Allié: How important was it for you to cast an actor with CP to play your role?
Michael: I wanted a great actor who has CP to play me and to be authentic. Having CP adds depth into the character and story from both my writing and RJ’s raw performance. It makes for an awesome combo! We live with CP, so we know what it’s like and that inner knowledge was used to help tell a heartfelt story while enlightening people about CP.
Allié: What was it like appearing with a cameo in the film you produced about the story of your life? I can only imagine it was an emotional and surreal experience.
Michael: I thought it would be cool to see myself talk to my semi-fictional self when I wrote my cameo scene and it was fun to see it all play out for real. That scene was shot on shoot day one on August 5th, 2015 in Nashville, where we shot around 18 long shoot days. I was in Nashville for around six weeks and enjoyed getting to know the great film crew.
Allié: Those who have CP can identify with the film’s main character, Mike, played by RJ Mitte. Those who don’t have CP can empathize with him. Your film offers so much to so many, what is the greatest insight you hope people gain?
Michael: I hope people gain a better understanding of CP because some people tend to be afraid of or shy away from what they think due to a lack of knowledge about CP and other challenges. ∎
26 AWARENOW / THE MAYDAY EDITION