“Inconceivable": The inside story
Director, Jonathan Baker tells Blasting News that "Inconceivable"sprung from a documentary entitled, “Becoming Iconic.” The studio said that Baker would have to agree to make one of their films and then they would agree to assist in producing his film, "Inconceivable." It is Baker’s first feature theatrical film. It also marks the first time he worked with #Nicolas Cage.
Baker admits that he didn’t just want to be a director, but a brand personality that “speaks from the triple-threat” of acting, producing, directing and writing. Both films were shot at the same time. “Becoming Iconic” features Warren Beatty, John Badham, (Saturday Night Fever) Jodi Foster, and Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction)..
Jodi Foster narrates Jonathan’s journey of what you think is insane until you hear everybody else tell the same story. The four Oscar winners are in the film narrating the documentary about Jonathan’s journey, showing how hard it is to get films made.
A conversation with director Jonathan Baker
Jonathan revealed to us his passion involving filmmaking and love of dramatic films that led to making ‘Inconceivable.’
“I didn’t want to do ‘shoot-em-ups’ I wanted to do dramatic movies that had dramatic overtones,” Baker told Blasting News. “When I saw that this film was sitting on the desk, and when I read it I saw a lot of potential. The studio had owned it already from Chloe King and I was interested in the film and I asked if I can rewrite it.”
He revised the film and the studio approved of the changes and they gave him the green light to make the movie. The idea that In-Vitro had not been a subject in films before interested Jonathan to utilize the concept for the film.
“The fact that it was very timely that nannies were having affairs with many top celebrities and officials in the last couple years interests me in that, I thought that it was unity that wanted to peek into this type of a world," Baker said.
"I wanted to make a film for women. It’s hard out there to make movies let alone make movies that have women cast.”
Baker said the reason why he wanted to make a film involving women is because their values are completely underrated in terms of Hollywood.
“I decided that I was going to put my best foot forward and make a movie for women about women,” Baker emphasized. “And then make something that was a bit of a nail-biter popcorn-type of a movie but still had a dramatic edge to it."
"As I decided to go down this road," Baker continued, "you’re going to have to get a male star, and I didn’t really want a male star in that lead. I’m glad that I was wrong, and every time I would go to the actresses, they would say, 'Who’s the guy in the story?' and that would defeat the whole purpose. I could not get the people that I wanted to commit to it, without having the male lead which was ‘oxymoron’ because everyone in the business was talking about equality and not trying to put them first.”
Jonathan went to Nic Cage and asked him if he would be interested in playing a co-starring role since he usually takes lead roles. Jonathan is the only other male-lead besides Nic in the film. He plays Brian’s best friend.
“I said to Nic, that if he took the role he would be supporting these women and doing a really good cause, he got it he understood that in this day and age; you can really make an effort to take a step backwards which he did and not take a starring role,” Baker said. “In the credits, he comes third. I think that says it all, he really wanted to support the women.”
Jonathan admires Nic for the consummate professional that he is. He wanted someone who ‘meant business’ supported the women and not take control over the film. He wanted a film that women could identify with.
Nic worked with both actresses, Gina Gershon and Nicky Whelan before. He went to high school with Gershon and starred in “Face-Off” with her and also starred with Nicky Whelan in “Left Behind.”
What Nicolas Cage says about the film
Blasting News asked Nic Cage some questions via email about his role as the husband Brian in "Inconceivable" and working with Jonathan as a director.
Blasting News: Nic, what intrigued you to work with Jonathan on the film, “Inconceivable"?
Nicolas Cage: Jonathan is one of these directors that come with a passion, on this project he wanted me to support his journey making a film for women. The film topic was fresh, Jonathan ideas were great and the script was new area for me to explore. Jonathan is a filmmaker— he acts, directs, produces and writes. He comes with the whole package.
Blasting News: You’re a fan of horror films. When you were given the script of “Inconceivable” which is a psychological thriller but not a horror film, what convinced you to play the role of Brian, Gina Gershon’shusband in the film?
Nicolas Cage: I wanted to support women in film and when Jonathan brought this to me and showed me his vision for the film I knew I want to be part of his journey to make it.
Blasting News: Were there scenes that were memorable or a challenge for you in the film?
Nicolas Cage: I loved end of the film when I tell Nicky to take her last look and then all hell breaks loose. It was soft yet very powerful moment.
Casting Jonathan's daughter in the film, Gina Gershon and Faye Dunaway
Jonathan decided to include his 4-year-old daughter to the cast. She plays Maddie.
“It created a close family bond—everyone said, 'Hey, are you going to be ok directing your child?' I said, “I’m a very fair person and if she has the option at 4, to make the decision whether to do this film or not, but if she does do it, I hold her to the same standards that I hold anybody else. She does an amazing job!”
Jonathan wanted to work with Gina Gershon for about a year. The studio didn’t want her for the role of Angela, but he had a different viewpoint that she was the perfect fit for the role. He considers himself to be “old-school” when casting roles and doesn’t rely too much on the actors’ status on social media. He wanted Faye Dunaway to make a big return to film by playing Brian’s mother. Dunaway broke her foot the day before the film began and her role as Brian’s mother was written specifically for Dunaway showing she’s still relevant and is putting her out there.
“She was in so much pain and she came to the set and she worked did what she needed to do, she’s an Oscar winner, a great actress and this is a small come-back role that was written in 12 hours so that it would flow with the script. She’s a consummate professional and I’m always looking towards the ‘romance’ of the movie business and the people that have been part of that journey,” Baker said. “In my generation, it was always Paul Newman and Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen so those were my movie stars. Today, you barely have Tom Cruise out there, who’s 55-years-old today and you have The Rock and people who are of a different generation.” He cites his influences as Martin Scorcese and Lee Daniels and prefers dramatic movies over cinematic amusement films. Warren Beatty is his mentor and the reason that he’s a director.
Giving back to young filmmakers
Baker created a film fund to assist young filmmakers with their microfilm projects which cost between $0-2 million.
“What I’ve done is there’s a lot of people that are making movies out there for film festivals and come out of school and they run of money or they need finishing money. So, I created the Baker Film Fund to help these young filmmakers discover who they are and give them the “leg-up” to actually get out there to make a difference for themselves.” It’s my way of giving back.”