Texas

Sam & Kate features Sissy Spacek, Dustin Hoffman, their real-life kids and Texas ties.

There are four main characters in the new Sam & Kate movie, the main characters played by Jake Hoffman and Schuyler Fisk. Jake is the real son of Dustin Hoffman and Fisk is the real daughter of Sissy Spacek. On the screen, they play the same roles.

This is both the writer and directorial debut of Darren Le Gallo.

Writer/Director Darren Le Gallo.

“I wrote the script seven years ago. So at the time when I first wrote the first draft, if you had told me that I would have the same cast as me, I would never have believed you, ”says Le Gallo.

This cast is due in no small part to — keeping the family theme here — Le Gallo’s wife, Amy Adams, who served as the film’s executive producer.

“You know, half the time she gets cast or offered a role, she chooses someone else,” says Le Gallo. “She’s like, ‘Oh, I know who’s perfect for this.’ And she’s really good at it.”

Le Gallo credits Adams for first thinking about bringing in Schuyler Fisk, who was thrilled to get the script along with her mom, Sissy Spacek.

Schuyler Fisk.

“We always wanted to do something together, like doing the right thing. You know when we have to play against each other, you know, act together,” says Fisk. “Because I did some stuff where I played her as her younger self, but it never felt like a scene with her, you know, so it hardly counts. So that was something we were happy to be a part of.”

Fisk says the experience did not disappoint.

“My mom and I had a very close collaboration, a very open and very respectful, fun working relationship,” Fisk says. “And we should, like, hang out together and be together. It was just… it was really special.”

The film not only shows these relationships between parents and children, but also explores them. Le Gallo says the story was inspired by his own daughter and her questions about mortality, which in turn made him think about his parents.

“From time to time, if you choose a moment, you will realize, you know, a little gratitude that you can still pick up the phone and call them, and that we are still here,” says Le Gallo. “I think having my daughter really helps me — it reminds me to just capture moments, be present and let the people you really care about… tell people we love them.”

And the reality of mortality and life’s difficulties – that’s why – when you watch Sam and Kate and watch a real child struggle or mourn something that happens to their real parent – even if they both play characters, it can feel more real.

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