<Swati Sharan>


The film is a funeral comedy about a grieving widow (Jane Fonda) who has asked her four children to come home for a 7-day Jewish ritual of mourning for their father.  What follows are hilarious and dysfunctional dynamics between Judd (Jason Bateman) the cheated-on husband, Wendy the blabbermouth sister (Tina Fey), Philip the womanizer (Adam Driver) and Paul (Corey Stoll), the too serious older brother.


Watch the video of the press conference and our questions to the panel (17:00 and 37:20):

 Click here for the YouTube video


Or read what they said here:

My question for Jason: Last year we saw you in Bad Words. You were playing somewhat of a father figure to an Indian kid. In this film here this year, you are in a very unusual family, I would say. So I am wondering how are you able to transition from such diverse characters? 

And Jane, my question for you is that you are a yoga expert. And I was curious to ask you how has yoga enhanced your inner awareness as an actress?

Jason Bateman: (Looking towards Jane and laughing) I like your question better.  Transitioning from Bad Words to this is pretty simple just because oftentimes the script kind of does all the work for you. All we have to do as actors is kind of remember the stuff that’s written, hit our marks and try not to shadow the other actor, get in the way of light. That’s about it. It’s not difficult stuff. Yoga is tough. (Looks towards Jane).

Jane Fonda: I think if you feel good then you can act better. And yoga makes you feel good. That’s about it.

(Below is how the actor Dax Sheppard made me an instrument for comedy in the conference when no one was asking questions for some gap of time. There were many periods in the conference when people would become so quiet. He made a mockery of asking himself questions and answering them in the conference and this was one example. Below is a reference to my kurti with lucknowi chikan work).

Dax Sheppard: Gal with the yoga question, exciting garments. Very vibrant and pulling focus a little bit. I think a lot of us miss some of the finer details of this panel because it’s so exciting. Where did you get this thing? I’m feeling like I am rolling back the years looking at it. It’s like my first mushroom trip in college. Is that something you made in the home? Do you have dye? Is it a silk hybrid? Is it rayon? Is it flammable? I am very concerned about the flammability of it. I guess that’s it. I answered my own question. That thing is going to go up like a roman candle.

(Towards the end of the conference I was cheered on by the moderator and the actors on the panel including Dax to show off my stuff because questions were hardly being asked).

Jane Fonda and Shawn Levi

Do you have any future plans of any other types of work?

Jane: (Confirming) Will I continue a career in the business? Ya, or any future plans of what you would like to do in the future like movies… I am in the middle of episode 4 of a series for Netflix called Raising Frankie with Lily Tomlin. And I hope it’s going to be funny. Like this movie, it also has some poignant parts to it. Paula (Weinstein) is also a producer. So y’know, hopefully that will help me get other jobs. I don’t know.

What about your non-profit life?

Jane: Oh ya, a lot of that. I’m not going to talk about it anymore. It’ll make me cry.

(It’s worth noting that Jane Fonda has been working with many non-profits to help adolescence for over 30 years. She has done remarkable amounts of work in this area and has written a book on the same).


For more TIFF 2014 coverage click here

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