After a few years in career wilderness, Emilio Estevez grabbed some attention by writing and directing last year’s all-star ensemble drama Bobby.
His new movie The Public is loosely based on a true-life event about a retiring librarian who, against the wishes of his bosses, opens his building’s doors to the mentally ill and homeless during the two coldest winter days in Salt Lake City.
Estevez got the story from a newspaper piece written by Chip Ward and decided to crack on with it after some advice from Bobby distributor Harvey Weinstein. “Harvey said, 'You have a voice and use it. And don't follow up Bobby with something frivolous,’" says Estevez. "That stayed with me. And when I read this piece last April, I thought this could be it."