‘Get Better’ premieres in Tryon June 18Published 6:56pm Thursday, June 14, 2012
Tryon Theatre’s marquee proudly proclaims the premiere of “Get Better,” set to show at the theater Monday, June 18.
Not only was the independently-produced drama filmed in Tryon and surrounding areas last November, but filmmakers Chris White and Emily Reach White chose Tryon’s own Robert Linder to play one of the lead roles.
“The character I play in the film has retreated from his world, which is understandable given his challenges,” said Linder of the terminally ill patient, Roy, he plays in the film. “But not me. The film stands as proof that cancer is not a death sentence. It provides us with a choice. And I chose to live my life, 110 percent.”
Linder himself was diagnosed with a brain tumor just before filming started last fall. Committed to their leading man, the Whites decided to shoot in Linder’s Tryon home for seven consecutive days. The cast and crew waited each day to shoot scenes when Linder returned from radiation treatments at the Gibbs Cancer Center in Spartanburg, S.C.
The premise of “Get Better” focuses on a week in the life of Ellie Alexander (Marisa Viola) and her chronically ill father, Roy (Robert Linder). Filmmakers wanted to show how Ellie went about balancing her life and the hefty demands of her job, all while taking care of her dying father. Life never stops, so the movie also throws in the complication of an on-again, off-again romance with Mike Smith (played by Chris White) and a visit from Pam Stuart, Ellie’s childhood friend.
Stuart travels from New York to document Roy’s life and ends up exposing the wounds caused by his disease.
“With an undiagnosed disease, especially one that has neurological symptoms, the shame multiplies exponentially. You get told to buck up. To quit faking it,” said filmmaker Emily Reach White. “That shame is the reason I’m interested in stories about sickness. I had to know. When did we stop listening to the sick? When did we start blaming the sick for their sicknesses?”
Linder said it was he who offered the idea of filming on days directly after his treatments. He said doing so made him stronger.