‘The Descendants’: Alexander Payne, cast on filming in Hawaii


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The biggest star of Alexander Payne’s ‘The Descendants’ is clearly George Clooney. But there’s another major player with a prominent role in the director’s new film: the state of Hawaii.

Adapted from Kaui Hart Hemmings novel of the same name, ‘The Descendants’ is primarily a movie about Matt King (Clooney), a disengaged father of two young girls. But King has another issue: He’s the trustee for a huge tract of land that his relatives want him to sell, cashing out on their inheritance so a resort can be built on the pristine plot (above).


Payne said he traveled around Hawaii with Hemmings before filming commenced, determined to depict the 50th state not as it is typically shown in touristy tones but as the state really is. In this excerpt from the Envelope Screening Series, the filmmaker behind ‘Sideways’ discusses how he wanted Hawaii to be seen.


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-- John Horn

Shailene Woodley, left, George Clooney and Amara Miller in ‘The Descendants.’ Credit: Fox Searchlight