How Martin Sheen's arrest record helped inspire his son’s directing career


Emilio Estevez revealed the life lessons he learned from his father Martin Sheen on “Salon Talks.” Estevez's family has a rich history of progressive activism, and he opened up about growing up with a dad who took pride in demonstrating for causes and getting arrested for his activism.

"He's had 68 arrests," Estevez told Salon. “When my dad would get arrested, I didn’t really understand it. I understood it fundamentally, but I didn’t always agree with it. I thought, ‘what if you took that same energy and made a movie about what you believed in, couldn’t you reach a broader audience?’”

Estevez, who is dedicated to writing, producing and directing independent films, found his activist voice through the craft. He set his latest film “The Public” in a library “to remind people just how vital and important libraries are. Estevez wrote, directed and stars in the film, a David and Goliath story about mental illness, homelessness and democracy.

“The Public,” in theaters on April 5, was shot in and around Cincinnati on a tight 22-day schedule, with its public library as the centerpiece of the film. Supported by talents like Alec Baldwin, Jena Malone, Christian Slater, Gabrielle Union, and Jeffrey Wright, the film took seven years to make, and began after Estevez read an LA Times article by a former librarian about how the public library system had become a de facto sanctuary for many homeless people, and librarians the de facto social workers.

Watch Estevez’s full “Salon Talks” episode to learn more about Estevez’s passion project, how he brought so many A-list actors on board, and why he’s committed his career to independent cinema.


About “Salon Talks”

Hosted by Salon journalists, “Salon Talks” episodes offer a fresh take on the long-form interview format, and a much-needed break from the partisan political talking heads that have come to dominate the genre. “Salon Talks” is a destination for information through conversation. Viewers can expect discussions with A-list actors, artists, authors, thinkers, and newsmakers as we explore the full range of the human condition. The show streams live on Facebook and Twitter and each episode is published in full on Salon.com.


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