Interview with Rustam Branaman
We speak to the man behind 'Fighting Demons' starring Sean Bean, Kate Walsh, Tom Arnold and Eva Longoria
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Directed by Rustam Branaman, it tells the story of ex-boxer Vian (played by Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings star Sean Bean who has just gotten out of prison and is desperate for a fresh start.
He moves in with his sister Bethley (Kate Walsh) and her young son, Jimmy, and finds work at a local pizza parlor owned by Ronald (Tom Arnold) whilst dating the successful Jolene (Eva Longoria - no, you aren’t reading that incorrectly).
But, as soon as everything seems to be going so well an accident jeopardizes his new life and he must decide if he will revert back to the thug he once was or fight for the people he’s grown to love.
We had the opportunity to interview director Rustam Branaman, here’s what happened…
Q: The storyline for ‘Fighting Demons’ feels very real, where did the inspiration for it come from?
Rustam: The story is from many people that I have known, no one exactly but many people over the years, I have known many pro fighters, some famous champs and others that only one a few fights. I have known many people who have fought and been haunted with alcoholism and I have known many people that have had the good fortune of redemption and positive transformation. Therefore the narrative is from life and is one hundred percent real.
Q: You have directed a lot of heartfelt films, including The Rapture, how does the emotion behind this film match up against your previous works?
Rustam: The emotion in this film is very delicate and something to itself. It would be a disservice to compare it to others. Every film has a life to itself and must live or die in that construct.
Q: You wrote the screenplay for this film, how did it feel to have complete control over all elements of the film in that way?
Rustam: The directing process was great! That fact that I wrote the screenplay was fantastic, yet my producers and DP and other key crew members were such a big part of the team. I was very clear in what I wanted, yet I am collaborative and always open to input from others as long as they are very specific.
Q: You have a stellar cast – Sean Bean, Kate Walsh, Tom Arnold, Eva Longoria leading the pack. What was it like working with them?
Rustam: I can’t say enough about how committed the cast was. We were all on the same team, all pulling to give our all and give our best. It was fantastic working with these actors and I believe that level of depth and honesty shows in their work.
Q: As a Director, what was the most challenging aspect of directing this film?
Rustam: The short schedule we had to execute the film and yet that can bring out great innovation as well, but it was a blistering short schedule.
Q: Elsewhere the film has been titled ‘Any Day’, whilst in the UK its “Fighting Demons” – why the name change?
Rustam: This is often times done with films, they will have different names sometimes in different parts of the world. I don’t know that exact reason that would be more a question for the distributer.
Q: What would be your main piece of advice to young people trying to get into directing?
Rustam: Get with your friends and start making films. Take the time to watch all the great directors films.
Fighting Demons is available digitally and on DVD from 6th July.