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“He’ll come up to you after a take and say, ‘All right, Tye, here’s an old actor trick,’” reveals Sheridan, 25, to THR Presents, powered by Vision Media. “He’ll go into this spiel about, ‘Before you say that line, look up. Just look down and look up. It works. It’ll kill them.’”
Upon learning that, however, Sheridan’s co-star, Lily Rabe, couldn’t help but feel a little short-changed.
“He didn’t give me any actor tricks!” exclaims Rabe, 39.
“That’s ‘cause you’re good already. You don’t need any,” Sheridan replies with a laugh.
Based on the 2005 memoir of the same name by J.R. Moehringer, The Tender Bar tells the story of a poor kid from Long Island (Sheridan) raised by a single mom (Rabe) who finds family and belonging inside The Dickens — a book-lined bar run by his literature-loving Uncle Charlie, played by Ben Affleck.
“He’s kind of the substitute father figure in J.R.’s life,” Sheridan says. “He’s the guy J.R. comes to when he’s struggling with something or needs a pep talk. He’s full of wisdom and fun anecdotes. He has fun life-advice monologues.”
Tricks or not, Rabe has only the highest praise for Clooney, 60, for whom Tender Bar marks his eighth feature directorial effort.
“He trusts his cast,” she says. “He trusts his actors, he trusts his crew, and he trusts his audience. At no point is he trying to control the audience’s experience. He just gifts it to you. I felt that very much as an actor. He gifted me the part.”
The film — which traces Moehringer from childhood (played by newcomer Daniel Ranieri) to young adulthood as he gets accepted into Yale and later finds work as a stringer at The New York Times — wears its heart on its sleeve, according to Sheridan, and the atmosphere on set was fittingly one of openness and caring.
“It made all of us rethink things that happened in our lives,” Sheridan says. “We were sharing stories about things that happened with our moms and dads.”
The film will get a limited theatrical release on Dec. 17 before opening wide Dec. 22. It begins streaming on Amazon Prime Video on Jan. 7.
This edition of THR Presents is presented by Amazon Studios.
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