BWW Feature: CAPTAIN FANTASTIC Now Playing in Houston

Article Pixel
The cast of CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker
Street release now playing in Houston.
Photo by Cathy Kanavy /Bleecker Street

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC is now playing in Houston! In the comedy drama, Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen), his wife Leslie (Trin Miller) and their six children live in a remote compound devoid of advanced technology like Macs, iPads, iPhones, and rotary phones. For 10 years, it's paradise. Then the worst happens. The family must leave their paradise in the wild. The Cash children realize very quickly that they know too little of the world outside of the Pacific Northwest forests they call home. And Ben realizes that his parenting thus far doesn't qualify him for "Dad of the Year" or even a "No. 1 Dad" coffee mug.


"Ben's choices are far more extreme than most parents would ever consider," says writer and director Matt Ross, who won the Un Certain Regard - Directing Prize for CAPTAIN FANTASTIC at Cannes Film Festival 2016. "He does things that you could legitimately argue endanger their lives," says Ross. On the other hand, says leading actor Viggo Mortensen, though Ben's parenting style may be shocking to some, "There's a beautiful openness in this family."

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC spans over a thousand miles and reflects, at the very least, 10 years of history. This proved a challenge to all involved. So in preparation for their roles, each of the young actors attended a wilderness camp where they learned basic survival skills. Ross also gave them homework: a reading list with books like James W. Loewen's "Lies My Teacher Told Me" and Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States." Ross wanted to imprint the Cash family ethos into the young actors' minds.

Ross and Mortensen's collaboration was slightly different. The director recalls sending the actor a stack of books, including writings by Tom Brown, naturalist and survivalist; Noam Chomsky, a well-known, well-regarded linguist and philosopher; and Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist, to help the actor build his role. Turns out there was no need for the director's care package. "Viggo had read all the books already," he says.

Ross has faith that these efforts will show up on the screen. "I hope we created a fun and diverting journey that makes you laugh and cry, but also gives you something worth thinking about," he says.


CAPTAIN FANTASTIC now playing in Houston. The film stars Viggo Mortensen and Trin Miller. Supporting actors include Frank Langella, Ann Dowd, Kathryn Hahn and Steve Zahn. Rated R. 119 min. For information, please visit bleeckerstreetmedia.com/captainfantastic.


Left to right, Samantha Isler stars as Kielyr, Shree Crooks stars as Zaja, Viggo Mortensen as Ben, Charlie Shotwell as Nai, Annalise Basso as Vespyr and George Mackay as Bo in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Cathy Kanavy / Bleecker Street


Left to right, Annalise Basso stars as Vespyr, Viggo Mortensen as Ben and Shree Crooks as Zaja in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Erik Simkins / Bleecker Street


Left to right, Actors Frank Langella and Nicholas Hamilton discuss a scene with Director Matt Ross on the set of their film CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Cathy Kanavy / Bleecker Street


Left to right, Viggo Mortensen stars as Ben in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Cathy Kanavy / Bleecker Street


Left to right, Ann Dowd stars as Abigail and Frank Langella as Jack in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Cathy Kanavy / Bleecker Street


Left to right, Shree Crooks stars as Zaja, Viggo Mortensen as Ben, Samantha Isler as Kielyr, Nicholas Hamilton as Rellian, Annalise Basso as Vespyr, George Mackay as Bo and Charlie Shotwell as Nai in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Cathy Kanavy / Bleecker Street


Left to right, Charlie Shotwell stars as Nai, Viggo Mortensen as Ben, Annalise Basso (bg) as Vespyr and Shree Crooks as Zaja in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Erik Simkins / Bleecker Street


Left to right, Viggo Mortensen stars as Ben and Shree Crooks as Zaja in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Erik Simkins / Bleecker Street


Left to right, Kathryn Hahn stars as Harper and Steve Zahn as Dave in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Erik Simkins / Bleecker Street


Left to right, Erin Moriarty stars as Claire and Missy Pyle as Ellen in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Erik Simkins / Bleecker Street


Left to right, Actors Viggo Mortensen, Charlie Shotwell, Samantha Isler and Director Matt Ross discuss a scene on the set of their film CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Erik Simkins / Bleecker Street


Left to right, Samantha Isler stars as Kielyr, Charlie Shotwell as Nai, Annalise Basso as Vespyr and Shree Crooks as Zaja in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Wilson Webb / Bleecker Street


Left to right, Viggo Mortensen stars as Ben and Annalise Basso as Vespyr in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Wilson Webb / Bleecker Street


Left to right, Shree Crooks stars as Zaja, Charlie Shotwell as Nai, George Mackay as Bo, Nicholas Hamilton as Rellian, Samantha Isler as Kielyr and Annalise Basso as Vespyr in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Wilson Webb / Bleecker Street


Left to right, George Mackay stars as Bo, Charlie Shotwell as Nai, Nicholas Hamilton as Rellian and Samantha Isler as Kielyr in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Wilson Webb / Bleecker Street


Left to right, Actor Charlie Shotwell and Director Matt Ross discuss a scene on the set of their film CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Wilson Webb / Bleecker Street


Left to right, Viggo Mortensen stars as Ben in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Erik Simkins / Bleecker Street


Left to right, Nicholas Hamilton stars as Rellian, Annalise Basso as Vespyr, Samantha Isler as Kielyr, George Mackay as Bo, and Viggo Mortensen as their dad Ben in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Erik Simkins / Bleecker Street


Left to right, George Mackay stars as Bo, Nicholas Hamilton as Rellian, Viggo Mortensen as their dad Ben, Annalise Basso as Vespyr and Samantha Isler as Kielyr in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.Credit: Erik Simkins / Bleecker Street



Related Articles View More Houston Stories   Shows

From This Author Katricia Lang