We interview Matthew McConaughey, Gary Ross and more for Free State of Jones
The challenge of bringing history to life is not only finding a way to make it entertaining, but to create a realistic portrayal of the events. In FREE STATE OF JONES, writer/director Gary Ross (THE HUNGER GAMES) has crafted a detailed account of Newton Knight, a man who forms a rebellion against the Confederate army during the Civil War. And while the story merges two different time periods thanks to a side story, it works best when the focus is on McConaughey who portrays Knight. For those of you fascinated by history, I do recommend stepping into this world. It may just be a must see for anyone who has ever stood up for what’s right.
At the junket for the new film, we had the opportunity to talk to the fine cast involved, including the incredibly talented Mahershala Ali who portrays Moses in the film. We talked about working in the outdoors and dealing with the wildlife, and how it helped bring a sense of realism to the production. He also discussed working with McConaughey and director Ross.
We also spoke to Matthew McConaughey himself about taking on the role of Newton Knight. He discussed challenging real life roles like Newton, and Ron Woodruff in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. The actor has really become one of the most exciting talents working in film today. And it is always a pleasure to see him take on such complex - and oftentimes real - people.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw is a stunning beauty, and she is also quite tremendous as Rachel, wife to Newton. She discussed creating the role, but also getting the chance to meet with historians and see the gravesite of Newton and Rachel Knight. The actress gives a wonderfully subtle performance and she is absolutey charming in person.
Finally, we sat down with Gary Ross. The filmmaker opened up about how he discovered this story, and what it was that intrigued him about this part of history. The intense detail in the script, the performances and the costume is something to be admired. And while I feel the shift in focus between the two stories doesn't always work, McConaughey is mesmerizing. Once again the actor showcases why is one of the best actors of his generation. Check out FREE STATE OF JONES this Friday at a theatre near you.
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