Courteney Cox will premiere her feature directorial debut Just Before I Go at the Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday, April 24.

Cox, a successful TV actress who starred in Friends as Monica Geller and currently stars as Jules in Cougar Town, has a bit of experience behind the camera. Cox, who also acts as executive producer for Cougar Town, has directed one short film, one made-for-TV movie and ten episodes of Cougar Town.

Cox told EW that her biggest asset on set as a director was her experience as an actress.

“Well, I know how I like being spoken to. Empathy is a huge thing for me. And just understanding where people are and giving space and guidance but knowing how to finesse that. So I’m pretty much a cheerleader in life for people,” Cox revealed.

Cox added that her emotional connection to the script and the craft of filmmaking help her listen to her actors when directing. She also said that, as a director, she focuses on setting the right mood on set to fit whatever scene she is filming.

“But mostly, I love directing and I love acting, so I have a lot of compassion for what the actors are doing and their process. You know, if it’s a funny scene, I like to cut up and be silly and bring out the best in my cast. If it’s a dramatic scene, I give people space and remind them of things they can draw from that they didn’t necessarily think of on their own,” she added.

Cox assembled a well-rounded cast in Just Before I Go, starting with Seann William Scott, who plays Ted Morgan, the main character. After Ted decides he is going to commit suicide, he returns home to confront all those that have ever wronged him, including an old bully, played by Rob Riggle.

The cast also includes Olivia Thirlby, Kate Walsh, Garret Dillahunt, Missi Pyle and Evan Ross.

While Cox speaks highly about the entire group, she admits it was difficult to find her perfect leading man.

“So I lucked out with the cast, but finding the lead character was really tough. You know, Seann is such a handsome guy, but he’s kind of known for his characters. But he came and met me and he said, ‘I really connect with this, I feel so much more like this character than I did from what I did in American Pie.’ He’s very genuine, and I thought, ‘This is it.’ I don’t think anyone has seen Seann William Scott like this,” Cox revealed.

Just Before I Go premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday, April 24, and will have one encore screening Friday, April 25.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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