On Tuesday, September 12, 2017, I was privileged to talk with Danny Strong about his feature-length film directorial debut Rebel in the Rye (click for review), a glimpse into the world of author J.D. Salinger’s early life. Strong may be familiar to recent TV viewers as the co-creator of Fox TV smash hit “Empire,” for which he has written and directed various episodes, also serving as executive producer.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fans will remember him in his role as Jonathan Levinson, onetime high school classmate of the show’s titular character, and her accident-prone nemesis in later seasons. As a “Buffy” fan, I appreciate his gut-wrenching performance in the controversial episode “Earshot,” which finds him in the school’s belltower with a rifle. Also, in that same season, I remember being moved by his heartfelt speech in “Homecoming,” where he presents the “Class Protector” award to an unsuspecting Buffy.
A veteran presence in front of the camera in many television shows and feature films, Strong also bears decent credits as a writer. He penned two critically acclaimed HBO films, Recount and Game Change, winning an Emmy and multiple other awards for the latter. His screenplay for Lee Daniels’ The Butler garnered glowing notices, and he shares co-writer credit for the two-part adaptation of the Hunger Games finale, Mockingjay (Part 2 reviewed here). Rebel in the Rye is adapted from the nonfiction novel “J.D. Salinger – A Life” by Kenneth Slawenski.
DC Filmdom would like to thank Danny Strong for this gracious and insightful interview, in which we talk about color schemes, isolation, peace, and the whereabouts of The Trio.