In an era when film production is an increasingly risky business, a triumvirate of New York City natives with familiar last names have decided to throw their hats into the ring. Bingo Gubelmann (brother to Phoebe and Tantivy and cousin to Marjorie); Austin Stark (an heir to Stark Carpets) and their friend, banker Benji Kohn, formed Paper Street Films two years ago. This weekend, their very first effort, teen thriller flick “Homecoming,” was released and garnered a flurry of tabloid attention when star Mischa Barton landed in the hospital the eve of the premiere.
Stark talked to WWD.
WWD: Why did you cast Mischa Barton as the villain, former homecoming queen Shelby?
A.S.: There are very few actors that are that age who can validate the budget for your investors. So Mischa was on a very short list.
WWD: How do you think her involuntary pyschiatric-hold might affect the film?
A.S.: First and foremost, we hope that Mischa gets well soon. Mischa’s health first, movie second. That’s the important thing here. But, honestly, “Homecoming” is a pulpy teen thriller that appeals best to the younger set. If anything, it’s probably brought more awareness. But it’s certainly not how we wanted this to play out.
WWD: Did this come as a surprise to you or did her behavior on-set indicate that this would be a risk?
A.S.: She was a total professional. She came prepared every day, was always on time, and delivered a fantastic performance. I’m not too close with Mischa personally, so I was a bit surprised by all of this, but certainly not shocked. I hear the rumors like everyone else. The whole thing makes me a little sad.