In an exclusive interview, Rory Culkin told Uinterview that he pulled from emotional experiences he had as a child for his starring role in Lou Howe’s Gabriel.

Gabriel premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday, April 17, and marks Howe’s first feature film as a writer and director. Culkin plays the titular Gabriel, a man recently released from a mental institution, whose struggle with mental illness grows more challenging and obvious as he journeys to find his first love, hoping that it will somehow pull him together.

Culkin revealed to Uinterview that he prepared for the role by speaking directly with people who suffer from mental illness, but also found a way to connect directly to those emotions by taking removing his inhibitions.


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“[We] met with a few people that, you know, [struggle] with mental illness…hearing stories, first hand accounts. And, also, you know, we’re all filtering out certain emotions, so it’s just about removing the filter and, you know, going back to how I felt when I was a little kid,” Culkin said.

Gabriel was shot on a tight schedule, which Howe revealed added urgency to both his writing and directing, especially when it came to the last scene of the film, admitting, “we ended up having to reschedule and shoot that… with very little time to prepare on the day. And it’s this sort of emotional climax of the movie, so that was definitely a challenge.”

Culkin agreed that the rushed last scene was the most challenging to shoot, but also added that it worked in his favor.

“I think I agree with him. It’s the last scene, because, you know, like he said, we had to reschedule. And so it was all very sudden, and now we’re doing the final scene, but I think not being ready added to it. I’m not ready to let go of any of this. I’m not ready to do this. Oh my God. And it sort of helped a lot,” Culkin told Uinterview.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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