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Audio: Interview With John Cusack on ‘Grace is Gone’

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On Oct. 12, 2007, I interviewed Chicago native John Cusack along with first-time Chicago actresses Gracie Bednarczyk and Shélan O’Keefe on “Grace is Gone,” which opened in theaters on Dec. 14.

John Cusack in Chicago on Oct. 12, 2007 at the Chicago International Film Festival for Grace is Gone
John Cusack in Chicago on Oct. 12, 2007 at the
Chicago International Film Festival for “Grace is Gone”.
Photo credit: Joe Arce

In our interview, Cusack speaks on the film as a whole, cell phones, sister Joan Cusack and his views on the war. Cusack opines his views loudly in a soft-spoken voice. Here’s just one quotable:

I knew I wanted to do the film when the Bush administration banned photos of the dead coming from the coffins. That’s the most disgraceful, political, cowardly act I’ve seen in my lifetime.

These soldiers are making the ultimate sacrifice and we’re censoring it. There’s no draft, yet you’re willing to pay mercenaries more than our soldiers and not give them body armor.

You want to send them over there and deny this is happening or let FOX News tell us how we should view the war? I said: ‘All right. I’m going to do a story about one of these coffins coming home.’

My full, 23-minute audio interview with John Cusack is below.


(alternate link for full download)

My full, 14-minute audio interview with first-time Chicago actresses Gracie Bednarczyk and Shélan O’Keefe is below.


(alternate link for full download)

John Cusack and Shelan O'Keefe in Chicago on Oct. 12, 2007 at the Chicago International Film Festival for Grace is Gone
John Cusack and Shélan O’Keefe in Chicago on Oct. 12, 2007 at the
Chicago International Film Festival for “Grace is Gone”.
Photo credit: Adam Fendelman, HollywoodChicago.com

First-time Chicago stars Gracie Bednarczyk (second from the left) and Shelan O'Keefe (second from the right) in Chicago on Oct. 12, 2007 at the Chicago International Film Festival for Grace is Gone
First-time Chicago stars Gracie Bednarczyk (second from the left) and Shélan O’Keefe (second from the right) in Chicago on Oct. 12, 2007 at the Chicago International Film Festival for “Grace is Gone”.
Photo credit: Adam Fendelman, HollywoodChicago.com

John Cusack in Grace is Gone
John Cusack in “Grace is Gone”.
Photo credit: IMDb

Here’s the plotline for “Grace is Gone”:

There was a time when Stanley Phillips (John Cusack) could see his entire life clearly. He dreamed of patriotic service and was destined for a military career.

He came close to that dream until it was cut short simply because of his poor eyesight. Now he’s serving customers at a home-supply store while his sergeant wife is fighting in Iraq.

Equally as awkward at home as he is at work, he’s raising Heidi (their 12-year-old daughter) and her 8-year-old sister (Dawn). Though a loving father, Stanley is unable to conform to a more affectionate role and the girls miss their mother deeply.

While tolerating his job and stumbling through parenting, he is abruptly awakened when tragedy strikes. Ill-prepared to deal with it himself, he is at a complete loss about how to tell his children.

Desperate to delay telling the children, they embark on a spontaneous road trip. Grasping to give them their last moments of innocence, Stanley reveals a softer side as they travel to Dawn’s chosen destination: Enchanted Gardens theme park.

The further they drive, the closer they become. Still, Stanley knows he must face the inevitable task of changing their lives forever.

Anonymous's picture

He is always superb in

He is always superb in finding pathos in characters, but as Stanley, he exhibits a newfound maturity as an actor. His two young costars turn in amazingly realistic performances as they attempt to decipher their dad’s sporadic behavior

gimexa's picture

These are really good

These are really good pics.Though I am a loving father, Stanley is unable to conform to a more affectionate role and the girls miss their mother deeply.

frasi's picture

John Cusack’s achingly

John Cusack’s achingly poignant performance is the backbone of Grace Is Gone. He is always superb in finding pathos in characters, but as Stanley, he exhibits a newfound maturity as an actor. His two young costars turn in amazingly realistic performances as they attempt to decipher their dad’s sporadic behavior, and Alessandro Nivola, as the liberal brother, is the perfect foil for Stanley’s belief systems.

nicoduka's picture

Hi Excelente , excelente and

Hi

Excelente , excelente and excelent :)

Stanley Phillips, a patriot and father of two, is overwhelmed when he gets news that his wife, Grace, has been killed in the Iraq war. Though distraught himself, he tries to rally the strength to tell his young daughters. Instead, he bundles them in the car and heads out on a road trip to their favorite amusement park. Inside, he knows what he needs to do. But he must first learn who his daughters are before he can begin helping them overcome this tragedy.

John Cusack’s achingly poignant performance is the backbone of Grace Is Gone. He is always superb in finding pathos in characters, but as Stanley, he exhibits a newfound maturity as an actor. His two young costars turn in amazingly realistic performances as they attempt to decipher their dad’s sporadic behavior, and Alessandro Nivola, as the liberal brother, is the perfect foil for Stanley’s belief systems.

With an elegant film that’s as topical as it is devastating, writer/director James Strouse rightfully secures a place on the indie scene. His dialogue is sparse; instead, carefully chosen images convey this family’s difficulty in reconnecting. That Grace Is Gone can be construed as promilitary guarantees its greatest impact. It is sure to be exalted as the freshest and best antiwar movie of this troubled time.— John Cooper

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Anonymous's picture

= ]

jhon cusack is hottttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

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