Interview: ‘Catfish’ Filmmakers Get Real About Their Documentary

Well let me change directions a little bit and ask you [Nev], is it uncomfortable to see yourself on the big screen in this very personal story for you? Are you embarrassed?

Nev: It’s funny…

It’s gotta be kinda awkward.

Nev: It was awkward at first in the office when they were editing in like the back room and I would hear my voice. I would sort of want to go in and see what they were doing with me but at the same time it was like I can’t possibly be objective or fair.  I’m almost too close to have a fair reaction to what they’re doing and I understood that.

But then once the movie took shape and we started screening it with other people. And I watched it. It was fun. I kinda got to go through that journey, go on that trip all over again and be reminded of just how excited I was and how in love I thought I might and how shocked I was. All those emotions that for better or worse, led to who I am today now, I got to sort of relive. And as the movie now sort of grows not only in size but also literally in like size on bigger and bigger screens now, it’s kinda become that much more magnified.  They had to pull me out the other day of a screening in Toronto cause I started to get sucked in. The music started to play over the opening credits and I was just like, “what happens?”

Henry: And we’re like “OK, we’ve seen it 3,000 times…”

Nev: I guess I just think it’s a really good movie and I like watching it.

Rel: Also, you’re really lucky that you have basically the craziest thing that ever happened to you on tape.

Yeah, definitely.

Rel: Not only is it on tape, it’s not just raw footage. Like a couple people spent a year and a half like putting everything together and making it as entertaining as possible.

Nev: Everybody likes watching like funny old home video of them.

Rel: Yeah, we have no home video from when were kids either, basically, we have like a total of 10 minutes.

But you have this on tape

Nev: Right.

Rel: Yeah.

Do you guys still keep in touch with Angela? I mean obviously the end title card says you’re still friends on Facebook, but do you still talk to her?  Has she seen the film?

Nev: We are yeah. She’s seen the film.

What did she think about it?

Nev: Her reaction was positive, she thought it was fair.

Rel: She thanked us for treating it fairly and thought that we were the right people to do it.  Cause someone could have really flipped out and…

Well I gotta say, I feel like the last kind of monologue she has where she’s crying and explaining her thoughts behind it, I feel like you really sympathize with her as a viewer…

Henry: Sure.

Rel: Yeah.

But then you guys throw up that last title card where it’s like also she lied about this and this and this and it kinda feels a little mean-spirited.

Henry: Oh really? We didn’t mean for it to be that way.

Do you see what I mean?

Henry: Totally.

It’s like you sympathize with her and then it’s like oh but she’s still lying.

Rel: But that’s the truth.

No, I understand.

Nev: I think those title cards were in part inspired by the most frequently asked questions after the film. Before we had them people were like, “well did you ever meet Megan?”

Does she really exist, is she really in rehab?

Rel: How’s Angela’s cancer?

I guess it’s kinda that thing where she almost can’t tell the whole truth at once, it has to come out in bits and pieces.  And when she’s telling it in bits and pieces I guess you kinda have to deny certain elements.

Nev: It’s also important to remember that she told us she had cancer and she told us about Megan at Dawn Farms while she was still trying to salvage…this fantasy.

It’s like she knew she was caught…

Nev: And then once she came clean, it changed. But those were like the last things that she sort of grasped for as she tried to find a way to make…

Henry: Also that’s just like, it’s real life, you know?

Sometimes it’s messy.

Henry: It’s just not black and white. It’s like, it can’t be this perfect fairy-tale ending, like Angela’s perfectly better now and everything’s great.

On no, I don’t think anyone really expects that.

Henry: She’s better, she’s not perfect, you know, she’s still struggling.  Nev wasn’t like happy and skipping down the street at the end of the movie. He was in like deep depression.

You’ve gotta feel some anger for that, if for nothing else than just for loss of time.

Nev: Yeah again, I don’ think…I don’t blame or I have no anger toward Angela for using me.

It doesn’t come off as malicious and you feel bad for someone that’s that lonely.

Nev: But I also, I’m grateful for it. I learned a lot about myself. She sort of pushed me to explore a part of me that I sort of hadn’t explored and consider an alternate sort of existence that I had always considered but never really seriously thought about which was like moving away from the City, and living in a very sort of small, simple…I don’t mean simple in like a bad way.

No I understand, you mean different from Manhattan. I lived in Manhattan for awhile and it was different from any other experience I’ve ever had in my wife…

Rel: in your wife?

In my wife, yes.

[Everyone laughs]

Nev: But yeah, I let myself get taken on that trip with her as much as she took me in as much as she needed it. It was very mutual.

You both get to experience…

Rel: Well you both lived a fantasy for 9 months.

Nev: Yeah.

Rel: The funny part is people ask us if we were ever suspicious. And we were a little bit suspicious but the truth was he was the happiest he’d ever been. She created this world that was exactly what he wanted and needed and it was shaped and tailored around him.

Henry: And he was sweeter than he had ever been.

Rel: He was so nice to us.

Henry: On the phone we were just like who is he talking to on the phone, he’s just so sweet.

Luke Mullen has a beard.

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