Interview with Morgan Neville & Producers – Deadline

Filmmaker Morgan Neville borrows lyrics from a song by Kris Kristofferson to describe the late chef, author and TV personality Anthony Bourdain: “Part truth, part fiction, a walking contradiction.”

Neville explores those contradictions in his Focus functions documentary Roadrunner: a film about Anthony Bourdain, this year’s biggest non-fiction hit at the box office.

“He was someone who was slightly different in every situation,” Neville noted during a panel discussion on Deadline’s Contenders Film: Documentary awards season event. “He was … a protean figure who had all these different facades in front of him and was always changing.”

Rather than try to resolve those contradictions — the charismatic writer who was paradoxically shy, the “cool” guy with his nerdy side — Neville instead let it go (by borrowing the words from another song).

“I felt like we didn’t have to tame the truth more or less,” Neville said, “and we could just lean into that ambiguity because that really hurt him.”

Bourdain shockedly committed suicide in 2018, at the age of 61.

“Our goal, which was a challenge, was to make a movie that was about his life and his legacy and not necessarily about his death, because I think that’s where everyone’s thoughts and questions immediately go when you hear Anthony Bourdain says,” said producer. Caitrin Rogers. “We wanted to shift the focus of the film to the things that made it great… We wanted to find out why it had such a huge fan base and what it was about him that made people fans.”

Come back Tuesday for the panel video.

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