'Flora and Son’ director John Carney talks about working with Eve Hewson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Director John Carney's new film, “Flora and Son,” starring Eve Hewson, Bono’s daughter, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is about a single mother who tries to heal her relationship with her son through music after she rescues a guitar from a dumpster.

Video transcript

JOHN CARNEY: I had started it and was thinking about it, and then the pandemic happened. And that actually sort of weirdly gave me permission to finish it because I had set these two people up meeting online. And then when the pandemic came, I was like, oh, now we're all zooming.

The very thing that was holding me back from finishing [INAUDIBLE] is giving me permission because suddenly everybody knows what that feels like.

- I might learn the guitar myself.

- That's just too funny. Takes years of practice, commitment.

- Are you really going to talk to me about commitment?

JOHN CARNEY: I think Eve, she told me from the word go, you know, I don't really play the guitar. I don't sing like my dad, and is that OK? And I was like, it's perfect. It's great. And she managed to sing the songs in a way that of course people are going to be watching it, going oh, that's Bono's daughter. Let's see.

But she distracted you from it. She was like, don't look at that. Look. Look over here. Look at me acting. And I think that's brilliant, the way she does that. You never go, oh, she's not really singing really very well. This is not-- you go, this is great.

I think what more drew me to Joe in the end was he's at a similar place in his life to me. He's a father. I'm a father. He has young kids. I have young kids. We know what it feels like to use music every day in different ways, to have a guitar, to have a drum, to have music as a beautiful partner in your life.

And that's really what he brought. And there's not a lot of people that have that. A lot of people are-- they're either musicians full-on, or they gave it up and they don't do it. But people who have integrated music into their lives so that they play every day, but it's more like for therapy, are rare. And he was one of them, and I felt like I can really make this movie with Joe. And he brought so much to it then.