Francesca Gregorini is somewhat of a “new” director, but her first solo film debut, “Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes” is receiving wide praise, and that’s partial to the cast.
Francesca sat down with The Hollywood News and had the following to say on casting Jesse;
THN: I think the dysfunctional family you present in your film is a universal thing that’s something many people can relate to. Alfred Molina and Frances O’Connor, who of course play the parents, can be brilliant in their sleep, whereas Jessica Biel is famous for her action roles and is not considered a character actor. I’ve never seen her as good as she is in this film. What led to you casting her?
FG: Well I was very fortunate to have the cast I got. Jessica is certainly not an obvious choice, and in fact she read the script of her own accord and came after me and the movie. She really wanted that part, and to be honest I wasn’t sure if she was right for it because, as you so rightly said, I’d never seen her do anything in this realm. But I was more than willing to meet for lunch and have a chat about it, and in that lunch she convinced me that she should audition. I was like, “Fair enough, if you wanna come in, I won’t stop you.” I still wasn’t convinced that she was right. I’d initially written the part to be a bit older than she is, so she had those two things going against her. But she blew me away in the audition and showed me a side of herself I’d never seen. What she could do was really breathtaking and I was like, “Right, I stand corrected. Here’s your part.” I think that’s one of the best aspects of the film, people really are discovering that she’s an actor’s actor, not just this beautiful woman. The British know Kaya and what she’s capable of, whereas the Americans don’t. So both of these women are discoveries in this film, to a large extent.
She also goes onto talk about the male audience who will have an issue connecting with the film based on it’s female lead story. Love her response! You’ll need to head over to the source to check it out.