Our Friend, filmed two years ago, was finally released in January in the US, after much delay amid the pandemic. Reading the synopsis for the film ahead of my interviews with Dakota Johnson, Casey Affleck and Jason Segal, and having had the year that we've all had, I wondered if this assignment would weigh too heavy on my heart - and how viewers would receive it.
"Our Friend tells the true, inspiring, heartbreaking and beguiling story of the Teague family - journalist Matt (Casey Affleck), his vibrant wife Nicole (Dakota Johnson) and their two young daughters - when their lives are upended by Nicole's diagnosis of terminal cancer. As Matt's responsibilities as caretaker and parent become increasingly exhausting and overwhelming, the couple's best friend Dane Faucheux (Jason Segel) offers to come and help. But when Dane recognises the unrelenting toll being taken on Matt, Nicole and the two girls, he puts his life on hold to remain with his friends to the very end."
The film is based on an article titled, The Friend: Love Is Not a Big Enough Word, written by the real Matt Teague, who Dakota tells me during our interview was involved in writing the script along with Brad Ingelsby, while his daughters also found themselves on set a few times, even appearing in a scene in the film.