a different side where he’s trying to tenderly and gently make amends with his daughter — that would be so fascinating to see that change. Also, it’s interesting, because we don’t see him on “Succession” being physically violent. We see him being verbally abusive, but in this one, we see his physicality, too.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

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