"Stage dad" Jon Voight pimps his actor child (and it's not Angelina Jolie) inDeep in the Heart premier
Deep in the heart of Central Texas the world premiere of "Deep in the Heart" brought the lead actor, screenwriter, executive producer and "stage dad" to Austin this week.
The movie is based on the true story of Richard Wallrath, a man from Texas whose personal demons dragged him to rock bottom. He loses his family and job, but later gets a second chance at life, and therein lies the message.
Veteran actor Jon Voight is not in the film, but as a "stage dad" was in Austin to support and promote "Deep in the Heart" because his son, James Haven, has a part in the movie. Haven plays the boyfriend of Wallrath's daughter.
On Thursday, the group that included Jay Hoffman, executive producer, his son, Brian Hoffman, who wrote the screenplay, and Jon Gries, who plays Wallwrath, visited the KXAN studios and did a bit of behind-the-scenes clowning, while extolling the movie and actors.
"It's a terrific movie," Voight said in an informal interview before appearing on-air. "It's a wonderful movie. I defy anybody to see this movie and not be deeply moved by it."
Jay Hoffman agreed with Voight about the high quality of acting from all the performers in the film, as Voight continued heaping praises.
"I have to say that John Gries — I'm a bit fan of John's — this is a major piece of work," Voight added. "It's a really great piece of work."
"For him to say that about me... to hear validation like that..." Gries said, humble in his reaction.
The project has been in the works for about three years, according to writer Brian Hoffman. "We shot it last January and February here in Austin, in the freezing cold!"
Voight and the group joked about that challenge — filming in Austin during a time of low temperatures that broke records — because in some the scenes portraying summer, breath could be seen coming out of the actors' mouths due to the cold.
The film premiered at the Paramount Theater on Feb. 15th.
"It was quite a nice event. We had a very nice time," Brian Hoffman said.
Gov. Rick Perry was also there, Voight said. "Gov. Perry was very impressive last night. He was warm, he was with friends, and he embraced the movie in such a very nice way for everybody."
As for his son's performance, Voight smiled and said, "James is wonderful in this movie. Everyone else is great in the movie, but there's a dashing fellow in the center of it, and that's my son."
"He nailed it," Brian Hoffman said.
The film opens Feb. 17th in more than 60 screens in Texas. It also stars Val Kilmer, DB Sweeney, Rheagan Wallace and Elaine Hendrix.
As for other projects, Gries is currently filming the role of Uncle Rico in the animated version of "Napolean Dynamite," while Voight said he is filming a pilot for a series called "Ray Donovan" which may end up on Showtime.