‘Gifted’ Release Date, Latest News & Update: McKenna Grace Challenged with new Lead Role
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An impressive ensemble of actors led by Chris Evans along with Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, Lindsay Duncan and Jenny Slate support young multi-talented actress McKenna Grace as she takes on the titular role in director Marc Webb’s “Gifted.”
Evans plays Frank Adler, uncle and guardian of Mary (Grace) in “Gifted” who both lead normal lives until Evelyn (Duncan), Frank’s mom and Mary’s grandmother, decides to take custody of her grandchild. Frank’s sister entrusted him to raise Mary after she died for fear that her daughter might also be subjected to the pressures she’s been through as a prodigy. But as soon as Evelyn finds out about Mary’s intellectual state, Frank finds himself in a custody battle to keep Mary under his care.
On finding the right child-actor, director Webb insists there was a good reason for the massive search: “I couldn’t have made “Gifted” unless I found the right Mary Adler. It was the biggest hurdle to making the movie. There’s an emotional depth and sophistication you don’t see very often in an actor, but for a child, that’s a level of virtuosity that is incredibly rare.”
Mckenna remembers it was very stressful meeting Marc Webb for the first time. “They had given me the wrong sides (scenes) to read, so he just gave them to me in the hallway. I had five minutes to memorize them. But once the audition was over, we just talked and had a fun time. I wanted this movie more than any movie I’ve ever wanted.”
Mckenna says she also learned a lot from working with Evans. “He was very focused on the set, and sometimes he would sit down and help me with my script.” Evans treated her “more like a friend, like he treats Mary. I really like that he treated me that way, except he did try not to say bad words around me.”
“Gifted” opens May 3 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.