The Grand Picture
In a world where novice directors often struggle to secure A-list talent for their debut films, Niclas Larsson defied the odds with his quirky creation, “Mother, Couch.” This peculiar yet captivating film boasts an ensemble cast featuring the likes of Emmy winner Ewan McGregor, Academy Award laureates Ellen Burstyn and F. Murray Abraham, BAFTA victor Rhys Ifans, and the rising star from “Bones & All,” Taylor Russell. Larsson’s achievement is nothing short of remarkable, and in an exclusive interview with Steve Weintraub at FilmSweep’s TIFF media studio in the Cinema Center at MARBL, he shared the intriguing story of how he managed to assemble such an illustrious cast for his unconventional dramedy.
While the notion of securing top-tier actors for a film centered around a mother’s refusal to vacate a couch in a furniture store might invoke humor and disbelief, Larsson’s success boils down to the power of heartfelt letters and a genuinely absurd script, akin to the style of “Beau Is Afraid.” Furthermore, Larsson isn’t a newcomer to the world of directing. He boasts a portfolio of commercials and shorts, including the celebrated “The Magic Diner” films featuring Alicia Vikander and Anna Wintour. His prowess behind the camera has earned him accolades, including nominations from the Directors Guild of America for his work on Volvo and Volkswagen commercials. However, Larsson attributes most of his success to his script, stating:
“Yeah, I hired a bunch of paparazzi, nude shots of Ellen through the window, and yeah, yeah, yeah, and I just said, ‘Look, do you want this or…?’ I’m a letter writer. I wrote letters to them. No, it’s a dream cast, man. I’m so lucky. I mean, these are the best actors in the world. I think when you write something genuinely from the heart, actors have an ability, an incredible ability, to sense truth in the script. I think that’s what they read, and that’s why I was able to get this cast. I was truly writing from the heart, and those actors you see in the movie, they were my first choice, really. So it was as easy as handing over the script, having a cup of tea with Ellen Burstyn, and she said she wanted to do it.”
Unveiling ‘Mother, Couch’
Larsson’s feature film debut is an adaptation of Jerker Virdborg’s book, “Mamma I Sofa.” It weaves the tale of estranged siblings reluctantly drawn back together when their mother, portrayed by Burstyn, adamantly refuses to vacate a couch at a furniture store. David (played by McGregor) finds himself torn between his desire to leave and attend to pressing matters outside the store and his growing concern for his mother’s bizarre protest. The film offers ample room for exploring personal truths and familial drama amidst the chaos and horror of McGregor’s spiraling nervous breakdown. The cast also includes the talented Lake Bell.
As of now, “Mother, Couch” is actively seeking a distributor for its theatrical release. In the meantime, stay tuned to FilmSweep for more coverage from TIFF 2023, and be sure to watch the full interview with Larsson below for an inside look at this intriguing cinematic venture.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Film Casting Strategies
What is the film “Mother, Couch” about?
“Mother, Couch” is a cinematic adaptation of Jerker Virdborg’s book “Mamma I Sofa.” It tells the story of estranged siblings who are unexpectedly brought back together when their mother, portrayed by Ellen Burstyn, stubbornly refuses to leave a couch in a furniture store. The film explores the unfolding drama, personal truths, and familial dynamics that arise as the protagonist, played by Ewan McGregor, grapples with his mother’s unusual protest. Amidst the wackiness and tension, the movie delves into themes of family, personal transformation, and the human condition.
How did director Niclas Larsson manage to assemble such a star-studded cast for his debut film?
Niclas Larsson’s success in assembling a remarkable ensemble cast for “Mother, Couch” can be attributed to a combination of factors. First, Larsson’s prior experience as a director in commercials and shorts showcased his directorial skills and creativity. Additionally, he employed the persuasive power of heartfelt letters to reach out to the talented actors. However, the pivotal element that secured this dream cast was Larsson’s genuine and heartfelt script. According to Larsson himself, when a script is written from the heart and embodies authenticity, seasoned actors can sense the truth within it. This, he believes, was the driving force behind attracting such renowned talent to his project.
What other notable projects has director Niclas Larsson worked on before “Mother, Couch”?
Before helming “Mother, Couch,” Niclas Larsson had a portfolio of work that included commercials and short films. Notably, he directed “The Magic Diner” films, featuring prominent figures like Alicia Vikander and Anna Wintour. His talent behind the camera had previously earned him recognition, including nominations from the Directors Guild of America for his commercial work with brands like Volvo and Volkswagen.
Is “Mother, Couch” set for a theatrical release, and when can we expect to see it?
Yes, “Mother, Couch” is currently in search of a distributor for its theatrical release. While specific release dates may not be available at the moment, fans of this unique film can stay updated by following coverage from TIFF 2023 and FilmSweep for the latest news and announcements regarding the movie’s release.
Who are some of the notable actors in the cast of “Mother, Couch”?
“Mother, Couch” boasts an exceptional ensemble cast, including Emmy winner Ewan McGregor, Academy Award winners Ellen Burstyn and F. Murray Abraham, BAFTA winner Rhys Ifans, and the talented Taylor Russell, who recently starred in “Bones & All.” Lake Bell is also part of the cast, contributing to the film’s impressive lineup of acting talent.
More about Film Casting Strategies
- Niclas Larsson: Learn more about the director of “Mother, Couch.”
- TIFF 2023: Stay updated with the latest news and coverage from the Toronto International Film Festival.
- FilmSweep: For more information and updates related to “Mother, Couch” and other films.
- Ewan McGregor: Explore the filmography of the Emmy-winning actor.
- Ellen Burstyn: Discover the works of Academy Award-winning actress Ellen Burstyn.
- Rhys Ifans: Learn more about BAFTA winner Rhys Ifans and his career in film.
- Taylor Russell: Explore the filmography of Taylor Russell, known for her role in “Bones & All.”
- The Magic Diner: Watch “The Magic Diner,” a project directed by Niclas Larsson.
- Directors Guild of America: Discover more about the Directors Guild of America and its recognition of directorial excellence.
- Volvo: Learn about the brand associated with Niclas Larsson’s commercial work.
- Volkswagen: Explore Volkswagen, another brand featured in Larsson’s commercial portfolio.