After venturing into the Amazon with Lost City Of Z, and then outer space with Ad Astra, writer/director James Gray has gone back to the New York roots that colored so many of his earlier films, and now has made his most personal with Armageddon Time, his latest which reflects much of what his formative years were like growing up, even to the point of filming just feet away from his childhood home. Gray joins me this week as we launch the new Oscar season edition of my Deadline video series, Behind The Lens. An independent filmmaker in the best sense of the term, Gray made waves, and several trips in competition at the Cannes Film Festival with NY-set movies like Little Odessa, The Yards, We Own The Night, Two Lovers, and The Immigrant. Now with Armageddon Time, which he also premiered in Cannes last May, and which stars Jeremy Strong, Anne Hathaway, and Anthony Hopkins, he has once again won acclaim by going deep into a world he knows well in this movie set in 1980. In our conversation we explore why now was the right time to do this thinly disguised film of his own life and times, the difficulties getting indie movies made and distributed, how Fred and Donald Trump figured into both his life and this film, and what drives his filmmaking ambition, plus so much more. To watch just click on the link above.
Join me every Friday during Oscar season for another edition of Behind The Lens.