A Conversation with Producer Mickey Liddell Jan18

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A Conversation with Producer Mickey Liddell

In the uplifting romance movie, Forever My Girl (based on the novel by NY Times bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin), a music superstar reunites with his first love and realizes the steep price he has paid for his success.

Liam Page (Alex Roe) and his high-school sweetheart Josie Preston (Jessica Rothe) were the golden couple of Saint Augustine, Louisiana, until Liam left her at the altar for a shot at fame and fortune. Eight years later, Liam returns to his tiny hometown for the first time as a world-famous recording artist, but not even his own father is thrilled to see him. As he tries to rebuild the bridges he burned years earlier, Liam reconnects with his small-town roots, his close-knit community and Josie, the girl he left behind.

BuddyHollywood.com’s Mike Parker recently had the chance to chat with producer Mickey Liddell about love, betrayal and redemption – Hollywood style.

Mike Parker: What first attracted you to this project?

Mickey Liddell: I think the lightness and the redemption of the story. We had just come off of making a lot of very difficult, very hard movies; beautiful, but tragic stories with incredible redemption messages like The Zookeeper’s Wife, and Anthropoid, and Risen. We wanted to tell those kind of redemptive stories, but do that in a much lighter vein.

Parker: There are some powerful messages regarding unconditional forgiveness in the film, but let’s face it, the main character, Liam, doesn’t seem like he really deserves to be forgiven. In an age where holding a grudge seems to be socially acceptable, how do you think that message will play out?

Liddell: I think the film’s message of forgiveness couldn’t be more timely. There is so much going on in the world that needs forgiveness. Yes, a lot of people have done, and continue to do bad things. We are waking up to that. The next step really is redemption and forgiveness. That’s the world we are entering into now.

Parker: In a world where CGI and 3D is king, Is America ready for a good old-fashioned love story on the big screen?

Liddell: I think so. Yes! But honestly, I don’t think I know of a time when there weren’t great incredible love stories on the big screen. At the core of every great movie is a love story. I think love stories have so much to do with chemistry between the characters, and there is so much great chemistry between the Liam and Josie. This one is about a disjointed family that had to come back together.

Parker: You made some pretty strong, and some might say unorthodox casting decisions.

Liddell: Finding the right actors for all three of the main characters was essential for making the film. We simply couldn’t have made the film without that. Alex Roe, who plays Liam, was one of the last actors we saw, and at least on paper he seemed an unlikely choice. Not only is he not Southern, he’s not even American. Alex hails from the UK, and he had never sung in public before. Jessica was a strong candidate from the beginning, but her schedule was so packed, we were afraid we might lose her. The last critical role of that triangle was the child, Billie. We auditioned tons of girls, but we really thought Abby Ryder Fortson was the one. She was just so busy, we had to wait until she was able to read for us. It was clear from the beginning that she was the one. She really is amazing.

Parker: Last words?

Liddell: I just want people to see the film. It’s got great country music, it’s well acted and smart, it is redemptive. But I want people to go see it because it’s just a really great movie, and I think they will enjoy themselves.