‘Flora And Son’ Interviews: Eve Hewson And Joseph Gordon-Levitt Find Harmony In John Carney’s Latest Musical Romance

To star in a movie by beloved filmmaker John Carney is to confront a certain amount of fear. Carney isn’t just another director; his movies are like a genre all to themselves. He makes musical romances unlike any other; swooning masterpieces that aren’t so much about matters of the heart, but of the power of music to bring people together. His films Once, Sing Street, Begin Again, and his latest, Flora and Son, encompass love in many different forms, and they aren’t all romantic. It’s the harmonious chemistry of Carney’s leads that sends these stories to the moon, and with Flora and Son, he found something special with stars Eve Hewson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Hewson, the daughter of U2 frontman Bono, gets her biggest feature role yet as Flora, a single mother from Dublin who is struggling to build a relationship with her estranged son Max (Orén Kinlan), while also just trying to keep a roof over her head. One day she decides to get Max a hobby by buying him an old guitar, but when he refuses to use the gift, she takes up the instrument for herself. Gordon-Levitt plays Jeff, the washed-up L.A.-based guitar player and songwriter who helps guide Flora through her lessons, while at the same time learning to trust one another and move on from their troubled pasts.

I attended the world premiere of Flora and Son at Sundance earlier this year and absolutely loved the film. It’s another Carney instant classic, with I think some of the best on-screen chemistry he’s found yet. The irony is that Hewson and Gordon-Levitt’s characters are thousands of miles apart, which was a special challenge for all involved.

It was my pleasure to speak with both Eve Hewson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt about Flora and Son. They spoke with me about, first of all, just convincing Carney that they had the goods to even star in his movie as he had specific ideas in mind. Hewson also talked with me about Carney, her fellow Dublin native, about how he and his movies are perceived over there relative to how he’s perceived here in America.  This was quite a treat for me.

Flora and Son is streaming on Apple TV+ now. Check out the interviews below.


Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.