Filmmaker Eric Heisserer talks ‘Hours’

Writer/director Eric Heisserer recently spoke with “Breakthrough Entertainment” about his new drama “Hours.”

In “Hours,” which opens Friday, Dec. 13, Paul Walker plays a man who arrives at a New Orleans hospital with his pregnant wife (Genesis Rodriguez), who has gone into early labor, when the birth goes tragically wrong and Hurricane Katrina ravages the city, forcing an evacuation.

Listen to “Breakthrough Entertainment’s” full interview with Heisserer by clicking HERE. The following is an excerpt from the interview in which the writer/director discusses the performance of “Hours” star Paul Walker, who was killed in a Nov. 30 car crash.

I am angry because [Paul Walker] worked so hard at this performance and he was eager for the world to see it. He had already had several studios here in LA take a look at the movie privately in a screening and he was starting to get offers for roles that he thought that he would never get and movies that he had been wanting to do for several years. As I told him at the press junket a week before his death, I really just warmed him up for bigger and better things and this movie was to be a springboard for sort of a turning point in his career. And it just makes me angry that he is not around to benefit from all of that hard work.

He approached this role by thinking more about how he would behave in certain situations. It was sort of a peeling back and exposing a raw and emotionally vulnerable version of Paul Walker. Whereas some actors approach [their performances] as chameleons where they put something on, his was sort of a stripping down – metaphorically speaking. I tried to help him narrow the gap between the character of Nolan and who Paul was in real life because the more that we shortened that distance the more authentic his performance became.

He would come to me now and then and ask about his character’s father. That would lead us to discussions about Paul’s relationship with his own father and that informed some of the content in the movie itself. There is a moment when he is there alone in the room with his daughter and is placing artifacts from his wallet on the incubator and telling stories to her about them. One of them is a U.S. Cavalry card that Nolan got from his father. On the back of it is a quote that said, ‘There is no quit.’ All of that was Paul’s invention. All of that came from Paul. He contributed to the story in that way.” – Eric Heisserer

Joseph J. Airdo

Joseph J. Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 10-11 a.m. Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM and that shines a spotlight on the practical perspectives of the topics and themes explored in movies. He has a pet duck named Frozen who is as opinionated about movies as he is. E-mail him at

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