The Knockturnal was on the scene fore the New York premiere of “Shelter” at theWhitney Museum presented by Louis Vuitton.
Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly, and Anthony Mackie were all dressed in LV. The evening was also presented by Coalition for the Homeless.
Film Synopsis: Hannah (Connelly) and Tahir (Mackie) come from two different worlds. But when their lives intersect, they’re at the same place: homeless on the streets of New York. A love letter to the great New York dramas of the 1970s, SHELTER is an unsparing story of loss, love, sacrifice, redemption and, ultimately, hope.
Read our exclusive red carpet interviews below:
- What can people expect to get out of this movie?
The movie is full of tranquility and despair, and that’s something that you never get to see. Usually, when people do dark movies, it just leaves you in the darkness. I think that you come out of this with hope, with promise. Even though these characters are homeless and going through a tough time, you can relate to them and you can see part of their struggles in your struggle.
- Favorite part about working on set with Jennifer?
It was fun. I’ve been very fortunate recently with the people I’ve worked with. Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Connelly…They’re over themselves. I feel like a lot of times you do movies and you get to set and some people are like, “I’m this guy, I deserve this, I want this”. Jennifer was none of that. She showed up and she was just as dirty in that movie as I was. Her craft service was just as shitty as mine was but she never complained. We both showed up and we both worked our asses off to as honest to the characters as we could.
- What was it as an actor that drew you to the script in terms of the love story?
I come from a very different place and for me, I always say, I want a girl that can take care of me. That’s the true essence of love. I want to be in a relationship with you because I want to take care of you. I married my wife because when she goes to bed, she knows she’s safe until she wakes up in the morning because that’s my job. That’s the truest essence of being in a relationship and taking care of the person you love. This movie 100 percent about the two of them taking care of each other, and making sure that each other is safe and provided for. That’s something that I feel like is kind of lost in swiping left and swiping right.
- Things learned from filming the movie?
Judgment. We look at homeless people and we look at them from a gaze of judgment as opposed to understanding and compassion. Isn’t that what America is built on? How could you ignore your fellow man? Sometimes, a little bit of compassion and help goes a long way.
- What inspired you to write such an emotional and relatable film?
I wanted to make a film about judgment. I look around the world I live in and I feel like it’s a world full of increasing gray area and yet we seemed to be getting more and more entrenched in black and white positions, and I think that’s really dangerous. At that point, it wasn’t a film about homelessness. Even when it came about homelessness, I did not want it to be a film about homelessness, or drug addiction being bad. I did not want to make a sweeping statement about all of that. I just wanted to understand the situation better.
- What was the deciding factor in making Anthony and Jennifer your lead men and women in the film?
Jennifer is an extra ordinary actress, and I know her quite well. What I’ve discovered is when you’re trying to make a film about homelessness, people don’t want to give you a lot of money so, it’s very helpful if you can attach stars at the level that Jennifer and Anthony are on.
- Is there anything you’ve learned about yourself as it pertains to the process of making the movie?
Yes, endlessly. I’ve been doing this project for three years and it’s so lovely that this is the combination of all of that. The correlation of the homeless has been extra ordinary, at least to me and I hope that our relationship continues to be as fruitful as it has been so far.
- Any other projects that we can look forward to?
Yea, there’s a bunch of the avengers stuff. Captain America 3 is coming out and I think we start avengers again at the end of next year. In between that, I’m hoping to direct another project. There’s a couple of acting projects I’m toying around with.
- What was the deciding factor in wearing Louis Vuitton tonight?
It was in the last show and I thought it was particularly beautiful.
- What was it like working with Anthony and Paul on this project?
We had an amazing time. It was a very short shoot schedule. It was really special. Anthony did a beautiful job. I think it was a beautiful performance. I had never seen him in a film like this before so, it was really wonderful to be there with him as he was playing that character. Paul is the person that I trust the most. To be able to work in an environment while feeling so safe was really an extraordinary and creative experience.
- How would you say this movie is different from anything you’ve done in the past?
There’s a roughness and rawness to it and I feel he made some very bold choices. As an acting experience, it was particularly enriching.
- Did any part of playing the character scare you ?
I was enthusiastic to do it. You have to throw yourself into that sort of thing. I thought he had written a beautiful script and was trying to make something beautiful. His intentions were really admirable and pure. I was really happy to be a part of it.
- What have you learned from making the movie so far?
I’ve learned a lot of things in the process of doing research for the film. We are talking about judgment and the ways in which we make assumptions about other people in the film. We are focusing on characters who are homeless and there were a lot of things I did not know in terms of how many people or how many citizens in New York are homeless. Last year, there were 60,000 people seeking shelter every night and 25,000 of them were children. I had no idea but the movie made me aware.
The film is now playing!