DINNER IN AMERICA INTERVIEW Emily Skeggs, Kyle Gallner and director Adam Rehmeier

Arrow video have just released Adam Rehmeier new film ‘DINNER IN AMERICA’, a sardonic take on post Trump America. Which sees lead singer of a punk band Simon (Kyle Gallner) kicked out of a drug testing facility and then going on the run after torching a local families front lawn. Patty (played with charm by Emily Skeggs) find him on the run and takes him home, only to find he is here favourite band lead singer. Rehmeier film has garnered good reviews and seen its lead character Simon taken to the heart of many as the newest anti-hero, hero crush! We were lucky enough to sit down with the leads Skeggs and Gallner, as well as Adam.

Kyle is first on to the Zoom call. This new normal has a lot of good attributes. He is welcoming and a energetic but Zoom’s downsides are quickly clear. Its early there and late where I am. This means one of us is wide awake and the other is just coming to. But Gallner seems more connected than others and I find out soon why. He is an early riser and eager to go. Add to that the work he has as a newish father and well he never stops. I note that timely would not be the attribute you would connect to his character Simon and Kyle laughs.

‘Simon is a renegade but was so much fun to play. He has an attitude and personality that are completely counter to my own. But it was freeing playing him. Although sometimes that could and was difficult to commit to.’

A famous story of him getting onto a bus during the pre-production and not saying his please and thank you’s, made Gallner feel terrible. It would for most people. Gallner comes across as the sort of guy, you would love their company. Easy going, fun, honest but also non-confrontational. He doesn’t want to fight to be heard. More he wants to just be. At this Skeggs appears. She has just been out for a dip in a lake nearby to where she is staying. This makes her look like Patty after a year with Simon, free from her shackles of disturbia. Skeggs nods.

‘I loved playing Patty. She has such a tender side but it’s a lot of baggage from the community she is in that keep her down.’

Skeggs and Gallner are genuine and lovely company. Together their chemistry is palpable. It transfers over from their roles onscreen. I note how they seem to connect so well and respect plays a massive part in this.

‘I loved working with Kyle. We honed our relationships because we had the ability to have a two week rehearsal. He is a great actor and we had a response over that time to the dynamic that helped onscreen.’  Says Skeggs.

‘Probably also helped that we had a great script and in Adam’ Gallner adds.

At this, as if this incantation were a summoning tool, Adam Rehmeier, director of DINNER IN AMERICA comes on. He is larger than life and has a wall covered in post it notes. He also has a habit of writing thoughts constantly on them. I also will note here that Rehmeier has had difficulty in the UK with films he has made. Here, the issue his first film, THE BUNNY GAME, being banned. I don’t mention this, few have. Rehmeier smiles and says his hellos. At this point I want to ask Skeggs about rebellion onscreen for woman in a post Trump world.

‘The story is a Trump and post Trump comment on the state of things. (DINNER IN AMERICA finished filming in 2020)’

‘America, as in the America of DINNER is obviously exaggerated but its true for many. The place is changing and this is for the better ‘ Rehmeier notes.

I wonder about how unique it was for all three to have so much pre production time to make the film and ask if that helped Rehmeier with the editing.

‘Its tough in film making. I love the creative process but its all the actual taking the crew, setting up, logistics stuff I hate. This can be so counter productive to the way we create and how creative we can be.’

Rehmeier reminds me of a few other film makers (including Hitchcock of all people) who seemed to love the creative process but loathe the mechanics of building the film and transferring that to the screen. Now at this point, my research is shown up. The song Patty sings about mid-way through the picture, I note, came from a two-day rehearsal between Gallner and Skeggs. It came from Skeggs and Adam Rehmeier.

‘No we wrote it. LOL. This made the triangle of stars and director stronger.’

Skeggs then adds to this ‘I love working with these guys and want to make every film I do with them!’

Gallner agrees also and adds that he probably would love to revisit Simon, if not just to see what the next trial he gets on, will do to him. After that we have to sign off but before I go, I scream ‘it was a pleasure and thank you so much for a great film!’

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