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Photos, Audio: Red Carpet for ‘What They Had’ at 54th Chicago International Film Festival

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CHICAGO – He’s a legendary character actor that began his career in 1967. She’s a first time director interpreting her own script, which that legend called “the best he’s ever been in.” Robert Forster portrays Burt in writer/director Elizabeth Chomko’s “What They Had,” also featuring Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner and Taissa Farmiga. Forster and Chomko walked the Red Carpet representing the film at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival on Monday, October 15th, 2018.

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Robert Forster of ‘What They Had’ at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival
Photo credit: Joe Arce for Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

“What They Had” features an elder Chicago couple, portrayed by Blythe Danner and Robert Forster, who are being pressured by their children (Michael Shannon and Hilary Swank) to provide dementia care for Danner’s character, who is mentally slipping away. Taut and emotional, it features fine performances from all the principal players, including Forster as a man of his generation who isn’t used to ultimately not taking care of his castle and family.

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Director Elizabeth Chomko of ‘What They Had’ at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival
Photo credit: Joe Arce for Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Robert Forster is an iconic character actor, who has worked steadily since first appearing in the film “Reflections in a Golden Eye” in 1967. His most famous film roles include “Medium Cool” (1968, also filmed in Chicago), “The Black Hole” (1979), “Jackie Brown” (1997), “Mulholland Drive” (2001), “The Descendants” (2011) and a memorable cameo in this year’s anti-Western “Damsel”… besides hundreds of TV roles, including the recent Showtime revival of “Twin Peaks.” The writer/director of “What They Had,” Elizabeth Chomko, had primarily worked as an actor in television, and makes her filmmaker debut.

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Dynamic Duo: Chomko and Forster at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival
Photo credit: Joe Arce for Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Photographer Joe Arce and Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com were at the “What They Had” Red Carpet at the AMC River East 21 Theatre in Chicago.

In the following Red Carpet talk, Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com talked to Robert Forster about inspirations for his character of Burt, and in a separate interview the next day, Elizabeth Chomko talked about the origin for her film’s story.


Closing Night of the 54th Chicago International Film Festival presents “The Front Runner” on October 21st, 2018 (6pm) at the AMC River East 21, 322 East Illinois Street, Chicago.Click here for a Festival overview, and how you can join Cinema/Chicago, the organization that presents the Festival and other year-round cinema events.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Editor and Film Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2018 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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