TODAY   |  November 29, 2012

Ed Burns: Forgiveness a big part of Christmas

Actor, writer and director Ed Burns talks about his return to his Irish-American roots in his indie film “The Fitzgerald Family Christmas,” how his father is nothing likes the dad he writes into his films, and how Tyler Perry was key in helping him focus the script on his own experience.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> the holidays are a time when families get together to celebrate and reconnect. let's not sugar coat things. they can be filled with a lot of drama.

>> no one captures that better than actor, writer, director ed burns . he returns in his indy film called "the fitzgerald family christmas ." he plays the older, more pinterested bossy brother.

>> she actually suggested i let her sneak the baby out one day and get her baptized.

>> i think it's genius.

>> we are not baptizing the baby.

>> corey is jewish.

>> i thought corey was an a atheist.

>> he's still jewish.

>> a couple of my best friends , one is one of nine, one is one of 12. i always heard great stories about the dynamics in those stories. sometimes they have very different opinions about their parents and what a good or bad job the parents did. that's where i started. this takes a look at seven adult siblings who have to deal with the fact the father that walked out on the family 20 years ago has returned and he wants to spend christmas with the family.

>> he's dying.

>> yeah. you gave it away.

>> i didn't give it away. we don't know what happens.

>> now we got that out of the way.

>> people come back for all kinds of reasons. sorry. you didn't tell me not to say.

>> the cast, you took your old favorites and brought them all back. talk about your full cast.

>> it's like i've got two generations of cast members and two parts of my career. the early mullen season and these later films i've been doing. i knew i was going to work with --

>> she is so great.

>> connie here. speaking of connie , i knew i wanted to work with connie britton . they are talking about doing a mcmullen sequel. i said why wait till then? how about you join this family? to work with connie and mike again it was as if no time has passed.

>> the underlying theme is forgiveness. is it possible in that kind of a familial environment for everybody to come to some point of acceptance and forgiveness?

>> i think that's the theme of the movie. it's a big part of christmas . i think this family looks at it like, okay, maybe we can't forgive this guy for everything he's done, but for tonight, for this one day, christmas , let's forgive him without giving away the ending --

>> i didn't give away the ending.

>> he doesn't die in the film.

>> he doesn't die, okay?

>> you said the script just poured out of you.

>> he gave me good advice. he goes, look, i rewatched your first two films. in 15 years, why haven't you ever gone back and explored those types of characters, that world and make that kind of film about a family again?

>> an honest warts look at it. in real life because we know this father did something that's tough, your dad is completely -- you keep writing that kind of father figure. what does your father who is a wonderful man say about that?

>> we were at a film festival . he was at the screening. during the q and a i never got the experience to explain my dad isn't anything like this guy. after he goes you're a real pain, you've got to tell these folks that i am not a -- whatever.

>> you have a new way of letting people see these film.

>> you bypass the middle man.

>> a lot of indy films followed suit. the film is available on vod. if you see this interview, like it, see it on movies on demand channel and buy it today or go to itunes or amazon.

>> makes it so much more marketable. you can come on and be with us for free. we'll have you every day.

>> i'll be back tomorrow.

>> it will be in some theaters.

>> it opens thesically on the 7th in new york and the tri-state area and florida. on the 14th, all around.

>> we wish you all the best.

>> you're a terrific guy. christy is off in uganda doing good work.