In 1973, teenaged Beth Bledsoe (Sophia Lillis) leaves her rural Southern hometown to study at New York University where her beloved Uncle Frank (Paul Bettany) is a revered literature professor. She soon discovers that Frank is gay, and living with his longtime partner Walid “Wally” Nadeem (Peter Macdissi) — an arrangement that he has kept secret for years. After the sudden death of Frank‘s father — Beth’s grandfather — Frank is forced to reluctantly return home for the funeral with Beth in tow, and to finally face a long-buried trauma that he has spent his entire adult life running away from.
Alan Ball is the writer of this story and director of the film. He studied screenwriting at Florida State University. After writing the Broadway play, Five Women Wearing the Same Dress he was hired as a writer for television sitcoms. During this time he wrote and co-produced the popular fim, American Beauty and continued with Towelhead. Ball is the creator of the successful HBO series Six Feet Under and True Blood.
Uncle Frank is played by the actor, Paul Bettany. He is known for being the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S and his character, Vision in the Marvel universe. Bettany, is an English actor/director that already had a successful career in England prior to being recognized in Hollywood for his participation in A Knight’s Tale. A Beautiful Mind, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World and Margin Call followed shortly after. Next month he will return to his character, Vision in the Disney+ series, Wandavision.
I had the opportunity to speak to Alan Ball and Paul Bettany via Zoom. Ball shared how he knew Bettany was the one to play Uncle Frank and what it was like to see him for the first time in character. Bettany shared which scene was the most challenging and how sometimes it can be hard to be in a character’s moment.
Uncle Frank is available on Prime Video today.
Source: LRM Online Exclusive