Lou Taylor Pucci and Seth Green chatted with Leo Quiñones of CBS Radio KFWB NewsTalk 980’s Film Freak about the making of “The Story of Luke”:
Over the course of the interview, you’ll discover how these actors make their choices, how they prepared & they’ll tell you exactly what a director should & shouldn’t do on set.
CNN: “The Story of Luke” centers around a guy with autism who’s trying to get a job and get a girl. What’s been your connection to autism before this film?
Seth Green: I don’t know that I’ve had too much of a personal connection. I’ve met autistic people and I’ve seen the different ways Hollywood has portrayed them over the years. “The Story of Luke” is based on an amalgam of characters that (writer/director) Alonso Mayo met. He wanted to tell a story from the inside of a character who was unaware of something that’s different about them. Luke knows he’s special because he’s told he’s special but he doesn’t understand that there’s limitations to what he can aspire towards. My character is the opposite of that. He’s someone on the autistic spectrum who’s consistently been told that he’s only there to serve as guilt and empathy for anyone that’s neurologically typical. So he’s become bitter and isolated.
Please read this blog post by Leslie Long of Autism Speaks:
“The Story of Luke helps to explain a phenomenon that the autism community has been wrestling with for years, the complete misperception of people with autism, especially adults. As Luke’s story unfolds, the audience goes from cringe inducing interactions with his Aunt and supervisor, to celebrating the person that Luke is with his honesty and humanity intact and portrayed perfectly.
Luke transforms the people around him that were under the assumption they would be caring for him. This is not unique but not often discussed either. Most people have not had the pleasure of really knowing someone with autism in all facets of their lives so they miss the nuances of their humor or the effortless ways they tell the whole truth.
The movie presents a view of Luke that does not often make it to the mainstream media (although we are seeing these stories more often), an adult with autism that wants and is capable of working, wants to live independently, wants a girlfriend and wants to live the life that their peers are living.”
Read the full article here: The Story of Luke | Blog | Autism Speaks.
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Seth Green has been in the entertainment business for more than 30 years, but he’s never played a character quite like Zack, the brilliant IT specialist in the new coming-of-age indie comedy The Story of Luke.
Zack has autism, as does the protagonist of the film, Luke (Lou Taylor Pucci of Evil Dead, Thumbsucker). The Story of Luke, out in theaters and on demand this week, is timed to National Autism Awareness Month.
(…) Green, 39, was also cautious in bringing to life a character with autism, taking care not to exaggerate preconceived notions of the condition. “You don’t really want to be showy about any of the things you’re doing because people who have legitimate differences—it’s not as broad or as extreme as someone might interpret,” Green told The Daily Beast. “So that was really the thing that I tried to do, to make sure anything I was doing was subtle and more from an internal place than some kind of outward physical detail.”
Seth, Zack is a complex character himself. At first, you kind of want to hate this guy, but then you see how he really needs someone like Luke. Was that a tricky thing to pull off, to make this guy seem like a prick but still likable at the same time?
Seth Green: That’s usually my favorite kind of character to play, somebody you wouldn’t assume you’d have anything in common with. You get to demonstrate all the ways they are human and relatable. Zack is in a different place because he was educated completely different, about himself and his condition, whereas Luke was taught that he’s special and that different from everyone, and he’s not forced to make a contextual comparison about his whole place in that world. It’s Luke’s perspective that ultimately changes him. That was a fun thing to do.
In the film, Luke’s family is surprised that he actually wants a job and wants to live on his own. Did you find that kind of mentality when you were talking to these autistic people?
Lou Taylor Pucci: I think there’s a phase where kids, no matter if they have autism or not, want to be treated as an adult. They just want that next phase. They see other people with responsibilities, they trust them, and they’re a man, and that’s what Luke wants to be. I did kind of see that a little bit, at a certain age. That’s what Alonso was trying to get at in this movie. He was fascinated by kids with autism that he grew up around, because his mother ran an institution in Peru. He grew up around hundreds of kids who had autism all over the spectrum, and he was fascinated by people going through that phase of time, when they’re like 22 to 25, but honestly it could be any age because they develop at a different rate. That phase happens in a lot of people, and he wanted to capture that on film.
In the lead role, Pucci, always a thoughtful, compelling actor (he can also be seen in a very different role in the new “Evil Dead”) brings an intriguing sense of curiosity and wonder to the part, albeit underlaid with a certain confusion and sadness.
Mayo’s script avoids turning Luke into some wise holy fool, allowing him to make missteps along the way. (…) “The Story of Luke” is not a saga of epic proportions, but with a huge assist from Pucci’s layered performance, takes a premise that could easily be movie-of-the-week sappy and finds a humanizing lightness. Luke isn’t defined by his place on the autism spectrum, rather he is a person on that spectrum, doing the best he can like anyone else.
A winning little dramedy hung chiefly on the solid peg of Lou Taylor Pucci’s lead performance, “The Story of Luke” offers up an experiential snapshot of adult autism without descending into cloying sentimentality or didactic moralizing. Written and helmed by first-time feature director Alonso Mayo — and rooted in childhood experiences of watching his mother oversee an educational center for kids and adults with developmental delays — the movie is mostly a comedy, but one that largely eschews outlandishness and never drifts too far from recognizable human feeling.
(…) “The Story of Luke” is a sweetnaturedly pleasant and optimistic coming-of-age tale that highlights much that we share, amidst all our differences.
“The Story of Luke,” a slice-of-life tale of a high-functioning autistic man-child faced with enormous changes to his sheltered existence, explains early on that, no, Luke (Lou Taylor Pucci) does not have any special powers. He’s just like any 20-something trying to find his footing, only more so.
(…) the film serves as a modest reminder that the challenges of autism may sometimes be no more daunting or fearsome than those that face anyone in search of an independent life.
Did you catch Seth Green on The Talk today in support of “The Story of Luke”? Watch it here (at 3:00):
The Story of Luke’s Seth Green was on Conan O’Brien last night! Here is the clip where he talks up The Story of Luke (after discussing the Vomit Comit!)
We open April 5th in select theaters, iTunes and major Cable On-Demand providers! Sign up for a screening & invite your friends: http://www.facebook.com/thestoryofluke/events
Something unusual happened as I watched a DVD screener for The Story of Luke. Not only did I quickly realize that this was an exquisitely crafted independent film, I found it far superior to Sideways, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Lost in Translation, and Precious (all of which won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Film). I liked The Story of Luke so much that I watched it twice.
(…) Lou Taylor Pucci’s captivating portrait of Luke rests on a foundation of vocal modulation, careful phrasing, practiced body language, and the kind of simple goals that make most people around him seem horrifyingly petty and materialistic. The Story of Luke is a gem of an indie film that you won’t want to miss.