Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tate Ellington Honored in his Hometown

Slight Spoilers
The Madison, Mississippi Chamber of Commerce honored hometown actor Tate Ellington with a screening of Remember Me, followed by a Q and A and photo session with Tate. One of our readers, MsMaroon, attended the event and she related her story to me.

At the theater, the crowd consisted of family, friends of Tate who still lived in Madison, former teachers and people who had heard Tate talk about the film on some local radio interviews that he had done. The $20 cost bought a ticket for the film, a soda, popcorn and an opportunity to get your picture taken with Tate.

Applause rang out when Tate first appeared on screen, when he was walking with Rob trying to sell him on the S.L.U.T. Later on, at that moment, the crowd gasped and then was silent through the end.

While the credits were rolling, Kasey, the event organizer, introduced Tate to the audience. From here out, MsMaroon relates her experience at the Q and A and the signing.

He started out by giving a big thank you to the committee that held the event and to people for showing up. He said he didn't deserve it, but he was happy and overwhelmed anyway. Some of the questions ranged from, "what is like to shoot a movie," to, "how did you get your start in acting," to, "when did you decide you wanted to be an actor." He likes the difference of shooting a movie to being on stage. He had previously been in a Broadway play, "The Philanthropist" staring Matthew Broderick, and Steven Weber, and he told of one day he had accidentally pointed the gun to him self instead of at Matthew, and that in movies they, of course, would fix that and, he joked, that you wouldn't look like an idiot if you messed up something; so he liked that aspect of it.

Other questions, including mine, ranged on the topic of 9/11 and its part in the movie. He said, that overall, it sort of loomed over everything, but that the producers, director, and actors had all gotten together and had a talk of how 9/11 had just stared out as a normal for New Yorkers and all Americans. There was no lead up to it to let us the nation really know that it was coming, and so until it gets closer to time in the movie for it to take place that they didn't really want there be a lead up to it. That Tyler, Ally, Aidan, Caroline, and the others were just normal people dealing with normal everyday issues. I asked if, since a lot of some of the main actors were all foreign if they had talked about what if felt like to deal with 9/11 and it's aftermath as an American. He said that they had touched on the subject, but that you didn't really have to because it was felt all around. That a lot of the behind the scenes crew were native New Yorkers and would share their stories about the day if asked, but that the producers and Allen didn't really want so much of the movie to be focused on that one part because this wasn't a movie about 9/11. That this was a movie about Tyler, Alley, Caroline, Aidan, and the people around them. He also talked about how he wished he could live in the apartment that Tyler and Aidan lived in.

He's now living in a basement apartment in New York, and he joked about how he would ask if he could bunk in Aidan's bunk for the night, and they would tell him no.

He talked about how, the producers and director really went to bat for him about him keeping the part. They had talked about how Aidan really was a bit of jerk, but a jerk that you had to like as well. He was really the only guy that they had liked that had read for Aidan, that they hated everybody else, and because of that kept on to him throughout the casting process. So, he felt that they went out on limb for him, and felt very grateful for that.

He answered that he memorized his lines to have an overall feel of where the character was going, but that some stuff was ad-libbed as well. He talked of how the coffee scene was pretty much word for word, but slight ad-libbing was done, but not much.

He mentioned what he was up to now, which is painting, and script writing as of recently. He wants to tell a story about Mississippi, and paint it in an authentic light since movies rarely gets it right. (We, all Mississippians, tend to agree with this because it's true, unfortunately.)

He was asked about future acting projects, but he couldn't really comment on it, but that there have been people in touch with him for parts now that they've seen him in Remember Me.

Throughout the whole thing, he was lively and joking. He'd make us laugh, and provided some insight as to what being an actor was like. He showed us who Tate was, and that he didn't really take himself too seriously and have an elitist attitude about his job. He'd ramble, and then laugh and joke about it. If you asked a question, he'd direct the answer back at you; and he took time to really give you as detailed of an answer to your question that he could, which showed he listened to it in the first place.

Afterward, he took more pictures and talked to more people. I, as well, got to talk to him again, and it's very easy to tell that he's just a normal, easy going, unassuming guy. He more than likely probably thinks, "I'm just a guy from a small town in Mississippi, and I can't believe people actually wanted to see me in a movie."

He's humble, but it was easy to tell that he felt very honored to have been in the movie, and to have the screening for him done as well. I have a feeling that all of the people (crew, producers, director, and actors), involved in the movie feel as honored as he does as to have had a part in Remember Me as well, after having met him gotten a peek into what the process of making it was like.

What a wonderful expereince for everybody who got a chance to attend that event! And we here will alwayas be big fans of Tate's and will look forward to finding out what he is up to in the future!

Photo Source:
Zip39 Madison County Chamber of Commerce


Anonymous said...

People like Tate Ellington, Sela Ward, and Morgan Freeman, to name a few, make Mississipians proud, I'm sure. A lot of fine talent has come out of that state: authors, musicians, artists, actors, etc.

Sophie said...

Great post, thank you! I really enjoyed Tate's performance in RM, he was so into his character and provided a great comic relief. Poor Tate has been a bit overshadowed by the other actors in all the press conferences so it's good to hear a bit about him. I hope we'll see him in other projects in the future.

Katie said...

I just wanted to say that I think Tate Ellington did a great job in Remember Me! I was shocked to hear it was his first role in a movie. He was pretty impressive for it being his first role. I can't wait to see more of him in the future!!! He played the annoying(yet hilarious!) friend VERY well, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

It's actually his second role in a movie. His first was in "The Elephant King". It was shot on location in Thailand, and was released as a small indy film here in the states. It did really well on the festival circuit.


Post a Comment