“It’s the longest relationship I’ve ever had.”
That’s what director Allen Coulter says of his hometown, New York City, which plays a big part in his latest film, the romantic drama Remember Me.
“I was interested in doing something about New York from the New Yorker standpoint. Representing the world of New York City and the locations and so on in a way I think is accurate as to how we see it, for those of us who live here,” he says of what attracted him to the project.
Starring Twilight‘s Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin from Lost, Remember Me tells the story of Tyler (Pattinson) and Ally (de Ravin) — two young lovers who are both struggling from personal losses (Tyler’s brother committed suicide and Ally’s mother was murdered in front of her during a botched robbery). It’s heavy subject matter that Coulter, who previously directed episodes of TV shows The Sopranos, Sex and the City, and Rome, as well as the feature film Hollywoodland, didn’t have a lot of experience with.
“[I] figured it would be different than killing a mobster in the wetlands of New Jersey,” Coulter jokes.
One of the best performances in the film comes from Pierce Brosnan, who plays Tyler’s father Charles. He’s mean and tough, and when paired with Pattinson the two come across as a real father and son suffering a dysfunctional relationship.
“I was thinking like [Alfred] Hitchcock. I didn’t have a lot of time to explain who this guy was and I needed someone who could suggest, in one glimpse, he could be powerful in the world of finance. Pierce could do that without blinking,” he says.
Coulter also considers Chris Cooper, who plays Ally’s father Neil (an NYPD sergeant), to be one of the “great American actors.”
Whether he prefers working on movies over television shows, he sees benefits in both.
“On the one hand you have the pain and struggle on a movie but it also gives you the opportunity to fight ’til the [end] over the artistic decisions you’ve made. In television you don’t have to suffer that way but you suffer in another way in that you’re not there to defend your decisions and you leave and the writer, producer or creator has the final word,” he says.
Now that Remember Me is available on DVD and Blu-ray, Coulter says he hopes people are “moved by it and accept the premise.”
“If anything I hope that people go, ‘Yeah, that’s what it was like to be in love at 21,'” he says.
Find out more about Remember Me at rememberme-movie.com.
Top image: Allen Coulter on the set of Remember Me with Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin. Courtesy E1 Entertainment.