Chris Weitz Talks 'A Better Life' & His 'Twilight' Support System
Chris Weitz, who many of you know from New Moon, just directed a great new film called A Better Life, which is about a gardener in LA (played by Demián Bichir from Weeds) who struggles to keep his son away from gangs and immigration agents, while trying to give his son the opportunities he deserves.
“This is like Twilight 7," Weitz joked on the carpet at Tuesday's premiere, which brought out Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, when a reporter asked how it's different. "No, obviously it’s different, one of the great things is I don’t have to say that you will be interacting with a green pillow, and try to act scared. In this case it’s just working in a very intimate way with actors, but I had different things to learn for this one"
"I had to begin to speak Spanish. I had to learn about immigration law. I had to learn about gang culture. I had to learn about everything. I had to learn about Mexican-LA, which is a world onto itself, existing, co-existing with our world, a kind of unknown to us. This is a window into the life of a man who works very hard to protect his son and keep his family together, and in that sense it’s kind of universal.”
Is it true you used real-life gang members in your film? Ex gang members, yes. I just wanted to make that clear because these are guys that have made a really courageous decision to leave their gangs, and to get gainful employed, which many of them thought they would never get a chance to do, and it’s thanks to Father Gregory Boyle and Homeboy Industries, the gang intervention program who are fantastic.
You are very selective, in a good way, when picking your projects. What's next on the horizon for you? I mean I really just wait around until I find the next thing that I have to do or I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. You know, I’m forced to do it, and every project takes me to the edge of my sanity – whether I’m willing to risk it or not is kind of the deciding factor.
Anyone you would love to work with again? Kristen, Rob, and Taylor. If they let me! Sure.
What does it mean to have the support of your former cast-members like Kristen and Taylor here tonight? It’s tremendous. I think it’s really cool. I mean because every time they come out, they face a gamut of fans and get screamed at and everything and they have to dress up and think like 'Oh what am I supposed to wear tonight.' It would much easier for them to just watch the DVD at home. I’m really touched that they’ve come out tonight, and it’s great to see them because I’m really fond of them.
Everyone be sure to check out A Better Life when it hits theaters in limited release Friday June 24!