The Jim Cummings film The Wolf of Snow Hollow was one of the last projects for the late Robert Forster — whose iconic career spanned from Medium Cool to Jackie Brown to Breaking Bad. The film also stars rising actor Chloe East, who plays Cummings’ daughter and Forster’s granddaughter. The 19-year-old East seized on the opportunity to seek out some film knowledge from the older generation.
The older generation wasn’t very helpful.
“She is such a cinephile, and has seen basically every movie in the Criterion Collection. She knows more about cinema than I do, which is crazy, because she’s 2o or whatever,” Cummings, the writer, director and star of Wolf Hollow, told the MovieMaker Interviews podcast, available on Apple or Spotify or above.
“But she goes, ‘I sat down with Robert at lunch. I was such a fan because Jackie Brown.’ And she was like, ‘Do you have any movie suggestions? I’m like trying to build up my queue, I’m trying to learn as much about movies as possible.’ And he goes, ‘Uh… Have you seen the film Alligator?’ And she goes, ‘No, I haven’t.’ And he gave her a list of all these movies to go and see.”
People who’ve seen the 1980 monster movie Alligator probably know where the story is going.
“It was only when she got home that she realized that they were all Robert Forster movies. He was like, ‘Oh — those are the best movies you could find. Yeah, those are great. Oh, my favorites.”
Despite the limited recommendations, Chloe East is thriving as a cinephile. Besides earning strong reviews for her acting, she’s also a filmmaker with a fondness for Super 8. You can watch some of her films here. Alligator doesn’t seem to be much of an influence.
Robert Forster died in October of last year at 78, after appearing not just in The Wolf of Snow Hollow but also El Camino: A Breaking Bad Story.
Cummings said he agreed to appear in The Wolf of Snow Hollow — about a small town with deadly problems every full moon — because he liked Cummings’ feature debut, Thunder Road. In Wolf Hollow, Forster plays a small-town sheriff who is hiding the fact that he’s dying as he and his son track the mysterious creature preying on their town.
“He said he sent the script to his manager. And he was like, I want to do this movie. And his manager said, Robert, this is a werewolf picture,” Cummings says.
“And he goes, ‘Yeah, I don’t really care about the monster stuff. It’s the stuff in-between that I really like. And that was kind of what he told us every day on set: ‘Let’s make this father-son thing and the police department thing the movie, and then the wolf stuff will come in later.”
Cummings concludes: “He was a fucking champ, man. He was so funny.”
If you like the MovieMaker Interviews podcast with Jim Cummings, be sure to keep an eye out for StudioFest’s Demystified video series, which will soon feature a lengthy interview with Cummings about how to make an indie movie (not a B movie) no matter what obstacles you’re facing.
The Wolf of Snow Hollow, by Jim Cummings, is now available on-demand everywhere. Here’s Jim Cummings on how to break into DIY filmmaking: