Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer are the husband and wife who are known for co-starring in HBO's "True Blood," but they also have a production company called Casm Films. "Free Ride" (which opens in U.S. theaters and premieres on VOD on Jan. 10, 2014) is the first movie from Casm Films. Phase 4 Films in distributing the movie in the U.S.
In a CBS News interview that was made public on Jan. 9, 2014, Moyer explained their "Free Ride" collaboration: "It's an extension of how we first met ... It would be strange to do it with someone else."
In "Free Ride" (which is set in the late 1970s), Paquin plays a single mother named Christina, who turns to smuggling marijuana to earn a living. "Free Ride" writer/director Shana Betz based the movie on her own real-life mother's experiences of drug smuggling.
The reviews for "Free Ride" have been mostly negative, with critics saying that the movie is dull and empty. Gary Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times wrote in his review: "If Betz wanted us to embrace her party-friendly mom as much as she does (the filmmaker calls her 'the coolest, most beautiful light in the world'), she inherently falls short."
However, Paquin told CBS News that "Free Ride" does not glamorize drug smuggling: "Christina is unconventionally just trying to be a good mother. It might not look the same way as everybody else's childhood, but she's this incredible survivor."
Moyer added, "She didn't feel that what she was doing was particularly awful for her children. She was just trying to provide."
In other movie news about Paquin, her scenes as mutant superhero Rogue have been cut out of "X-Men: Days of Future Past," which opens in U.S. and Canadian theaters on May 23, 2014.
As director Bryan Singer explained to Entertainment Weekly: "“Through the editing process, the sequence became extraneous. It’s a really good sequence and it will probably end up on the DVD so people can see it. But like many things in the editing process, it was an embarrassment of riches and it was just one of the things that had to go. Unfortunately, it was the one and only sequence Anna Paquin was in, the Rogue character was in. Even though she’s in the materials and part of the process of making the film, she won’t appear in it.”
“She did a fantastic job. She was awesome in the sequence. She’s a brilliant actress. I would work with her in a heartbeat. She completely understood. It’s very disappointing, but she’s very professional and she knows that stuff happens, particularly with material you shoot early on in production. Films evolve.”
Paquin won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 1994's "The Piano."