Pages Navigation Menu



In 99 HOMES Andrew Garfield plays Dennis Nash, a construction worker who gets laid off, falls behind on his mortgage payments and loses the home he shares with his mother (played by Laura Dern) and his young son only to wind up working for the real estate tycoon Ray Carver (a blistering Michael Shannon) that snapped up his house to begin with. The movie is an intelligent, well-crafted and passionate indictment of the mortgage crisis created by the banks in the U.S. circa 2008 and these same traits were inherently clear during our conversation with the movie’s director, Ramin Bahrani (GOODBYE SOLO, MAN PUSH CART).

On what inspired him to co-write and direct 99 HOMES:

I am based in New York City and watching the news, seeing peoples’ whole world turned upside down due to the banking mortgage crisis piqued my curiosity. I read over 400 articles and 20 books about the subject matter and it took me to a world that I have never been to. I not only saw the social drama in the story but, in doing my research, was surprised to find out that real estate brokers routinely carried guns during the eviction processes. I wanted to put a human face and create empathy for the over 6 million people who had been evicted and had their lives and financial history forever ruined and explore their anger at the system. Also, there was such a strong thriller element to the reality of the stories. It was also wonderful to work and write with someone I greatly admire and who I call my mentor, Amir Naderi. I wanted to explore Donald Trump’s quote that the real estate is a world of winners and losers.


On working with Michael Shannon:

I was on the jury at the 2009 Venice Film festival and met him when he was there with MY SON, MY SON, WHAT HAVE YE DONE. I had been wanting to work with from then on. When we met at his home years later to discuss this movie, I was struck by how handsome he is. He is tall and was tanned from just returning from a vacation. He also talks a lot and very fast and has an incredible sarcastic sense of humour. With that I tailored the shirt to suit him in the role of Ray Carver. Unlike Andrew Garfield who works more improvisational, Michael is very straightforward and brings a lot of energy and layers. I loved how he brought out the character’s loneliness and how he would deal with the devil within the system.


On working with Andrew Garfield:

I saw him on Broadway in “Death of a Salesman” in 2012 and was so impressed with his talent. His character in this movie is the moral tightrope, riding the balance. Andrew is always pushing as an actor and we used that a lot. Andrew would never know who would be behind the doors of the home he was going to go to foreclose on; whether they would be professional actors or real people we hired who had gone through the ordeal in real life. In fact, the sheriff we used in the movie was, in fact, a real life sheriff who had evicted people from their homes. Many of these scenes were tailor made to get Andrew’s reactions to the characters.

99 HOMES is in theatres now.

Share Your Thoughts