Zach Braff on his new film: ‘Life is messy … it’s a slice of life’s story.’

Zach Braff visited SiriusXM’s OutQ to talk to our very own Larry Flick about his new movie, Wish I Was Here, opening Friday 7/18. The movie features the actor/writer/producer/director as Aiden Bloom, a 35-year-old man forced to look at his life, career, and family.

The Scrubs star talked about how important the music in the film is to him. Describing the movie’s unique process of building a soundtrack, he said, “In the last 10 years iTunes has happened, and records stores disappeared, and people don’t really buy albums that much anymore … so that’s why I went to some of my favorite artists and said, ‘Would you consider watching the movie and writing the piece of music that comes out of you after you’ve seen the movie and then I’ll put that song in the movie?’ That was really special because they all said yes.”

Braff even revealed that his favorite song on the album is one that Coldplay wrote with vocals from Cat Power and Chris Martin.

Other music from the soundtrack features artists such as Hozier, Bon Iver, James Mercer from the Shins, Allie Moss covering an Imogen Heap song, and The Weepies with an unreleased track.

Zach Braff also spoke about how his experiences with depression have affected his writing and this movie. “I’ve battled depression in my life. I’ve battled great sadness at times when you can point to things that justify it and at times when it’s even scarier when you look around and there is nothing you can point to … I think it goes into my writing and informs and helps it. If you can write from a place of pain, great comedy can come out of it and hopefully, great art can come out of it.”

And that’s why he emphasizes the importance of laughter both in life and in his film. “Whether you suffer or have suffered from depression, or if you’re a normal human being who faces the ups and downs of life, I think it’s a very human feeling to feel alone and isolated even when you’re surrounded by people. That’s why I love laughter so much, and that’s why the movie has lots of laughs because it rescues me from melancholia. That’s why I’ve dedicated my life to trying to make people laugh, because I get pleasure out of that.”

Braff spoke about the ending of the film. “I make sure that when I’m lucky enough to make my own [movies] I keep it [the ending] messy. Life is messy. We don’t all figure everything out in 2.5 hours … It’s a slice of life’s story. People do grow, and we see them grow and we see them change, but it’s an incremental growth like what happens in real life.”

Zach and Larry also spoke about how the title reflects some of the major themes of the film.

This is the movie that everyone has been waiting for because it was funded by fans: “We had a tremendous success on crowd funding. 47,000 people alone with myself, made the movie on our own …”

“I was terrified … In my heart, I knew if that if I just did what I thought those 47,000 people would like, I feel like if you liked my stuff before, (whether you’ve seen me in Scrubs, or Garden State, or the theater) if you’re a fan of that stuff, I felt pretty confident this would be something you would like.”

Larry was able to explain the theme of the movie very well: “The movie takes a look at what it means to wake up and realize that you’re grown. What has happened, what hasn’t happen, and what might never happen.”

Braff gave us some insight about where the title comes from: “Even though you’re surrounded by people, feeling isolated and feeling lonesome” is a theme int the film. “The film is really about someone who discovers that they have these wonderful people around them, they have their family … He hasn’t been present and that’s where the title Wish I Was Here comes from.”

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