Throughout his career, Christopher Guest's characters have felt a strong obligation to carry forth their own family lineage. For example, in Waiting for Guffman when the town dentist, Dr. Allan Pearl (played be Eugene Levy), recalls how he may have gotten the acting bug from his grandfather, who was 'very big in the Yiddish theater.' In his latest project, HBO's Family Tree, director Christopher Guest take the idea of tracing one's ancestry even more literally. The story centers on 30-year-old Tom Chadwick (Chris O'Dowd) who, after losing his job and his girlfriend, begins exploring his family heritage after inheriting a mysterious box from a great aunt he never met. This week, Guest talks about the particular combination of specificity and subconscious in his work, plus, the personal discovery about his own family, which inspired the project.
Banner image: Larry Hirshowitz