Rudderless, the feature directorial debut of actor William H. Macy, follows Sam (Billy Crudup), a man whose life is torn apart by the sudden death of his son. He passes his days by drowning his pain in alcohol, until he discovers a box filled with his son’s demo tapes and lyrics, and he begins to reconnect with his son while exploring his unknown talent. When he learns and decides to play these songs in a local bar he catches the attention of a young musician named Quentin (Anton Yelchin), and the two decide to form a rock ‘n’ roll band called Rudderless.
At the film’s press day, actress/singer Selena Gomez (who has a small but pivotal and emotionally impactful role in the movie) spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about what attracted her to this project, how she could understand and sympathize with the scrutiny her character was under, working with a director with an acting background, and sharing scenes with Billy Crudup, who she had a crush on from Almost Famous. She also talked about how Hotel Transylvania 2is developing, where she’d like to go next in her career, getting a better idea of who she is as an actress and singer, her desire to move into the next phase musically, why she loves performing at concerts for her fans, and what the first concert she went to meant to her. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
Collider: How did this come about for you?
SELENA GOMEZ: Bill [Macy] actually saw my performance in Spring Breakers, so they sent the script to my team. Within the first 20 pages, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it, just simply because I always want to push myself, even though I’m not in the entire thing. My friend Taylor says, “If you’re the smartest person in the entire room, you’re in the wrong room.” As an actress, I just want to be a sponge. I respect Felicity [Huffman] as a woman in the industry, and I think her and Bill are such great examples. And I had a huge crush on Billy [Crudup] because of Almost Famous. Honestly, it was really a dream come true. Shooting it was extremely emotional, and that element of it was interesting. I had felt what she was feeling because I’m her age. I know that dealing with your emotions right now is so awkward because you’re not quite sure. So, there’s all this stuff happening, and then you add a tragedy that I literally couldn’t imagine. It was pretty heavy, but I think she was an important part of telling that story.
Even though it’s a much more tragic and extreme situation, were you able to understand and sympathize with what this character must have been dealing with, under such scrutiny from the public and the media?
GOMEZ: Totally. I couldn’t imagine it being like that, though. I feel like, with those kinds of situations, everyone has to deal with it, in their own way. It is different when it’s my family, and people are discussing that. I can’t help but think it’s unfair because they’ve never been put in that position. I do what I do, so I know that it comes with it. For me, I just have to deal with it. I think even the people who read that stuff don’t believe it. They want to comment and say things, but I think they know. It’s pretty obvious.
Did you have any idea, when you did Spring Breakers, that it would lead to such different kind of work? Is that what you were hoping for with it?
GOMEZ: Yes. First, I just wanted to do something different, and my mom was a huge Harmony [Korine] fan. For me, it worked out perfectly. I flew to Nashville and auditioned for the movie, and I really, really fought for it. Harmony believed in me and pushed me. And then, all this other stuff came along with it. It was really good. That transition is very awkward. I’m still going through it. It’s not all good now. But, that was a huge part of why. I just had dinner with Harmony because he has a really special place in my heart for believing in me like that.