Director Brian Taylor was more than kind enough to sit down with us for a few minutes to discuss his latest film, Mom & Dad starring Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair. This parental-units gone mad flick has already had it’s share of buzz during its release back on January 19th, and with a DVD and Blu-ray street date of February 20th, this is sure to be one film that will define the term “smothering parenting.” Read on and enjoy this little dive into paternal and maternal madness!
DC: Brian – let’s start off by having you give us a brief synopsis of the film, as well as where in the deep recesses of your mind did you manage to come up with an idea such as this?
BT: Well, the germination of the idea is pretty straightforward – I am a parent, so I think it’s something we can all relate to, and I will say that when I told my son about the idea of what the film was about, he looked at me as if I was insane. The movie is like one of those “one fine day” films…One fine day, in the world, the birds are singing and the sprinklers are happily watering away on millions of lawns, some phenomenon happens, and it’s never explained why or how, but it’s just a thing that everyone needs to react to. Simultaneously, all across the country – maybe all across the world, all the parents turn on their own children in a homicidal rage, and they don’t attack anyone else’s children – only their own. In the movie we follow two kids who have to survive 24 hours in the house they grew up in to avoid killing (or being killed) by the two people they love most in the world, and are supposed to love them the most in the world.
DC: Without giving away any spoilers, is this something that could have a continuation piece attached to it in the future?
BT: Well the way it works is if people love this story, we’re more than happy to give it to them, so let’s see how it goes (laughs).
DC: With you having worked with Nicolas Cage in the past, and knowing of his capabilities, was this an instance of you saying “here you go, have at it,” or was there a bit more direction in the process?
BT: Directing Nicolas is understanding that he’s not like other actors – first of all, he’s one of the most professional actors that you will ever encounter. This is a guy that may seem to be unhinged, over-the-top and crazy when you watch some of the stuff he’s done, but I assure you that he’s an actor of incredible precision and everything he does is under control and well thought-out, to a level that I think would surprise a lot of people. We did a table read for the film the day before we started shooting, and this is usually a time when the actors break out their pencils and make notes and try different things – he walked in and did the entire movie off-book with full-intensity in front of a packed room – nobody does that. The other actors were in awe, so he’s the real deal, and he’s capable of doing things that other actors wouldn’t even begin to try. It’s like being the visor for Cyclops in X-Men – if the visor comes off, he’s able to shred buildings, so that’s it – you’re basically the visor and the funnel for all that energy that’s potentially destructive.
DC: I’m sure this answer will be somewhat of a foregone conclusion, but I’ll ask anyway – Nicolas was your first choice for this role, correct?
BT: Oh yeah, and you never know how people are going to react to material like this because it’s pretty unorthodox, but I kind of knew that he’d get it. I sent him the script and he got back to me a day later and said “I’m in.” He got the humor and satire and most of all he personalized it on a level that the angst of the lost-soul parents is something he can relate to.
DC: After the release of Mom & Dad, what’s going to be keeping you busy for work?
BT: Right now I’m doing the TV show on SyFy called “Happy” which is based on the Grant Morrison comic book, and it’s completely bananas. I’ve got a few more episodes to finish up the first season, and if we’re picked up for a second season I’ll most likely dive straight into that.