Skip to main content

Alex Wolff Steps Behind The Camera For A Real, Raw Portrayal Of Youth

Alex Wolff has lived with Nick for a long time. Seven years at least. That's a third of his young life. At 21 years old, the actor-singer-filmmaker has just released his first feature film, The Cat and the Moon, of which he wrote, directed, and starred in. Nick is the project's weary protagonist, a teenage boy struggling with his own feelings and carrying the burden of a dead father and an addict mother. There are parts of Nick that are ripped from the very flesh and bone and paranoia of Wolff himself â€" he's a young person living in New York, cycling through the motions of "growing up"; his father was a jazz musician whom he considered genius. It's indulgent storytelling, yes, but it's no less effective.
Wolff started writing The Cat and the Moon when he was 15. At first, it was a distraction, a way to focus on something other than finals and schoolwork. But as the characters on the page became actual people in his mind, something real, something lived-in, began to take shape. He wasn't just telling his story; he was telling his friends' stories, too. The story of being young and confused, alone and together, in New York City.
"Nick is some amalgamation of me and the characters in my life," Wolff told MTV News at a recent press day for the film. "He borrowed pieces of me, and borrowed pieces of kids I grew up with. There's a lot of myself in Nick, and a lot of myself in Eliza, and a lot of myself in all the different characters in it."

Nick is angry. He's a ticking time bomb. But he isn't all rage and untapped emotion; he's sensitive and funny, charmingly so. It's easy to see why Eliza (Stefania LaVie Owen) is so intrigued by him, and why, in return, Nick is so captivated by someone grounded like Eliza â€" even if she happens to be his friend Seamus's (Skyler Gisondo) girlfriend. Wolff's young characters are real and raw, sometimes even frustratingly so. "I believe in characters not being totally good or totally bad," he said. "I don't judge my characters."
Nick makes fast friends with classmates Seamus and Russell (Tommy Nelson). They get high. They
drink. They party. They say "bro" earnestly. They're kids who make bad decisions without even thinking â€" Seamus cheats on Eliza when he gets wasted; Russell says slurs he shouldn't. And Wolff knows you might hate them. He's OK with that. "As long as you didn't hate Nick," he clarified.
This is Nick's story, after all. And he, like us, exists in the uncomfortable state of just being. It's not a surprise that Wolff was heavily influenced by the works of the Dardenne brothers. ("Kid With a Bike, Two Days, One Night, and L'Enfant were movies I saw where I felt that plot was not the priority," he said. "The priority was that all of these characters were full, and that's all that mattered.") This isn't a coming-of-age story about the power of friendship and the magic of prom; Nick isn't trying to get laid by graduation. In fact, Wolff's characters don't even waste their breath on talking about the future. They're in the here and now.
"These movies about young people, they make the lead guy this wimpy, sensitive guy who just hopes the girl takes him to prom," Wolff said. "I just found it to be much more complex that you can have a character who seems tough and smoked cigarettes, and does all this stuff, and is a virgin, is super sensitive. And you have a girl who's just trying to figure stuff out, but she's super sweet and not mysterious. She's so open with her thoughts and feelings."
Wolff and Owen on the set of Cat and the Moon
That openness is what initially drew Owen to the project. She had read an early draft of the script five or six years ago on the set of Coming Through the Rye. She was 16, and Wolff had asked for her feedback. "I loved the dynamic between all of the friends and the conversations they had," she told MTV News. "Alex actually is a young person and he knows how teenagers talk to each other, which makes a difference, because it seems more real."
When Wolff asked her to portray Eliza a few years later, it was an immediate yes. "I haven't really worked with a lot of people my age before," she added. "It was cool to experience being in a film with people that were the same age, and we were going through the same sorts of things at the same time." That genuine connection between Wolff and the cast â€" and all of the messiness and intensity that happens when you get a group of teens in a room together â€" transcended his own lens; it bled into the very framework of the film. But that instability is precisely what lingers. The Cat and the Moon is both tender and rough around the edges; it's someone pondering the meaning of their own art while also making it.
"Nicolas Cage said the coolest thing ever to me," Wolff recalled. (He recently wrapped a film with Cage.) "He said, 'Alex, you're the total filmmaker… You're in the movies, you're writing them, directing them.' It meant a lot to me when he said that. I'll probably never get that again."
Somehow, that's hard to believe.

Popular posts from this blog

21 Savage - Hot Take on Cheating?

21 Savage was spotted on the Million Dollaz Worth the Game Podcast. He was asked to give a hot take on amid cheating topics. 21 starts off by giving his experience a light that was hidden from the public view for many of years. Back in 2016, 21 Savage was caught in an affair with Wiz Khalifa's now turned ex-wife Amber Rose.  21 also was in a committed relationship with a woman he since then had met on Instagram but this woman has since moved on away from 21 as forgiveness was not given to him. The hot take referred to conquering the other sex and this was a hot button pressed for many of listeners of the podcast and didn't waste seconds approaching Social Media  DJ Akademiks (formerly of Complex News) reported that 21 was out of line for allowing cheating to be ok when it was wrong on both parties who commit the infidelity. for more news, stay tuned to Flyah Magazine.   

CHECK OUT GEM - FLYAH EXLUSIVE INTERVIEW

GEM is to headline the Los Angeles Power Women Summit in December, bringing this new style of medical-music to the masses. She has been able to make use of her time in isolation: perfecting her EP, creating a YouTube channel and working on a plethora of collaborations with other global artists. The new single, If I’m Honest, is arguably the first of its kind. It has been specifically produced in the key of B. The musical note B is associated with the crown chakra, the 7th chakras in the Buddhist tantric system. Buddhists believe that by listening to music in this key, corresponding to the crown chakra, it can heal and awaken the listener, helping to release stored negative energy and energetic blockages in the body. WE HAD THE CHANCE TO CATCH UP WITH GEM READ WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY!   How long have you been doing music and where you find the inspiration? Music has always been a part of my life, although being visible in the producers chair has been a natural progression over the past 4 ye

Michael Coleman Is back with another Anthem!

  WE HAD A CHANCE TO CATCH UP WITH MICHAEL COLEMAN, READ WHAT HE HAD TO SAY ABOUT HIS MUSICAL JOURNEY!   Michael Coleman, where are you from and what's it like in your hometown and how did you get the nickname "The Metropolitan Cowboy"?   I was actually born and raised in San Diego, California.  San Diego is just an awesome town although like everywhere else in California, it costs a fortune to live there.  My nickname, “The Metropolitan Cowboy” actually comes from a television project I was doing a few year’s back. I wrote and produced an adult-oriented sketch comedy show and since I was always dressed with a cowboy hat on and looked metrosexual we decided that should be the name of the show and my brand and I have been called that ever since.   How long have you been songwriting and where do you find the inspiration?   I’ve been writing since I was a kid, however I didn’t decide to take it seriously until I had a milestone birthday , I won’t tell you which one and it wa