Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Uncle Frank's Alan Ball and Paul Bettany on bigotry and backstory

Typically this time of year, most Americans are surrounded by family, sitting down to massive meals and arguing over things that happened 20 years ago. That might not be happening this year with COVID-19, but it doesn’t mean that studios aren’t releasing heaps of family-centric movies this holiday season, just to remind people that discord and love can exist in one space.

One of those movies is Uncle Frank, which is out on Prime Video today. A semi-autobiographical tale from Six Feet Under and True Blood creator Alan Ball, Uncle Frank tells the story of its titular character, played by the lovely Paul Bettany, as he moves in and out of the closet and divides his time between his conservative Southern family and his open and friendly chosen family in New York City.

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In the clip above, The A.V. Club talked to Ball and Bettany about the movie, and about how a personal tragedy in Ball’s young life shook him to the core—and continues to resonate even now, decades later.

We also talked to the film’s Peter Macdissi and Sophia Lillis, who play Frank’s partner and favorite niece, respectively, and that video is below. With them, we talked empathy, love, and the willingness to accept your family for who they are—or at least trying be open to their true selves.

Marah Eakin is the Executive Producer of all A.V. Club Video And Podcasts. She is also a Cleveland native and heiress to the country's largest collection of antique and unique bedpans and urinals.

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