Anne Hathaway, Anthony Hopkins, Jeremy Strong– an earth-shattering cast for the new drama called “Armageddon Time.” It’s not a sequel to the 1998 Bruce Willis movie, though.
Deco’s world-renowned reporter Alex Miranda has the story.
Dig up your past and maybe you’ll find something new.
That’s what happens in the biographical drama “Armageddon Time.” Writer-director James Gray finds deeper meaning in the memories of his childhood, as six-grader Paul Graff, played by Banks Repeta, figuring out his place in the world while growing up in Queens, New York.
Banks Repeta: “He’s rebellious also, and even more when he meets Johnny. He realizes it’s them two against the world, and no one is going to stop them.”
Co-star Jaylin Webb plays Johnny, who is the only black kid in class.
Jaylin Webb: “He’s adventurous, creative, kid who dreams of going to NASA. He just wants to have fun, and he doesn’t have as many advantages as others.”
Paul is an aspiring artist, and even though his loving parents don’t support his dreams…
Anne Hathaway: “I’m a sucker for contradiction. Those are some of my favorite type of roles to inhabit.”
His grandfather Aaron, played by the incomparable Anthony Hopkins, does.
Anthony Hopkins: “I went through that when I was a kid. My father was like, an actor? OK, well…’ and I think all kids suffer that, and so, but I’m there to encourage him. As my grandfather was for me: ‘Don’t worry. You’ll do fine.'”
Just like he did with Banks on the set.
Anthony Hopkins: “I said, ‘You’re a terrific actor,’ and he said, ‘You’re pretty good yourself.’ All the camera crew just laughed. And I said, ‘Well, I’ve been doing it a few years now.'”
But when Paul gets caught smoking a joint with Johnny, his parents, played by Anne Hathaway and Jeremy Strong, send him to private school.
Anne Hathaway: “I was allowed to interpret the character, but I wanted to interpret it with the perspective of his memory of her.”
And even with some freedom, imagine…
Jeremy Strong: “How daunting it was, the challenge, to play the father of this filmaker. To inhabit a character so fully that hopefully the director can suspend his own disbelief and revisit the past in this way.”
The film is centered on a liberal Jewish family who had escaped from Europe before the Holocaust.
Anthony Hopkins: “If it’s anything, it’s my contribution or small tribute to the pain in the world.”
And deals with class, race and politics.
Jeremy Strong: “James uses this personal lens, a historical lens to tell a much bigger story about society.”
“Armageddon Time” plays select South Florida theaters starting Nov. 3.
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