Robert Schwartzman Pairs Directorial Debut With Advice From Francis Ford Coppola and a New Song (Exclusive Audio)

Robert Schwartzman's DREAMLAND - H 2016
Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

The actor from 'The Princess Diaries' and 'The Virgin Suicides,' who fronts the band Rooney, helms the '80s throwback 'Dreamland,' set to premiere at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.

Robert Schwartzman, known on screen for The Princess Diaries and The Virgin Suicides and on stage as the front man of the band Rooney, finds himself behind the camera for Dreamland. His directorial debut follows a piano-playing underdog who enters into a Graduate-esque affair.

Starring Johnny Simmons, Amy Landecker, Beverly D'Angelo, Shay Mitchell and Schwartzman’s mother, Talia Shire, and set to premiere at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, Dreamland throws back to '80s sex comedies like American Gigolo, Loverboy and, most specifically, Risky Business, which featured the music of Tangerine Dream. Accordingly, he and his bandmates – whose new album, Washed Away, lands May 6 – penned the film’s song “Sad But True,” a track evoking the story’s arc of “sadness, longing and ephemeral hope” with Burt Bacharach-esque major 7 chords.

For his first feature, Schwartzman got advice and support from his brother, Jason Schwartzman – “He read the script, asked questions, and put me in the hot seat in a loving and constructive way,” he says – and his uncle, Francis Ford Coppola. “My Uncle Francis told me not to be afraid if there is any creative pushback with actors, or if actors express concerns with a scene or dialogue. He said oftentimes those concerns might open things up to something new, exciting and unexpected, something important that might help the scene, dialogue or character.”

Listen to The Hollywood Reporter’s exclusive debut of Rooney’s “Sad But True” from Dreamland below, followed by behind-the-scenes photos (taken by Zoey Grossman).