Interview by Christine Thompson
ALL THESE SMALL MOMENTS is a 2018 American drama film written and directed by Melissa Miller Costanzo. The film stars Molly Ringwald, Brian d’Arcy James, Brendan Meyer, Sam McCarthy, Harley Quinn Smith and Jemima Kirke. The film WAS released on January 18 by Orion Classics. It’s available for streaming on Amazon and Vudu.
In the film, Howie Sheffield is a teenage boy is caught between his parents’ unhappy marriage and the two female friends who entrance him, and he must find his way to adulthood with only himself as a guide. Brendan Meyer plays the lead as Howie, and we spoke to him about his role.
AMFM Magazine: What first drew you to the script?
Brendan Meyer: What first drew me to the script, is it is that Slice of Life quality truthful relatable moments it really did feel like a series of truthful relatable moments. Obviously there are character developments that happened and everybody has a really clear Ark It really did have a feeling of looking in on these Snapchat of these people’s lives During a key turning point for them.
I really enjoyed all the characters. I really enjoyed the Howie roll but I saw that excited me but I saw that excited me about the howie role cuz that’s the one I was auditioning for I thought he had a really great arc with interesting changes and shifts but I saw that and all the characters. The parents have such fantastic moments in seems as well I was really excited about it. .So basically it was how well-written the characters were and how believable it it felt
AMFM: As far as the character of Howie what did you draw from within to bring to the character?
Brendan: I felt that the character of Howie was an old soul in some ways, like the way we worked on the way he dressed, he was a little bit more Grown-up than the average kid . there’s a scene where he and his brother were talking about the movie quills and he was interested in older things, and you can tell that his parents had exposed him to things and instilled in them some things that are not your average team stuff. Howie and Simon
I was homeschooled and so many kids that I knew That were home-schooled to growing up with me had this different sorts of eclectic interests. They didn’t dress the same way and they weren’t interested in the exact same movies and TV shows they had that individuality and I saw that in Howie and Simon. I saw them as being different from the average kid. I thought that was interesting, i thought that was part of the reason why Howie was drawn to the older woman. She’s something different and he’s intrigued by her more than some of the girls at school.( Even thought I never had a specific infatuation with an older woman or anything like that.) I drew from other experiences and the kids individuality and the desire to move away from the pack.
AMFM: Yes, I liked that about Howie’s character too. I also like that when Howie was confronted with the opportunity to do something about it, he came to his senses. Like “whoa, this is weird and kinda creepy.”
Brendan: I thought that was an important thing. It’s like you think you want to grow up really really fast, and you have an idealized view. I think that’s what happened with Howie and Odessa. This happens so many ways in life, where you have an idealized view of something and you want something and think it’s a good thing. Then when you have it there’s a lot more complications and dimensions to it that sometimes make it even better, but a lot of the time you realize “oh! This isn’t what I thought it was.”
AMFM: And your director Melissa, how much leeway did she give you, was any of this ad-ilbbing?
Brendan: I think that she was open to us coming up with ideas but None of it was ad-libbed it was all her words Far as I can remember. I mean there was always an openness and Adeline at the end Of something if you were trying to come up with something funny Are there was always the openness to discuss if you wanted to change something . but there was no real Improv ization . it’s really just that a script was great and I tried my best to follow it
AMFM: Playing with Molly Ringwald and Brian D’Arcy James, such iconic actors, how did that make you feel? Was it intimidating? Did they give you any words of wisdom?
Brendan: The interaction was great and I was aware of both of them before this, seeing so many movies did Molly had done and alsoI had seen some of the TV work that Brian had done.
But I’d seen him on Broadway and something rotten About a year prior so that was really thrilling for me . I was a big fan of both of their so yes it was a little intimidating.But it was exciting and I hope that you could do a good job and. they were both really really great and immediately put me at ease. any kind of intimidation faded really quickly because they were both very cool They were both very genuine, authentically nice people . You don’t forget how much you admire them as actors, but you immediately start engaging with them as a person That’s right in front of you, and they made it very easy to do that. So they were helpful during the process and they made it a lot easier.
AMFM: You just got down to work.
Brendon: Yes, it was a seamless process they’re both very genuine and was easy to be comfortable around them and enjoy acting.
AMFM: How much fun was it working with Simon Sheffield as your brother?
Brendan: It was! He’s such fun guy! Very smart and funny. Such a great actor. As you’ve seem We had a great chemistry.
It was in New York, and I didn’t get to see my brother (who is younger) while I was working that whole time. So it was like having an extra brother. I think we really did have that kind of chemistry and rapport with one another. I loved working with him, he’s so talented. It was great. I hope you could see the brother bond?
AMFM: Yes, I did. I felt it was really, especially when he teased you, that felt like real family dynamics.
AMFM: I know you’re a producer and have written and directed your own short, was there anything that happened on set that you learned and would like to use moving forward? I always try to ask this question because every film set is unique, and is presented with it’s own set of challenges.and sometimes surprises. Is there anything you experienced you can apply to your own work?
Brendan: The thing I learned from Melissa after being on set with her every day, is that she had that same consistent calm command over the set every day. That was inspiring, and I think it comes from her really knowing the script inside out and had a clear idea of what she wanted to do.
As for myself, I’ve written a lot of things and I continue to write. I realized it’s very very important.to not wing it (not that I was ever planning on doing that.) You really do have to know the script inside and out, and it really does take that extra bit of thought,even in the smallest of scenes that may feel like just a bridge between two of the bigger scenes. You really want to know how you wanted it to feel and look. I felt like Melissa did that, and so that’s what I will remember.
AMFM: So to be very thorough in your approach is what you took away.
Brendan: Yes. To have an opinion about the little things. There wasn’t a single scene that was taken for granted in the script. That can be very helpful for an actor, and made it easier on everybody.
AMFM: One more outtake from the film before we wind up the interview?
Brendan: I live nearby where to movie was shot, so I got to walk to work every day in the early morning in winter in Brooklyn…that was nice. I’ll remember that.
Director: Melissa Miller Costanzo
Distributed by: Orion Pictures
Screenplay: Melissa Miller Costanzo
Music composed by: Dan Lipton
Producers: Lauren Avinoam, Katie Leary, Jed Mellick