STARBURST: How did the project come about?
Christopher Duddy: I’d directed one movie before this but I’ve always loved storytelling. I met Duff about 10 years ago just walking our kids to school. We lived about 3 doors apart and we hit it off and became pretty good friends through watching sports, especially football, and just hanging out really. Anyway, he wrote this book and he gave it to me to read. I only really knew the rock star part of his life, the drugs and alcohol and so on, but I was really amazed away by it. A few days later, I approached him about the idea of doing a documentary and he was not into it at all at first. It’s a really inspirational story, and one I wanted to tell and after about the tenth time of me asking he started to give in. He suggested coming on tour with him as he promoted the book and so on, and for a while, we never really knew what we were doing. The turning point of the movie was when Guns n’ Roses were inducted into the Hall Of Fame and the night before, Duff was doing a book reading show. I went along and I was just blown away by it.
The defining moment then?
It was like a light bulb moment for both us. I finally had a vision of how we could do this, without the usual talking heads you normally get.
The readings and interviews come across deeply heartfelt. Was there a conscious decision to leave some things out to avoid the film slipping into self-indulgence?
There was some stuff I wanted and Duff didn’t, specifically involving him and his wife. Duff was keen to avoid the self-indulgent stuff but as a filmmaker sometimes including that can make it easier. He was keen to make the film more about the music and his life. And because his life is all about music it took around 3 years to make the film as he’s in so many bands that he was constantly on tour. It was challenging but we really just wanted to make an inspirational story with Duff being completely up front about his drug and alcohol issues, and how he overcame them. In the rock community, Duff is like some kind of iron horse that other people can lean on.
It would have been easy for the film to focus heavily on the Guns n’ Roses period as that’s without a doubt what Duff is most associated with.
That was a major part of the discussions Duff and I had. Guns n’ Roses are still such a big part of his life, and a lot of the distributors wanted the film to be about that, but Duff and I didn’t. This is not a documentary about them, it’s about Duff. That’s part of the reason we used the book reading show as a catalyst for the stories. There’s not one piece of original Guns n’ Roses music in the film. Everything you hear are reworkings and acoustic versions played by Duff’s band.
It’s So Easy And Other Lies is released on DVD on June 20th.