First time I saw the movie I had no idea that it was loosely based on a true story. I was very fortunate to grow up in a stable home, my parents got divorced and remarried to other people but I knew all my sisters. I never found out that my parents had an affair or anything like that, and the possibility that I might have a sibling walking around somewhere is really out there and heart wrenching.
Director of People Like Us Alex Kurtzman wrote a story inspired by his experience of finding his sister as an adult. He knew his dad had another family before marring his mom, and he wanted to find them as he was considering having kids of his own.
I started thinking about them and wondering who they were and what they were like. This image came to me; and the image was the last image of the movie. I didn’t know who those characters were in the image, but it just struck me very profoundly as the ending.
He did an amazing job on the ending of the movie. I never would have guessed and it seems that movies aren’t very surprising anymore, this one is. He also didn’t pitch the movie. He just wanted someone to look at it and tell them what they thought of it. Apparently DreamWorks saw the potential in it and gave him the go ahead to make the movie.
It’s an amazing story. and he said that developing the characters was a bit of a challenge.
Frankie never changed for me. I heard her voice. I knew who she was, but I could not hear Sam. And it took seven years to hear Sam. I kept plugging different jobs to Sam. And it’s funny ‘cause one of the lessons that the script taught me is that what your character does for a living is — is one of the most important choices you can make as a writer. Are they doing what they love or are they doing what they hate? You know, and, um, I — I kept trying to put all these sort of, you know, Sam first he had inherited his dad’s — so embarrassing to say — his dad’s fish market. And then he was an audio engineer. And then he was a club promoter. And everything was bad. And, um, one day I was sitting with my friend. And, uh, he told me that he was in the barter business before he became a writer. And I said, “What’s the barter business?” And he started talking to me about it. And a light bulb went off, suddenly I understood this is Sam. I mean not only was it sort of the perfect metaphor, but a character who grows up in a house of lies. What would they end up growing up to do? Well they’d grow up to sell lies for a living. That’s what they would know how to do. So I love the idea of what happens when that guy is presented with this really tough moral choice that could either be his redemption or his ultimate downfall.
The relationship between all the characters felt so real, including Frankie’s son. Her son was amazing and believable for an intelligent boy that just needed a little more attention from an adult in his life. So I really feel that Alex Kurtzman is a genius for putting this story together, and capturing family troubles in so many different ways. Go See People Like Us!
PEOPLE LIKE US hits theaters everywhere on June 29th
Thank you Disney/DreamWorks for the travel and accommodations.