June 30, 2016

 

Was there a point when you didn't think it was going to work?

 

Yeah, there were a lot of times when I thought it was all about to crumble. Just a couple months before we were getting ready to shoot, we were deep in pre-production and I didn't know how we were going to pull a deal together in time. This was not an easy journey. A lot of times we were butting heads. 

 

How did you get past that?

 

There's no quit in our family. Our dad was the chief proponent of that. [On the set] we were constantly telling each other, "Stay true to the story, we know that we love each other, keep communication open." We knew how unique this was--you're doing a movie that really could be put out there all over the world, and you're telling this personal story about your family.

 

It's wonderfully selfless that you initiated this movie, yet you didn't want to make it about you; you wanted to make it about your sister.

 

That's a good point. I could give you the politically correct answer, which is, "Oh no, it was always going to be about my sister,"

 

It was never going to be about me. It was going to be about my older brother, originally. It was really Davis, my sister's husband, who pointed out to me that my sister was the real underdog in our family. I didn't know the emotional turmoil of a girl in an all-boys family trying to get some credit for the fact that she had this courage to play with boys. She has gone from being a girl who was scared, to being this brave girl who could stand up and play with boys, and [went] into acting before any of us and inspired all of us in many ways. So I wanted to celebrate her and her journey.

 

Why you decide to play Gracie's coach?

 

We grew up as kids making movies together, and this was a family movie. But I didn't feel like I had to have one of the big parts. Once we decided I wasn't playing the head coach—the head coach needed to be someone who could be an obstacle to the girl—we decided it would be better for me to play someone who would show up at just the right time to propel her forward.

 

There's a great scene in which your sister, playing your mother, tells Gracie that she shouldn't quit.

 

There was an interesting dynamic, my sister playing her mom and being able to bring her knowledge of what she would have wanted to tell herself. Through my sister's involvement in the screenplay, she was able to express the balance of having some doubt in her mind about Gracie's goals—what she should and shouldn't be doing—and even the scene when she says, "I don't know if this is right or not."