CINCINNATI — Emilio Estevez says he likes Cincinnati so much he wants to make all his movies here. And maybe a TV series, too.
Before Estevez held the world premiere of his Cincinnati-based movie, “The Public,” at the Taft Theatre Friday, the Hollywood director, star and producer made sure to thank the Queen City in a one-on-one interview with WCPO Anchor Tanya O’Rourke last week.
"It made me proud of the city. It made me want to make all of my films here," he said.
“The Public,” which also opened nationwide Friday, was shot entirely in Cincinnati -- mostly at the downtown public library – in 2016.
Estevez plays Cincinnati librarian Stuart Goodson in the movie, which tells the story of a group of homeless people who take shelter in the library during a brutal winter cold snap.
Since homelessness, living on the streets and the availability of shelters are hot topics here, you be might surprised to learn that Estevez wrote the script 12 years ago.
Actors Christian Slater, Alec Baldwin, Jeffrey Wright, Jena Malone, Michael Keith Williams, Che "Rhymefest" Smith," Taylor Schilling and Gabrielle Union also star in the film, along with some of Cincinnati’s homeless.
"The feedback has been phenomenal. This is a movie that celebrates misfits and outcasts - the marginalized and the poor, and seeing themselves on screen they are empowered by that," Estevez said.
The star of “The Breakfast Club” and “The Mighty Ducks” took up residency in Cincinnati to make “The Public.”
“I was blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by an extraordinary cast,” he said. “Alec and Jenna and Taylor Schilling and Jeffrey Wright and Michael K. and Christian ... these are people who are very busy. All the time. And they took time out of their schedules to come and play in our sandbox here in Cincinnati, and I think every one of them really fell in love with the city."
Our city also stars in the movie, which is why Estevez and Film Cincinnati made sure the premiere was here.
"I thought that if the movie didn’t have a premiere anywhere else on the planet, it had to have a showing here and we had to do a big screening for the city because it really took the entire city to get this film made,” Estevez said.
"I owe a debt of gratitude to everyone involved."
Besides, he said, he thought he “might be run out of town by an angry mob” if he didn’t.
“I was nervous about that,” he said.
“I stood at the back of the theater at the screening last [week] and was very nervous and sweating. And they were laughing and they were into it.”
Estevez is an authentic, down-to-earth guy and it shines through in a movie that has to tackle the issues of homelessness with heart and humor.
"This is the movie that I'm most proud of - of anything on my resume," Estevez said.
Estevez said “The Public' might give way to a TV series - shot in Cincinnati, of course.
He's already got the first episode written and says the project is very much on the front burner with a few networks very interested.
Estevez will host public screenings of “The Public” with Q&A sessions this weekend. Here’s the schedule, with Q&As following the screenings:
- Saturday: AMC Newport on the Levee, 7:15 p.m.
- Sunday: AMC Easton Towne Center in Columbus, 3:30 p.m.
- Sunday: The Neon in Dayton, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets to the screenings and Q&A sessions are limited and can be purchased at ThePublicFilm.com.