Edward Burns on Directing, Acting and the Holidays

Friday, December 07, 2012

The holiday season is usually a time filled with family celebrations. For actor, writer and producer Edward Burns, that means it's also a time to explore the comedy and drama inherent in most families.

Burns, the writer and director of "The Brothers MacMullen" and star of several films, including "Saving Private Ryan," focuses his new film, "The Fitzgerald Family Christmas," on an Irish-American family. 

"As a kid in film school, when I was trying to figure out 'what kind of filmmaker do I want to be, what's my voice,' I thought, well, the Italians, the Jewish New York experience, the African-American New York experience has been covered -- the Irish is wide open, and that's my life; so let me go for that," Burns explains. 

Although he does seek to represent the Irish Catholic experience, Burns says that a number of people have told him that they can relate to the film, because of the universal problems that so many families encounter around the holidays.

"There is so much pressure placed on the holidays," Burns says. "It is that one time of the year where the entire clan gets together - you will put aside the differences - and with that, it's loaded." 

"For me, as a story teller, Christmas was a device," Burns says. "It gave a plausibility to the fact that seven kids would each be having their own mini-crisis going on."

Guests:

Edward Burns

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

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