For his new movie, The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, starring Kerry Bishe and Connie Britton, Edward Burns, who wrote, directed and also stars in the film, had a great source of inspiration: his own friends and family. The Fitzgerald Family Christmas follows a large family whose children, now all grown up, wrestle with the notion of their estranged father returning home for Christmas.

“It isn’t autobiographical,” Burns, 44, told Uinterview exclusively. “It’s the first time that I’ve pulled from any specific moments in my life, which I’ve never done before. Usually I’m drawing from stories that friends have told me or from my community, let’s say The Brothers McMullen or She’s The One, I was pulling from the families I grew up with. And I certainly did a lot of that in this film, because part of the inspiration for telling a story about seven siblings was two of my best friends, one is one of nine and one is one of 12, and I’ve always heard great stories about the dynamics within those massive families.”

One particular moment in the film remains close to Burns’ heart: a scene inspired by his father. “There’s a scene in the film where I take Tom Guiry, my youngest brother, into Manhattan to sort of look at where my father grew up in Hell’s Kitchen,” Burns said. “And that, while I was writing the screenplay, [I] had that exact same conversation with my mother. I thought, 'Wow, that’s a great thing to pull into this screenplay, to get a sense of a family’s history.'”

The Fitzgerald Family Christmas is currently availbe on demand and opens in select theaters this Friday, Dec. 7.

See Uinterview's full video interview with Edward Burns here.

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