Nick Offerman Says: Choose Love

In a Recent Visit to the Montclair Film Festival, Nick Offerman Sat Down with Montclair’s Own Patrick Wilson To Tell Us All Exactly What We Needed to Hear

Patrick Wilson and Nick Offerman Providing Honesty and Wit // Photo Courtesy of Lila Taylor
Patrick Wilson and Nick Offerman Providing Honesty and Wit // Photo Courtesy of Lila Taylor

While promoting his new film festival darling, Hearts Beat Loud, Nick Offerman paid a visit to the Buzz Aldrin Middle School, home of the Audible Theater, courtesy of the Montclair Film Festival’s Storyteller Series. Offerman is perhaps most well known for his sarcastic and mustache sporting character of Ron Swanson from the critically acclaimed show Parks and Recreation. But this trip did not consist of conversations regarding fictional park buildings or melodramatic local government scandals.

Offerman sat down to have a conversation with esteemed actor and Montclair resident, Patrick Wilson. The two thespians met working on the television version of the Minnesota-set drama Fargo and became fast friends. The conversation was of course filled with PG-13 rated humor delivered by way of Offerman’s incredibly recognizable voice. But for fans in the audience, Offerman and Wilson certainly delivered heartfelt messages, always seeming to return to the importance of love.

The moderator and event subject discussed the difficulty of balancing work and family, and the necessity of making time for loved ones (mentioning Emmy winning actress and wife, Megan Mullally). For Offerman, in the end, that is the only thing that truly matters. This notion has caused Offerman to slightly change his approach to his career, only choosing to take on projects that truly move him, as not to risk jeopardizing the limited time he has to spend with Mullally.

The discussion ended with a colorful Q & A, where questions ranged from Offerman’s taste in music to seeking advice regarding facial hair, posed by a curious young boy in the audience.

Later in the day, Offerman’s new film Hearts Beat Loud  (available in theaters on June 8th) was screened at the Wellmont Theater

Offerman and Clemons in Their Film "Hearts Beat Loud" // Photo Courtesy of the Montclair Film Festival
Offerman and Clemons in Their Film “Hearts Beat Loud” // Photo Courtesy of the Montclair Film Festival

The Brooklyn-set film illustrates both a beautiful father-daughter relationship as well as a relationship surrounding young love. The film takes place over the summer before Offerman’s on-screen daughter leaves for college in California. Offerman’s character seeks to form a bond with his talented daughter through music, with the hopes of starting a legitimate band (which his daughter affectionately names “We’re Not a Band”). His daughter, played by the cinematic newcomer with an incredible voice, Kiersey Clemons, is hesitant about the endeavor, but relents slightly, as the two churn out a couple of amazing tunes which will leave audiences yearning for the film’s soundtrack release.

Following the screening, Offerman, along with the film’s director, Brett Haley, and Haley’s fellow writer on the film, Marc Basch, participated in a Q & A session. Once again, throughout the discussion, Nick Offerman returned to this idea that if you pour your focus into your meaningful relationships and your loved ones, the nuisances and debilitating factors of life matter much less.

It is an important lesson for all of us. Especially in today’s world, where positive stories seem few and far between, it is critical to remember that happiness can often be found with the people we care about the most. And if a thoughtful movie and an even more thoughtful actor have to remind all of us to choose love, fine by me.


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The author of the article is a Montclair native class of 2017, currently a student at McGill University, studying history and communications within the Faculty of Arts.

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