VV: Hello again, Jerry, and once more thank you for agreeing to a follow-up interview.
When we last spoke in the summer of 2018 you mentioned that you hadn’t yet met Grace in person. Obviously, that changed a few months later when you visited the set of “Stargirl” when they were filming in New Mexico. Please, share with us your experience meeting Grace and your impressions of her from that first encounter?
JS: I was in the school set hallway. People were starting to grin, couldn’t figure out why. I turned around. She’d been sneaking up behind me. That says something right there. The struck me as “real,” my highest compliment for a person. Which is why I told her (like I’m a director, right?): “Don’t act. Just be. Be Grace.” Off-screen I saw a fun-loving kid with her family and dog Frankie. I saw, in many ways, Stargirl.
VV: How about your first meeting with the film’s “Leo Borlock”, young Canadian actor Graham Verchere, as well as the critically acclaimed and well respected actor, Giancarlo Esposito, who played the kids’ mentor “Archie”?
JS: Giancarlo, regrettably, was not there that day. Had a nice talk with Graham, who looks just like I pictured Leo. I’ve been emailing with his mother. I don’t know who I like more, the two stars or their families.
VV: By this point I’m sure you have seen the movie [NOTE: that this interview took place before the LA premiere in March of 2020]. Please, share with us your thoughts on Julia Hart’s vision of what may very well be your most beloved novel? Did it meet your personal expectations and are there any instances where you thought the movie might have added/modified something, either in the narrative, or character development, that particularly pleased you?
JS: It was last October when Eileen and I screened the film in NYC, so detailed memories are fading. First impression: relief. When the film ended and the lights went on, I was happy I could turn and face the producers and say honestly, “I loved it!” I’d dreaded having to act.
VV: Julia Hart also introduced music as a significant element to the story-telling in the film. Obviously, that would be difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish in prose form, but please share with us your thoughts on the music of “Stargirl”?
JS: I love musicals and sometimes it seemed this film was half-musical–so no problem for me. All Julia was doing was making use of her star’s talents.
VV: Could you tell us what your favourite part(s) of the movie were, and why you liked them so much?”
JS: When Stargirl flops to the ground and talks to Leo under the car–even better than I wrote it.
VV: Grace has been down-playing her acting chops in the movie, saying that she was, to quote her; “bad”. How would you describe how she did for her first acting role?
JS: She did terrific. You’d never think it was her first crack at acting. “Bad”? She’s wrong.
VV: Before you go…I’ve got to try…Can you share with us whether or not plans for an adaptation of “Love, Stargirl” are underway, or that you and Gotham Group are at least having that conversation with Disney?
JS: I pride myself on not being a pest with people like editors, agents and producers. Maybe somebody will say something to me at the premiere.
VV: Thanks again, Jerry, for taking the time to answer a few of our questions, and thank you for the gift you gave the world with “Stargirl”.”
I hope you’re enjoying all of this hype for “Stargirl” as her fans are.
JS: It’s been fun!