Emilio Estevez on His 12-Year Journey Creating 'The Public'

"The movie celebrates misfits. It celebrates outcasts. It celebrates those who don't see themselves represented onscreen, if ever," the multihyphenate told The Hollywood Reporter.

Emilio Estevez juggles many hats for his latest film project The Public, including writing, directing, producing and starring in the lead role of librarian Stuart Goodson. Estevez sat down with The Hollywood Reporter In Studio to discuss his "12-year journey" bringing the story to life, and how the film celebrates "those who don’t see themselves represented onscreen."

"This began April 1, 2007. The L.A. Times arrived at my door, I opened it up. There was an essay written by a former Salt Lake City librarian named Chip Ward, and the thesis was about how libraries had become de facto homeless shelters and how librarians had become de facto social workers and first responders, and I was really moved by it," he explained. "It was a very touching, very intense piece."

Estevez "started to imagine this idea of what it would look like if the patrons, mostly whom are experience homelessness, decided not to leave on one of the coldest nights of the year. What would that look like? How would the press respond? How would the police respond? In the middle of what is really a humanitarian crisis, would they force these people out into the cold?"

The Public, featuring Alec Baldwin, Taylor Schilling, Christian Slater, Jeffrey Wright and Gabrielle Union, was screened across the country on a 30-city tour. It was viewed at libraries and film festivals, and shown to social workers, homeless advocate groups and more.

"They see themselves onscreen," Estevez said. "The movie celebrates misfits. It celebrates outcasts. It celebrates those who don’t see themselves represented onscreen, if ever, and so to see it in a group of individuals who are experiencing homelessness and have them yelling and cheering at the screen and seeing themselves in an empowered position onscreen is pretty special."

Watch the video above to hear Estevez also discuss working with his son on the film, if he would ever reunite with the Brat Pack and more.