Joe Bell Star Reid Miller Reveals How He Was Cast As Mark Wahlberg’s Son In Fact-Based Film

What’s great about Jadin is, he isn’t afraid to call his father out. And I think that’s what makes the film so amazing. I mean, this is just as much about Joe learning tolerance and accepting the fact that Jadin is gay, because he doesn’t completely get what he’s doing at first. He really does need Jadin’s brutal honesty and that perspective — which we come to learn is being played out in his mind — to truly help him understand the heart of the issue.

Oh, of course. I mean, that’s why Jadin’s there. I mean, literally one of the opening lines of the film is Jadin saying, “No, I don’t. That’s why I’m with you” … It was a delicate balance of Jadin being brutally honest without being confrontational. That was always the difficult thing to balance, because Jadin wasn’t necessarily confrontational, but he would tell you what he thinks. So the dialogue was slightly misleading, where it’s very aggressive and confrontational, but he’s not fighting his dad, he’s proving a point. He’s just being honest.

There were a lot of scenes like that in that movie, particularly outside the diner. That diner scene was really hard to get, because it was really hard to not slide into that confrontational side, because the dialogue is very confrontational. But we worked it. And we all worked together, and we were really able to find that common ground. 

I’m wondering with material as profound as this, do you feel that you and Mark Wahlberg formed a bond during this film?

Absolutely. I mean, the first time I met him, and we read the scenes together, it was for an audition. He walked me out of the audition room, and he looked at me. And he was like, “When we were reading together, I felt like I was reading and talking to my son.” And I felt the same way, like I was talking to my dad. I mean, it’s like we had this instant bond, and I think that’s … The producers, and the director saw that. And that’s probably one of the big reasons I got the role, was we just had such great chemistry, and me and him bonded almost instantly — that’s the crux of the whole thing, is that relationship.

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