Movies

Alan Cumming, Jono McLeod Retell Story of Brandon Lee

Jono McLeod’s new documentary My Old School reunites his former Bearsden Academy classmates to share their recollections of the Glasgow highschool’s most well-known pupil: Brandon Lee, a person in his early 30s who posed as a teen when he re-enrolled at his alma mater in 1993 within the hopes of getting a second probability at making use of to medical college.

McLeod calls My Old School — out in choose theaters at present from Magnolia Pictures — a form of “high school reunion” for him and his college buddies, many of whom share their recollections of Lee back when he was simply one other 16-year-old auditioning for the varsity play.

But not solely is My Old School not your typical highschool reunion — it’s additionally not your typical documentary. While Lee agreed to do an interview, he refused to seem on digicam. So, McLeod needed to get artistic. For highschool reenactments, he included an animated cartoon. He additionally employed Scottish actor Alan Cumming to lip-synch Lee’s audio as if he have been the person himself.

But why Cumming? Well, to answer that question, we’ve to go return to an easier time: the ’90s.

“Back in the 1990s, a certain Alan Cumming was meant to star and direct a movie about this story, and it never happened. We were always a bit kind of befuddled as to why that was the case,” McLeod advised MovieMaker.

When McLeod noticed Never Been Kissed in 1999 starring Drew Barrymore as a journalist who poses as a pupil at her former highschool to be able to analysis up to date teenage tradition, he began to place two and two collectively.

“We were a bit suspicious when Drew Barrymore’s Never Been Kissed appeared a couple of years later, and we were like, is this the Brandon story that Drew’s made away with?” he laughed.

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The irony of McLeod rising as much as change into the documentarian who would inform Lee’s story is just not lost on him.

“Over the years, the fact that it’s never really properly been told for whatever reason made us think that if nobody’s going to do it, we should,” he stated. “Now, I’m the only one of [my classmates] that grew up to be a filmmaker, so it kind of fell to me to helm it, but very much the film was a kind of ensemble piece, and it’s really my high school reunion where I’ve gathered us together.”

Though Cumming — a really completed actor recognized for The Anniversary Party, Golden EyeSon of the Mask, Eyes Wide Shut, The Good Wife — has by no means met Brandon Lee, he seems like a “mythological figure” in his life.

“I’ve never met him. And I sort of see him as this kind of mythical mythological figure now, because every 25 years, he kind of comes into my life quite in a big way,” he stated. “I don’t really want to, actually, but I was excited. I mean, it’s just an interesting thing, getting older, that this sort of cyclical effect — that things come back into your life.”

Then Cumming advised an unbelievable story that doesn’t have loads to do with Brandon Lee, but it surely does put the idea of that “cyclical effect” into context.

“A couple of weeks ago, I was in London and I was outside Buckingham Palace, and [there were] loads people and you couldn’t get down the mall. I thought, What the hell? And I said to a policeman, ‘What’s going on here? I’ve got to get through to the mall.’ And he went, ‘Oh, my God! I know you! What do I know you from? What film?’” Cumming stated. “Normally it would be like, Google me,” he stated. “I went, ‘How previous are you?’ And he went, ’25.’ And I went, ‘Spy Kids!’”

Sure enough, that’s the place the 25-year-old police officer knew Cummings from. And reader, I’m considerably sheepish to confess that I, a 25-year-old reporter, am additionally a fan of Spy Kids.

“People say, ‘You know you feel old when you see policemen are getting younger.’ You know you’re really old when a policemen notices you from a kid’s film you made 20 years ago,” Cummings joked.

In a technique or one other, things come back round. Just like how a tune from Steely Dan’s 1973 album “Countdown to Ecstasy” lent its identify to the title: My Old School.

Having cast the British pop singer Lulu to voice the deputy headmistress, McLeod knew that he wished her to sing a tune for the movie.

“When I knew that we had Lulu, I wanted her to sing a title song, and I went through a whole bunch of songs and when I heard that Steely Dan one, I was like, ‘That’s the song,’” McLeod stated.

My Old School hits choose theaters on July 22 and expands to extra theaters on July 29.

Main Image: Alam Cumming as Brandon Lee in My Old School courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

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