Many amazing films will soon arrive in cinemas over the next six months and one that has already been talked about as one of the best of 2017 is Patti
Fresh from its Sundance success earlier in the year, Fox Searchlight purchased the film for a cool $9.5million and after months of waiting, the film is about to arrive on UK shores. And to celebrate the release, we sat down with writer/director Geremy Jasper and one of his stars, Bridget Everett, to chat about the film and a new true underdog story.
The reviews for the film have been stellar thus far for the film, which is a dramedy about a wannabe rapper named Patti (Danielle McDonald) who is struggling with her mother Barb (Everett) and Grandma (Cathy Moriarty) in downtown New Jersey. Director Jasper says he is still shocked by the reviews and reactions so far, given that he is used to the more negative side of such things, saying:
“Of course. You’re definitely not gunning for that but I think I’ve spent so many years getting negative reactions out of what I’ve made that actually getting something positive I still don’t know how to process it, it all seems fresh and new. In October it will be five years (since the project began).”
The film is beautifully played by all and has some brilliant music but it’s the “underdog” story, so universally loved by many a cinemagoer, that will have people excited to see Patti’s journey from waitress to rising rap star. Everett admits that the film appealed to her because these kind of stories are her favourite type of films, saying:
“I think a lot of people are trapped in circumstances sometimes and it’s just exciting to see somebody you wish was you, like floating outside of the jail that they are in or whatever they are in. Those are my favourite kinds of movies – Rudy, Rocky, The Rookie and of that stuff is right up my alley!”
Jasper continues that he wasn’t intentionally creating an underdog story, saying that it was the characters and their journey that steered the script in that way:
“It’s weird as I’m not super into the genre which is strange but for me it’s about the characters and I guess someone like Patti you never really see at the centre of a film – someone like her would be the best friend character so putting her at the centre of a film kind of on this hero’s journey she’s just a natural underdog.”
One of the biggest successes of the film is the star-making lead turn from Danielle McDonald as the titular Patti. Plucked out by one of the film’s producers, Jasper says he fell for her immediately and was exactly what he wanted for the role, despite the fact that McDonald wasn’t a rapper and was an Australian, not a native New Jersey girl. Unfazed, Jasper knew she would pull it off, saying:
“People think it’s documentary! We got into Sundance Director’s Lab which is where they choose eight project a year and you go and live on this mountain in Utah for a month and Robert Redford is driving around on his motorcycle… I was just trying to find the actress for Patti and I didn’t want to use a rapper or musician and looked for a while and couldn’t find anybody but then one of my producer’s remembered Danielle from The East, showed me a picture and it was love at first sight, she looked exactly like Patti that was living in my brain.”
Patti Cakes opens in UK cinemas on September 1st.