Maui director launches movie nationwide - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Maui director launches movie nationwide

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If there was an establishing scene for Destin Daniel Cretton's childhood - it would be set in a town of roughly 4,000 people, in Haiku, Maui during the 1980's.  
"My mom didn't really let me or my five siblings watch a lot of TV. So we'd spend a lot of our times building forts. making martial art routines or putting on plays for my mom."

The audience Cretton plays to are a little bigger these days. His latest film, "The Glass Castle", hits theaters nationwide this week.

Family ties remain close in Cretton's movies. His sister Joy is a costume designer on his films and when they get a chance, a piece of home is hidden inside his films.

"Naomi Watts wears some earrings that i actually made in a tent outside our house for my sister, for Christmas." says Cretton. "Joy just put them on Naomi Watts in one of these scenes. They're not very cool earrings, but they made it in the movie."

The movie features a star-studded cast. It reunites Cretton with Academy award winner Brie Larson four years after they collaborated on the film "Short Term 12".

Larson plays the lead in a story based on the life of writer Jeannette Walls. A woman who grew up homeless with two eccentric parents - played by Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson.

"Woody plays a scene like a professional jazz musician. It's really incredible to watch. So much of the shoot, I felt like I had a front row seat to the best show in town."

During the filming - Cretton also had a front row seat to some harrowing performances by Mother Nature like when a nasty storm rolled into New Mexico and forced everyone on set to run for cover.

"Everyone had to get into this one trailer and sit there for three hours, while we watched lightening bolts - just like (makes sound effects of lightening raining down). We had to wait for that lightening storm to pass."

The demand for Cretton's services have come just as quickly, yet, he keeps his balance by staying true to his island roots.

"I've found that just being who I am, a slow paced kid from Hawaii, who loves to play make believe with his friends," says Cretton,  "I think that the work that I do becomes more honest and that's the most important thing."

Cretton's next project is adapting the book "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson. He says they could begin production on that film in just a few weeks.

"The Glass Castle" hits theaters Friday, August 11th.

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