Podtalk: Director Trey Edward Shults and Cast on Making ‘Waves’

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CHICAGO – One of the best and more emotional films of 2019 is “Waves,” the third film of director Trey Edward Shults (“It Comes at Night”). The eclectic filmmaker explores the viability of family when a crisis occurs, especially through the young actors portraying brother and sister, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Taylor Russell.

Family Unit: Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Taylor Russell (center) in ‘Waves’
Photo credit: A24

Harrison portrays Tyler, a driven African American wrestler on his high school team. His father Ronald (Sterling K. Brown) is part of his son’s drive, who expects the old adage for persons of color, “work twice as hard to get half the attention.” In the background for the family is the quiet daughter Emily (Russell), who emerges into self when Tyler becomes involved in a tragic circumstance. The film is essentially about redemption, but this is a particular redemption of the self as an individual, for the first time away from the context of the family unit. The film is precisely performed, unusually structured and achingly familiar.

The three creators in this Podtalk are up and coming innovators in their field. After getting some indie cred with his premiere film “Krisha” (2015), writer/director Shults followed up with the acclaimed apocalyptic drama “It Comes at Night” (2017, which also featured Harrison). Kelvin Harrison Jr. has had a busy 2019, in the well-received drama “Luce” and two other films … he is unforgettable in “Waves.” Also memorable in the film, in a completely different context, is Taylor Russell. Russell also was in the year’s “Escape Room,” and sums up her experiences on “Waves” perfectly, in the last question in Part Two of the Podtalk below.

Trey Edward Shults, Taylor Russell and Kelvin Harrison Jr. in Chicago for ‘Waves’
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for HollywoodChicago.com

In PART ONE of a Podtalk wtih Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, writer/director Trey Edward Shults and featured actors Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Taylor Russell talk experiences and character intuitiveness in “Waves.”

In PART TWO the trio continues their insight into their path of creation, with Taylor Russell’s essential answer about collaboration to conclude the talk.

”Waves” opens in Chicago on November 22nd, part of a nationwide release. See local listings for other theaters and show times. Featuring Kelvin Harrison Jr., Taylor Russell, Sterling K. Brown, Lucas Hedges, Reneé Elise Goldsberry and Neal Huff. Written and directed by Trey Edward Shults. Rated “R”

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2019 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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