Annette Bening, Saoirse Ronan, Elisabeth Moss and Brian Dennehy are a just a few of the top actors that Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer was able to assemble for the latest film adaptation of the Anton Chekhov Russian classic The Seagull.
The film is available on DVD and digital from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
“Annette literally made the film happen because it was her signing on that made the project attractive to the other actors,” Mayer said. “Also, I asked Annette to do it, and then Stephen Karam could write with her voice in his head.”
Tony-winning playwright Karam adapted the film from Chekhov’s play about the obsessive nature of love, the tangled relationships between parents and children, and the toll of making art.
“We had an idea to do a contemporary feeling film,” Mayer said.
It was a hectic shooting schedule of just 21 days, so “it was helpful to have so many theater actors in these roles,” he said.
Ronan, recently nominated for an Oscar for her lead performance in Lady Bird, also signed on.
“Saoirse did an early reading of the screenplay, and she was incredible,” Mayer said. “I loved working with her. She brings great truth and bravery to her work.”
Moss, currently starring in the award-winning “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “was fantastic to watch and direct,” he said, while Dennehy “is a living legend and gave so much of himself.”
“The whole company was a joy to work with,” he said. “It was fast and furious and great fun.”
Corey Stoll, Mare Winningham, Jon Tenney, Glenn Fleshler, Michael Zegen and Billy Howle also star.
Another character in the film was the setting, a house on a lake that reflected the play’s Russian roots.
“It’s a house on a lake in upstate New York that is owned and operated by Russian Americans,” Mayer noted. “Our production designer, Jane Musky, who is of Russian descent, spent summers at the house when she was a young girl and remembered it when we went scouting.”
Bonus features include the Tribeca Film Festival cast and crew red carpet and a Q&A with Mayer and Bening.