Justin Lerner Mentions Jackson with Volta
The cast is very impressive all round, could you tell us how you pulled the ensemble together?
I wrote this film for Evan Sneider and made no mystery of it, as I named his character "Evan" as well. Knowing him, I tailored the character around his personality and abilities, though I reinforced with him that it was a fictional story, the things the character of "Evan" wants -- a chance at a real, loving relationship with a woman -- is something he also actually wants in his life. This is why I think his performance is so genuine. There are moments in the film where he's speaking both as his character, voicing his desire to love and be loved, and he's simultaneously speaking for himself, Evan Sneider, as a man with Down Syndrome who wants to have the experience of love and romance that we're all entitled to as humans. Around the time I wrote the script I had recently become friends with Amanda Plummer and it just occurred to me that I should offer her the role of Evan's mother. She had previously expressed interest in working with me after I showed her my short film, "The Replacement Child" (the one in which Evan has a small cameo). So, one night I brought her over the script and told her about it and she said she was in. Of course, she read it a few days later and told me she was "definitely in" after that. I learned so much from her in the little time we were on set together. Directing a legend like Amanda was terrifying, but she was so generous and kind and patient with me, as this was my first feature and I was a bit overwhelmed by it all. Jackson Rathbone was a close friend of my producers, who had very early on spoken with me about offering him the role. So we met and discussed the script, and Terrence Malick films, and after about an hour he said he would play "Russ", the jealous ex of Evan's love interest, and the closest thing the film has to an antagonist (though I don't believe in this word). We held auditions for the role of "Candy" and Shannon Woodward came in to read and we all just loved her. The rest of the roles I cast with friends and local non-actors in Wayland, where we shot.
Source => Volta / Via => JRathboneFB