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Director Daniel Algrant nearly scrapped Greetings From Tim Buckley altogether due to the production’s obstacles and the search for the film’s star.
The film, which recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, stars Ben Rosenfield and Penn Badgley as Tim and Jeff Buckley, the father and son musicians whose lives were both tragically cut short at young ages, Tim at 28 and son Jeff at 30. It tells a fictionalized account of their lives leading up to the real life tribute concert Jeff played for his father in 1991.
Before Algrant attended the film’s premiere, the director stopped by The Hollywood Reporter‘s TIFF video lounge with the film’s star.
“We didn’t know how to make this film work. How to make this film about this young boy and his father who never really spent any time together and yet Jeff was so involved in the legacy he was following,” says Algrant, who also co-wrote the script with David Brendel and Emma Sheanshang.
Algrant admits to almost scrapping the idea for the movie but decided to go forward after seeing Badgley’s audition tape. “If I really realized how much of a challenge it was gonna be, I wouldn’t have embarked on it, honestly,” says the director. “There was no point. I was really searching for months and months. I got lucky.”
After hearing such high praise from his director, Badgley reveals how tough of a challenge it was for him to channel Jeff Buckley in the film.
“It was daunting,” admits the Gossip Girl actor. “I was nervous as hell and I knew nobody thought I could do it. There are parts of Jeff I can’t emulate at all and wouldn’t want to try.”
Algrant says the real beauty of this film can be found in Jeff Buckley’s journey as he discovers himself through his father’s music.
“The idea of a son finding himself through the words of his father just sounds compelling,” says Algrant.
For more about making Greetings from Tim Buckley, watch THR‘s video above.
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