For several years now, film festivals have proven to be breeding grounds for great unknown films, film makers and actors. This years Sundance Film Festival has produced one of those films and quite possibly one of those actors. The film is called The Kings Of Summer and it is the coming of age comedy about three teenage boys who decide to live the summer out from under their parents roof and under their own and by their own rules.
The highly acclaimed film is being compared to such movies as Superbad and Into The Wild. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts tackles his first feature length film and does so with first time writer Chris Galletta who left a job on the production staff of The Late Show With David Letterman to pursue his passion and write his first screenplay. The combination seems to have worked as the films was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and has really gained momentum since becoming highly anticipated for it’s May 31st release date.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with 18 year old Gabriel Basso who plays Patrick Keenan, one of the three young boys whom the film focuses on. You may recognize Gabriel from his regular role on the Showtime show The Big C starring Laura Linney and Oliver Platt. He was also featured in the J.J. Abrams directed and Steven Spielberg produced movie Super 8.
How did the movie come to you and how did you know it was a project you wanted to work on?
“I originally got the script in it’s rawest form from Chris Galletta and it was amazing, I fell in love with it instantly. Rarely do I laugh out loud when I read scripts. But this one was just hilarious.I had never done a comedy before and I told my agents I wanted in on it.”
How did you find the independent film making experience versus the experience of working on a film with a large budget like Super 8?
“You know it’s really cool because you get to see both sides of the passion spectrum. J.J. has a huge passion and has been making films since he was a kid with his super 8 camera to the point he’s making films like he is now. Then you go and work with someone who has the passion like Jordan [Vogt-Roberts] and you get to see the pre-requisite to being someone on the level of J.J. Abrams.”
Having developed a palate for scripts at a fairly young age what keeps that passion inside you looking for the next breakthrough project?
Well it still hasn’t occurred to me that I’m going to be an actor but what keeps me searching for the next project and search for things that will mean a lot to me is time, I wanna spend my time doing things I enjoy and am passionate about and that will lead me to different experiences and better experiences. Thru acting I’ve been able to do that and meet a lot of amazing people and go to a lot of incredible places.”
Gabriel went on to talk about how his experience on The Big C and the love that all his cast members have for their work and doing good projects inspires his to want to find those same experiences whether thats in acting or in his other love which is the game of soccer. He mentioned that everyday on the set of the now finished series The Big C he was learning something new from someone and how he found that infectious.
Gabriel can be seen in The Kings of Summer in theaters May 31st and on The Big C on Showtime airing now. You can also follow Gabriel on Twitter @GabeBasso.