Director and co-writer Justin Lerner and star Joseph Cross sit down with Metro to discuss their SXSW premiere, "The Automatic Hate," a complicated and well-crafted drama about a young man (Cross) discovering an estranged uncle and cousins that had been kept hidden from him — and an intense connection to one of those cousins (Adelaide Clemens).
So, about the title…
JUSTIN LERNER: Ricky Jay asked me, and I told him, "At the wrap if you do a really cool magic trick I'll explain the title." And he did, so I explained the title.
JOSEPH CROSS: I still don't know what the title means, to be totally honest.
JL: That's why we cast Ricky, we needed some on-set entertainment. We were in the middle of Upstate New York with no WiFi or cell service, we needed some entertainment.
Ricky Jay versus Richard Schiff is a really high-brow fight.
JL: I love fights between old, neurotic New York Jews. I just think that's the best. They were very good sports about it, but did you know Ricky actually is trained in photography fighting? He's been an adviser and technical consultant on a lot of fight movies, and he actually was, I think, a black belt in karate. He's not, like, doing somersaults for us but he knows how to make it look pretty. And it had to look sloppy and bad and ugly.
JC: Our stunt guy ended up with a nice big knot on his forehead by the end of it.