After his Broadway debut in 2012 as Morris Delancey in Newsies, starring in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, and acting for movies, Gahanna alumnus Mike Faist is making his hometown proud.
Recently, he starred in the movie I Can, I Will, I Did, directed by Nadine Truong. Faist plays a high school foster kid named Ben. He struggles with bullying, and, as a result, eventually ends up in the hospital. Then, he meets a girl, Adrienne, who is set on helping him. Adrienne’s gran After his Broadway debut in 2012 as Morris Delancey in Newsies, starring in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, and acting for movies, Gahanna alumnus Mike Faist is making his hometown proud. His grandfather, Master Kang, teaches taekwondo as a form of recovery. Reluctantly, Ben decides to try it out.
The movie came to Columbus on December 11, 2017 at the Drexel Theatre. I was lucky enough to attend, and Mike Faist, Nadine Truong, and the producer Brian Yang were also there! The movie was spectacular and left the crowd in tears; it was easy to see how much work was put into this movie. It debuted at the New York Film Festival in July, and has been travelling around the country since.
After the movie, stars Faist and Truong held a Q&A for the crowd, talking about the movie and projects they are working on for the future. Truong stated that she is always working on new screenplays and hopes to have another movie out soon, while Faist is still on Broadway and will be working with The Columbus Children’s Theatre in the upcomings months. The two got along very well, which contributed to the movie's overall cohesion. Additionally, they discussed their artistic differences as well as their ability to compromise.
Truong made it clear that the movie is based off a real story. Master Kang is a real person - his students wanted to see a movie about him and how he helps people through taekwondo. The students had a rough screenplay written, making it easier for Truong to pick it up and help make it an actual movie. The movie showcases how Master Kang real-life purpose is to teach students who want to learn about how the sport can help them.
One of my favorite parts of the interview was when they talked about their different acting styles. Jokingly, Faist pointed out “That was basically the whole film. Nadine would say ‘well how about we do this?’ and I would [say] I’m depressed!”
All in all, having both the star and the director at the screening was a an amazing opportunity. The questions and answers offered fun banter along with some serious life lessons.