Jim Gaffigan and Miranda Bailey on “Being Frank”‘s 90s Humor and Messy Moral Questions

Being Frank Jim Gaffigan Being Frank

Welcome back to More of a Comment, Really…, a weekly interview podcast hosted by Clint Worthington! Every episode will feature interviews with actors, filmmakers, producers, and more, giving you the skinny on the latest films and TV.

The cliche of the middle-aged dad with a secret second family is a well-worn one, but one that the indie comedy Being Frank attempts to complicate in some fascinating ways. When Phillip (Logan Miller) discovers that his dad Frank (Jim Gaffigan) has a whole other family across the country – one he seems to get along with better than his own – it sets in motion a series of farcical scenarios that require the two to keep Frank’s secrets alive.

While it falls into a lot of the goofy indie-movie trappings that plague this particular genre, Gaffigan’s unexpectedly vulnerable performance and the taut direction of documentary filmmaker Miranda Bailey (making her narrative feature debut) help elevate Being Frank beyond its auspices. Amongst the stoner jokes and ’90s humor lie intriguing questions about just how sympathetic Frank’s plight may be, and whether his own mistakes should be excused because he “thought it was the right thing to do.” This, along with its rocky road through the festival circuit (passing through SXSW before making edits to create its now-final form), make Being Frank an interesting case study in how festivals can affect the filmmaking process.

In this episode, I spoke with Being Frank‘s Jim Gaffigan and Miranda Bailey, respectively, about the film’s unique challenges and myriad tones, as part of a roundtable interview with HollywoodChicago.com‘s Pat McDonald and Kicking the Seat‘s Ian Simmons. Together, we discuss Gaffigan’s role choices, Bailey’s transition from documentaries to scripted film, and the rocky road to getting Being Frank on the big screen.

(More of a Comment, Really… is a proud member of the Chicago Podcast Coop. Thanks to Overcast for sponsoring this episode!)


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