Director Todd Haynes and Charles Melton Talk ‘May December’ Inspirations

Charles Melton stars as Joe in Todd Haynes’ May December. The movie is currently playing in select theaters and will begin streaming on Netflix December 1.

After their relationship ignited a tabloid saga two decades ago, Gracie (Julianne Moore) and Joe (Charles Melton) now lead a seemingly perfect suburban life. Their domestic bliss is disrupted when Elizabeth (Natalie Portman), a famous television actress, arrives in their tight-knit community to research her upcoming role as Gracie. As Elizabeth ingratiates herself into the everyday lives of Gracie and Joe, the uncomfortable facts of their scandal unfurl, causing long-dormant emotions to resurface. In May December, director Todd Haynes explores one of the great talents of the human species: our colossal refusal to look at ourselves.

Cr. François Duhamel / Courtesy of Netflix

“We spent 23 days filming in Savannah, Georgia and it was the greatest experience in my career,” Melton shared, reflecting on what he wants to stand out about his performance. “The story Todd’s telling is we’re watching these characters process in real-time and we’re processing for ourselves, so I just encourage whoever sees this film to really be fearless in asking themselves their own questions because it’s definitely this exciting journey where it’ll bring up a lot for the viewer.”

Haynes then told me about why directing May December was so rewarding for him: “I think it was just partly we did it, as Charles said, under a very short schedule with a lot of energy and it sort of took bringing everybody together and sharing the sort of visual ideas I had for how to shoot the movie, what the tone of the movie might be. It was just sort of like cards on the table, everybody has to take a part in it and have all their feet on the ground to pull it off, you know? I think in that energy, so many incredible relationships were formed and so much amazing work was allowed to blossom and sort of had to fit into our tight schedule. But sometimes those constraints can energize and create inspiration and create an adrenaline that really helps you achieve your goal. So the making of the film was really just an incredibly special collaborative experience.”

Cr. Francois Duhamel / Courtesy of Netflix

We discussed where they each found inspiration for the story, why working on the film was such an amazing experience, and more.

Watch my interview below:

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