Despite the obvious fatigue of network art, not everyone happily ran to the box office for tickets to theaters and cinemas. Almost six months of confinement and the fear of contracting the virus still keeps a significant part of potential viewers at home. Especially for them, American actor Jesse Eisenberg, star of the movie “The Social Network” about Mark Zuckerberg, recorded a 5-hour audio drama “When you finish saving the world.” The podcast quickly resonated with the public, and Hollywood giants such as Julianne Moore have already confirmed their participation in the film of the same name.
The idea for the 5-hour drama grew out of a conversation between Eisenberg and his playwright friend, who admitted that he had no emotional connection with his newborn daughter.
“He was depressed and felt terribly guilty. And I thought it was an interesting ground to study. Then I was told about the new audio theatrical format. It seemed to me that the inner struggle of a character who was emotionally crushed over a pandemic was perfect for this, ”Eisenberg told the New York Times.
“When You Finish Saving the World” tells the story of the Katz family for 30 years. First, a certain Nathan (voiced by Eisenberg), a young father, struggles to establish contact with his newborn son. Then Ziggy (Finn Wolfhard, known for It and Stranger Things), the same child, grows into a 15-year-old teenager and wallows in adolescent angst. And finally, Rachel (Caitlin Dever), from a well-meaning student at Indiana University, accidentally becomes Nathan’s wife and Ziggy’s mother.
Each character takes shape through their own series of audio files, which are freely available on SoundCloud. Nathan writes them down for a family therapist, Ziggy for a futuristic bot-therapist, because by the time he was growing up in the yard it was already 2032. And Rachel’s tapes are for her high school boyfriend who is about to leave for Afghanistan.
There are a lot of recordings, but each does not exceed three minutes – the timing of a standard music track. At first, the voices are calm and collected. But, after a while, they shrink to a whisper, switch to crying and allow the listener to experience the forbidden thrill of reading someone else’s mail with the added bonus of the sender’s voice.
Eisenberg wrote the script for several months. And even met with veterans to find a suitable military base for Rachel’s story. “When my friend who served in Karshi-Khanabad in Uzbekistan told me about his impressions, I realized that I had come to the right place. All war stories are based on the experiences of friends. I lined them up with American politics in 2002, so Rachel had to navigate two opposing worlds: an overseas boyfriend and an antiwar liberal college student, ”says the actor.
Drama actors live in different states of America. And the situation with the coronavirus is different in them. Eisenberg himself managed to record in Newark’s studio. Like Finn Wolfhard, he did it in the studio of American singer Brian Adams in the Vancouver district of Gastown. But Caitlin Dever had to equip a studio at home in California. “They just rang the doorbell and brought me a microphone, monitor, Bluetooth mouse, filters, stands, headphones and cables,” she recalls.
The audience quickly fell in love with the audio series. According to the comments, it has a therapeutic effect on people. After all, they see themselves in the place of heroes. But this is more likely for the contingent of 30, and for the younger guys there was another entertainment – the fictional slang of the hero of the 17-year-old actor Finn Wolfhard. “Ziggy is one of those pretentious kids who accepts something before society agrees. There was only one thing that pissed me off – every time I came up with a new word and looked for it in the city dictionary, it meant something terribly sexually perverted, ”admits Jesse Eisenberg.
In just a few months, the drama in an unusual format has gone beyond personal phones and made its way to Hollywood producers. The film studio is already assembling a team for the film adaptation, and Julianne Moore agreed to play Rachel in it. Only, unlike the original, all the action takes place in the present, and the heroine Moore, in addition, runs a shelter for victims of domestic violence.