An interview with screenwriter Stephen Ryder

An update – an exclusive review of the film at

The last days of April is the title of a new coming of age film to be released in September( USA) . I found out about it thanks to Stephen Ryder who is its script writer and producer .  He is also the screenwriter of the masterpiece L.I.E and was kind enough to answer to some questions about his new production.  Before proceeding with the exclusive interview  with Mr. Ryder I would like to quote the film`s synopsis which so far is the only publicly available information about it :

“A beautiful young woman who is a murderous sexual psychopath returns from combat as a mercenary in Iraq and abducts a 14 yr-old boy, holding him prisoner as a bizarre relationship develops “

It is definitely not your average plot  and my expectations for this production fueled by the official trailer (which  can  be seen below)  are quite high.The last days of April seems to be a combination of thriller and a drama with  a coming of age overtone .  The young lead TJ Plunkett seems to be a very talented actor even if I only had the short trailer to form my opinion on that.


“The last days of April” – Official web site interviews Stephen Ryder – the screenwriter of L.I.E and The last days of April

Screenwriter Stephen Ryder

Me : What inspired you do write the story behind ” The last days of April ” ?

Stephen Ryder : The director came to me with an idea for a movie in march of 2008 – he proposed that a man abduct a teen-aged girl and hold her captive. I felt that was too ordinary and that it had been done many times. When I rejected that suggestion –  Rick Lancaster came up with the idea that the  victim could be a boy.I said “Now that has not been done before!” and wrote the script . In 90 days or so we were in production.

Me : Did you have to make any changes of the script during the film`s production ?

Stephen Ryder : Since I wrote the script, I own Metropolis Films, and I produced the movie – who would have the authority to have me make any changes? Although – because George Bush was still President at the time – we deliberately didn’t film any sex scenes (you can’t take a chance with a radical right-wing Christian government)  like we would have in a free country like Spain or Denmark or The Netherlands.

Me : How did you cast TJ Plunkett – and what made him stand out for the role from the rest kids  who were auditioned ?

Stephen Ryder  : We had a nation-wide casting call out in the industry. He responded. Talent, guts and personality. We interviewed over 480 kids, there wasn’t even a close second-place. Everything about him was head and shoulders above the rest – and he was the former U.S. National Junior Karate Champion at 14. We needed that skill for the fight scenes (our actress was an expert in Thai kick-boxing.) He was highly intelligent, serious, professional and his dad was no problem – he stayed out of the way.

Me : Does your background as a law enforcement officer influence your writing( I am no expert – but I am guessing that the Stockholm syndrome  would play some role in your new film ) ?

Stephen Ryder  : All of my colorful experiences inform my writing to an extent, of course. But 99% of all my script are strictly imagination. Although I actually wound up playing the part of the Sheriff in this film because the actor we cast dropped out 24 hours before we were scheduled to shoot the scenes with the Sheriff in them. Since the Sheriff’s character was old, fat, bald and stupid, I felt I was perfect for the part. And my experience as a Deputy Sheriff lent an air of authenticity to that role. “The Stockholm Syndrome” question will be answered for you when you see the movie.

Me : Thank you for your time Mr.Ryder.

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