At the D.C. screening of Instant Family at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum last week, Director Sean Anders shared how he got A-lister Mark Wahlberg to be his star. Yes, the actor starred in two of his previous movies, but Anders thought this one would need a little persuading. After all, it was a pretty tough topic. The film centers on Pete and Ellie, a childless couple who decides they want to try being foster parents. While there are plenty of comical scenes in the film, there are plenty of emotional ones too because Anders does not shy away from the upsetting reasons children find themselves in foster care; parents' drug use, sexual abuse, etc. It is extremely authentic, and one of the reasons why the film is PG-13.
It sounded like Wahlberg didn't need much convincing. After approaching the actor about the film, Anders said he had just dropped off his son at soccer practice when he saw his phone light up with a call from Wahlberg. When he answered, Walhberg explained to Anders that he had been up for hours because of his early morning workout, waiting for an appropriate time to call him to accept the role.
Anders was inspired to write Instant Family based on his own experience adopting three foster siblings.
“A lot of the things that happened were funny and a lot of it was frustrating," Anders said of the plot. "To go into a situation where you bring people into your home who all of a sudden become your children and you don’t even know them and they don’t know you, it is just like a comedy of manners right out of the gate.”
Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) also offered a few remarks at the D.C. screening, noting why she was moved by the film's message. Here in America, "the least we can do is take care of kids," she said.
Go here to read Townhall's review of the film.