Galt Niederhoffer is celebrating. Fresh from the premiere of her film, The Romantics, the party weary director caught up with us in an exclusive interview that adds priceless insight into one of the most modern films of 2010.
The Romantics stars Katie Holmes, Josh Duhamel, Malin Akerman, Elijah Wood, Adam Brody, Anna Paquin and Candice Bergen. As the writer and director behind The Romantics, Galt Niederhoffer shares insight into what it takes to make a modern Big Chill with a cast that any director would cherish.
SheKnows: Your cast is absolutely amazing. As not only the director behind the film, but as the person who crafted the words this cast is emitting, what were your first thoughts when they were all locked in?
Galt Niederhoffer: [Laughs] Yeah, it was a dream team. It was a group of some of the most talented and interesting actors of their generation. It was a…I’m sorry, we had the premiere last night and I’m totally hung-over [laughs].
SheKnows: Well you deserve it!
Galt Niederhoffer: It was one of the best times of my life. The cast is an incredible group of people with talent, kindness and killer looks and we really had the time of our lives making the movie.
SheKnows: I’m sure it was hard work, but the shoot sure could have doubled for an adult summer camp. Where did you shoot and what was the shoot like?
Galt Niederhoffer: It was a lot like a summer camp. Or, like a Kibbutz, where we all arrived and were immediately put to work. But, also, work in this business is also play. It was a bunch of people, roughly the same age, separated from families and spouses in that remote area, beautiful area. We quickly decided that we really like and trusted each other. It was a unique convergence of events in a finite amount of time. We just enjoyed the heck out of it.
SheKnows: It was so gorgeous. Where did you film The Romantics?
Galt Niederhoffer: On the North Fork of Long Island — a beautiful place.
SheKnows: For you as the writer-director, what was the biggest challenge in bringing your own vision to life?
Galt Niederhoffer: I think the biggest challenge would be the endurance required of any production to staying focused and strong. To be at the center of an ensemble like this, there are a lot of people who need answers and attention and guidance. It requires a lot of mental energy and physical energy. It was a great challenge. It was fun.
SheKnows: You’ve got almost a matriarch of sorts in the cast with Candice Bergen. Talk about the joy of getting her to do your movie.
Galt Niederhoffer: Well, Candice is the original formidable woman. She just emits elegance incarnate. She really played that role in this group of people, this kind of very wise, experienced and generous kind of den mother.
SheKnows: The soundtrack is impeccable, as the writer-director, did you have a real specific say in the musical voice of the film?
Galt Niederhoffer: Ah, thanks. That was a lot of hard work, but I’m a music fiend, this was kind of a dream where you get to make a mix tape for [laughs] a lot of people. We obsessively listened to hundreds of songs for every cue. The editor, Jacob Craigcoff, had a big role in helping to shape the musical tone of the movie. It was a lot of work and [laughs] careful scrutiny.
SheKnows: Where did the inspiration for The Romantics come from? Was there a group of friends, or did you know of a group of friends who were like The Romantics in this film? It seemed like a story that came right out of you.
Galt Niederhoffer: Not really, no. I’ve always loved A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I always thought it would be interesting to do a modern version of that. This is structured a little bit like that play and literally when night falls, people kind of lose their roles and inhibitions. The marriage comedies have to end with the wedding. So, it was a chance to explore a bunch of characters going through a time in their life that I was going through at the time. It’s also about looking back at youth with some distance — hopefully, with a bit of nostalgia.
SheKnows: We kind of see a different side of Elijah Wood, talk about his performance and the role he chose to portray.
Galt Niederhoffer: Elijah is an awesome actor. He’s incredibly skilled and funny and fluid. He can do comedy and drama and always with a smile. When you call cut, he’s always entertaining the cast with a cool anecdote.
Galt Niederhoffer: I was not surprised. Katie and I enjoyed a really rewarding partnership from beginning to end. She’s a remarkably talented woman at so many things. She’s a great businesswoman, an incredible designer, a fine actress, a good friend.