Interview with Radha Blank, Oswin Benjamin, Peter Kim – Deadline

Sundance winner The forty year version is a story familiar to anyone reaching the age of 40, as it helps people re-evaluate life and decide on the next steps in their career and beyond. For writer, director and film star Radha Blank, it was a personal story – and one driven by adversity.

“It wasn’t something that I thought about a lot,” she said during the Netflix film panel at Deadline’s Contenders Film regarding using her life as inspiration for the film. “Rather, it was the adversity of my life that pushed me in this direction. I was fired from my first job as a screenwriter and, much like my character, I wanted to resume my voice.

She adds, “Making the film gave me the opportunity to tell a story about someone like me from my perspective while celebrating my city and paying homage to my parents and other black artists.”

Candidates’ film: live broadcast, schedule, programming

The plot follows Radha, an unlucky New York playwright who is desperate for a breakthrough before she is 40. When she feels like she missed her latest hit, she decides to reinvent herself as a rapper to try and find her. real voice. Rapper-producer D (Oswin Benjamin) and his best friend Archie (Peter Kim) help him along the way. The two joined Blank at Contenders to talk about how the film spoke about their situation in their lives and careers.

The forty year version marks the acting debut of musician Benjamin, and it connects with Radha’s journey of being talented and overlooked. “I’ve been in the studio with people who are amazing and no one is giving them a chance,” he says, adding that giving people the benefit of the doubt is something rarely done in this industry – especially for black artists. .

He continues, “Being able to play D – a black producer who gives someone else the benefit of the doubt – it’s a mirror of what I would like for myself and how I feel has to happen. more.

Kim adds, “Being a gay Korean American of a certain age and being able to bring my own life experience to the role was incredibly meaningful and it has never really happened to me before, especially in a leading role in a movie. , and this is the merit of Radha. “

As the film explores the meaning of success, Kim’s perspective aligned with Radha’s journey. For nearly three decades, he has been an actor and has always questioned the definition of success. He correlated success with his job as he always asked himself, “What am I doing?”

“I now feel in a place where I have a better understanding of what it means to be successful as a human being, which is outside of my career,” he says.

Check back for the panel video.

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