Zach Braff tells Chris Evans about his new indie movie A Good Person with Morgan Freeman and Florence Pugh

Virgin Radio

8 Mar 2023, 16:43

Credit: Virgin Radio

Hollywood writer and director Zach Braff joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch to talk about his new film, A Good Person, starring Morgan Freeman and Florence Pugh. Full of laughter, love, drama and tears, the former Scrubs star says it's 'got everything'.

Zach told Chris about the heartfelt film he's written, directed and produced: "It's about a car accident and how it affects two different families. I know that sounds quite serious and the film is serious, but there's also a lot of humour infused. I didn't want the audience to feel like it was too maudlin, so there's a lot of drama. It's Morgan Freeman and Florence Pugh, two legendary actors going toe to toe, but there's humour, there's drama, there's some tears, there's love... it's got everything."

No stranger to trauma himself, Zach said how his own personal experiences had influenced the movie. He shared: "I've gone through a lot of loss in the last four years myself and I wanted to write about what it's like getting over that. I lost my father. I lost my sister. I lost my best friend to COVID; he was 41 years old. So I wrote this during the pandemic. I wanted to write about what it's like to stand back up after a very, very hard time in your life and the people who help you do that - the friends and family that help you cope - and I wanted to do it in a way that was moving but also funny. Florence and Morgan are able to do that quite well."

Speaking about working with the prolific actors, he said: "There's a scene where the two of them are sitting across from each other in a diner booth and you're watching the most exciting ingénue on the planet, in my opinion, go toe to toe with one of the most legendary actors of all time. They're so wonderful, they both raise each other's game because it's just so real. It's like two amazing musicians that are riffing together. They both make each other better and so you have these two extraordinary actors and together they make beautiful music."

Explaining their unexpected connection in the film, he said: "She decides that she needs to go to an AA meeting and - of all the meetings she could have chosen - there is the man who was to be her future father in law. She sees him and she instantly runs out and he comes to her and says, I know how hard it is to get here. Don't leave, please. He’s the one who pulls her back into the meeting and that sets off in motion a very unlikely friendship between two people who would never necessarily have been friends.

"It’s about responsibility and guilt and all these things wrapped up. These characters are going through very extreme situations but my hope is that audiences will take their own experience into it. It doesn't need to be the extreme of a tragic car accident. It could be whatever the lowest moment in someone's life is and we all can relate to that feeling where you feel like you're on the ground. How are you going to get back up again and the people around you that help you stand back up?"

On navigating the sensitive subject of addiction, Zach said: "It was imperative to me to get it right. So not only did I consult people who are in recovery or recovery specialists, but every time we had anything related to AA or NA or recovery in a scene, I had someone there on set and I was saying, Is this real? Does everything feel accurate? Because I wanted to honour the community and make sure that we didn't mess it up.

"Florence Pugh's performance is out of this world. You watch her with awe. I mean, she's just unbelievable."

Talking about the no-budget movie filmed in under a month, he said: “Morgan doesn't do a tonne of low budget indie movies and I didn't think he would say yes, but he was my dream and I reached out to him. Within two days he called me and said, I see myself on every page of this script. I was like, Does that mean yes? And he said, Yeah, I’m in, and so then I had Florence Pugh and Morgan Freeman.

"There are some legendary actors who love to do little indie movies and then go back and forth to big studio movies. Morgan stereotypically is not that kind of a guy and so I didn't think we really had a chance. We had to make a movie in 26 days for no money and he said yes.

“He's done a lot of characters that are wonderful. The man can do no wrong but it's been a long time since a director said, Hey, I want you to really go somewhere deep and dark and vulnerable, and he really delivers an incredible performance in this movie."

A Good Person is in UK cinemas from Friday 24 March and on Sky Cinema from Friday 28 April. 

For more great interviews listen to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.