Zeitlin and co-writer Lucy Alibar took as their first inspiration a play Alibar wrote, which borrowed from her own childhood. “I grew up in the woods with a wild man for a father,” Alibar said.
Watching her father get ill, when she was 18 or 19, was devastating. “The sense of losing a parent,” Alibar said, “[is like] the whole universe coming apart.”
Woody, the boy in “LUV,” watches his universe crumble when he sees how his beloved uncle really makes his money – embroiled in the world of drugs and thugs on Baltimore’s meanest streets.
To play Woody, director Sheldon Canlis said he needed “a kid with an old soul.” He found that kid in Rainey, making only his second movie. (The first was filmed in Italy and had him speaking Italian.)
Canlis recalled an instance when Michael Rainey’s soul really showed through in filming. During one particularly emotional scene, Canlis and crew were filming at 5 a.m. and brought Michael onto the set when the child had been sleeping for 90 minutes in a van. Canlis asked Rainey, “Can you be emotionally vulnerable? Can you get there? He said [in a low voice] ‘yes.’ ” And he nailed it.« Previous Page