Podtalk: Robert Forster & Elizabeth Chomko of ‘What They Had’

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CHICAGO – Families dealing with the effects of aging parents – which include dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease – can experience a new film which explores these topics through the family dynamic. “What They Had” is writer/director Elizabeth Chomko’s debut, and features Robert Forster, Blythe Danner, Hilary Swank and Michael Shannon.

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Blythe Danner and Robert Forster in ‘What They Had’
Photo credit: Bleecker Street Media

Forster and Danner portray an elder couple from Chicago, who are being pressured by their children (Michael Shannon and Hilary Swank) to provide dementia care for Danner’s character, who is mentally slipping away. Taut and emotional, it features fine performances from all the principal players, including Forster as a man of his generation who isn’t used to ultimately not taking care of his castle and family. The film recently had a Red Carpet screening at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF), and is currently in release nationwide.

Robert Forster is an iconic character actor, who has worked steadily since first appearing in the film “Reflections in a Golden Eye” in 1967. His most famous film roles include “Medium Cool” (1968, also filmed in Chicago), “The Black Hole” (1979), “Jackie Brown” (1997), “Mulholland Drive” (2001), “The Descendants” (2011) and a memorable cameo in this year’s anti-Western “Damsel”… besides hundreds of TV roles, including the recent Showtime revival of “Twin Peaks.” The writer/director of “What They Had,” Elizabeth Chomko, had primarily worked as an actor in television, and makes her filmmaker debut.

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Director Elizabeth Chomko and Robert Forster at the Recent 54th Chicago International Film Festival
Photo credit: Joe Arce for Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

In a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, conducted both at the Red Carpet of the 54th CIFF and in an interview the next day, Robert Forster and Elizabeth Chomko spoke of all the issues that are the themes of “What They Had.”


”What They Had” opens in Chicago on October 26th, part of a nationwide release. See local listings for theaters and details. Featuring Robert Forster, Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner and Taissa Farmiga. Written and directed by Elizabeth Chomko. Rated “R”

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Editor and Film Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2018 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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