Alison Eastwood was in Telluride last week to promote her feature film directorial debut, Rails & Ties, which is now playing the Toronto International Film Festival. The film, about a railroad engineer who learns his wife is dying of cancer, just as he's facing an inquiry for his train hitting the car of a suicidal woman, stars Kevin Bacon and Marcia Gay Harden. Eastwood took time out of watching films at Telluride to sit down with Cinematical to talk about her film.
Cinematical: Let's talk about reaction to your film, how's it going so far?
Alison Eastwood: The first screening was yesterday afternoon, and then the one last night. This one just sold out. Which is great, but it also makes me really nervous.
Cinematical: But it's nice that it's getting that kind of word-of-mouth to draw crowds here.
AE: Oh, yeah. I'm so honored to have had the film accepted at Telluride, we're going to be playing some other fests, so this is a really nice send off. It's such a beautiful place, everyone here seems really into watching films, and they're really into them, it's just all about the films. We couldn't do better.
Cinematical: So let's talk about your film. I know you've acted quite a bit before this, this was your directorial debut. What made you want to take that leap from acting to directing.
AE: Well, in the past, you know, I've had people ask me, don't you want to be a director, be like your dad, that whole following in your father's footsteps thing. And I was already trying to make it as an actor without relying on the name. And it's hard, as an actor, I've worked in some good films with some good people, and I've worked in some crap, and I don't regret anything I did because everything I've done helped me make this film. Everything I've done as an actor, as a kid growing up on movie sets, watching my dad, it's all brought me to where I am right now.
But yeah, it's tough, being the daughter of someone who's so successful, so revered, and to kind of struggle along and find good projects, and also somewhere in there to make a living ... hence the crap (laughs). You have to be able to support yourself, you know. I never really thought, okay, I want to be a director. Obviously it's a great job, and I love the idea of storytelling, but I always thought, I don't know if I'd want to get into that – it's a lot of work!