Josh Radnor Talks About His Next Film, “Liberal Arts”

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writer-director-actor Josh Radnor on the set of "Liberal Arts"(Photo: photo courtesy Josh Radnor)
writer-director-actor Josh Radnor on the set of "Liberal Arts"(Photo: photo courtesy Josh Radnor)

If you think Josh Radnor has been loafing about during his summer hiatus from How I Met Your Mother, think again.

Radnor, 37, recently wrapped up filming his second independent feature film, Liberal Arts, at his alma mater Kenyon College. The Bexley-born actor took a few moments to chat about his movie-in-progress (which he also wrote and directed), what it was like writing Liberal Arts and how as a director he creates on the set the same kind of compassion he hopes his films will stir up in the hearts of viewers.

Highlights from this interview:

Liberal Arts follows Radnor’s character, Jesse Fisher, as he lets go of his beloved bygone college days and comes to terms with his fleeting youth. The film comes on the heels of Radnor’s visit last spring to Kenyon College for the opening of his first feature film, Happythankyoumoreplease, a visit during which Radnor says he was “flooded with memories” of his own undergrad years. And although he says the film is autobiographical only in the broadest sense, he admits that his “love of college and college life and reading” – along with the realization that he’s not getting any younger – inspired the new film’s story.

The bookish Radnor insists that Jesse Fisher isn’t his alter ego. But he does say he sometimes feels the same fear of change and love that all of his characters wrestle with:

When it comes to his characters, Radnor the writer may well be sympathetic to a fault. Even as his screenwriting career gains momentum, Radnor says he still wrestles with a paternalistic impulse to save his characters from themselves.

And Radnor, who claims he’s “still learning how to act in movies,” says he aims to employ the same kind of empathy he so naturally feels for his characters while directing the actors who play them.

Watch for Liberal Arts in 2012.

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