Fred Durst's 'new' career
Last week, Fred Durst made a quiet appearance in Providence, not trawling for nookie (though he did recently get engaged to a local woman), and not as a musicmaker. The former head of Limp Bizkit was on the Brown University quad behind a camera lens, wrapping up the filming of his first feature-length movie, in which he served as El Capitan. Head Honcho. Director. The film is a coming-of-age type story titled The Education of Charlie Banks, and stars Jesse Eisenberg (The Squid and the Whale) and Jason Ritter (Placebo, Raise Your Voice). If the idea of Durst as director strikes you as bizarre, the truth is the artist aspired to be a filmmaker long before fronting his erstwhile rap-rock crew. He’d produced music videos before, during, and since his Bizkit stint, and helmed an as-yet-unseen short film titled The Truth, a mockumentary of sorts on the subject of televangelism.
RIGHT SAYS FRED: Durst (left) directs the action on the set of The Education of Charlie Banks.
Sitting down during a break in filming, Fred came across “against type” — that is, polite, amiable, literate, and super-sensitive.
You’re the man in charge here. That’s a big responsibility.
If this were a ship and we were going through these horrendous seas like the Titanic dodging icebergs, it would be my job to navigate it, steer through the icebergs, and make sure everyone’s doing their jobs correctly.
What do you think is the most important element to being a good director?
I want to create a positive work environment. I want this to be like a family. Some of my favorite directors — their cast, cinematographers, grips, and everyone from their first film — went on as a family to create more emotional experiences in cinema. I want to put together a family. It happens, I think, in the beginning when you hire the right people.
Is it a relief for you to be doing this now? Getting out of the music studio?
It’s an evolution, actually. I’ll be 36 in August, and it’s me evolving. I’m grateful to be heading in this direction. I’ve always wanted to. For a long time, I’ve been waiting for this, being patient, knowing the stories I want to tell, really understanding how I want to make my mark on an art that’s existed for a long time. I don’t picture myself at 45 up on stage singing, “I did it all for the nookie!” That was a moment captured in time. It would be crazy for me to think that I could stay in that place. My head keeps evolving. Right now my head is here.
And, no, I’m not relieved to be out of music. I would never trade an experience I’ve had. I’ve always followed my gut. I’ve never done anything simply for a paycheck. Every decision I’ve made, I’ve made it and slept at night. Right now I truly feel that this is just a part of my life that’s meant to be. Do I miss the studio and making music? Absolutely. There are times when you’re in there and magic happens. But now I’m doing this and it feels right.
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