The new film Wish I Was Here is a story about midlife anxieties and suburban discontent, starring Zach Braff and Kate Hudson. Former Scrubs star Braff co-wrote the dramedy with his brother Adam, who happens to be an Oahu resident.
I met up with Adam Braff right before the movie opened and talked to him about life in Hawaii. How did the New Jersey native, and longtime Los Angeles resident, decide to make a life in the Aloha State?
"My wife grew up here and I met her in college. We lived in L.A. for 25 years. I was a writer and she was a costume designer. We decided to get out of town and she had always wanted to move back. What we didn't know was how I'd feel about it but I ended up loving it, not just for the reasons everyone knows but after living in L.A. for 25 years this feels like a small town. I love seeing people I know on the streets," Braff told me.
"I came here with the intention of doing lots of water sports but I have spent time taking care of my house. It's so nice, I own a home. I always lived in a condo in L.A. I take care of my kids."
Braff says his goal for next year is to log more time in the ocean. For now, though, he hints at the difficulty of launching a Hollywood career from 3,000 miles away. "I spend a lot of time writing. I'm not somebody who's a success yet and I hope I don't have to move back to L.A. to get a job writing on a TV show. I want to stay here. That's always a struggle."
Braff believes Hawaii audiences will respond well to the movie because "it's about family, and people respond to that. It's about family, spirituality, going through dreams at the expense of everything else. I think those are universal themes."
The Focus Features movie is out today in theaters.