Finn Wolfhard Was Told He Was Too ‘Young’ to Direct a Movie: ‘We’re Going to Mess Up a Lot’

Finn Wolfhard struggled to find financing for his directorial debut “Hell of a Summer,” which he co-directed and co-wrote with Billy Bryk.

The “Stranger Things” breakout star told Entertainment Weekly that at age 20, he was met with skepticism from financiers over his ability to helm a feature.

“That’s what everyone said when we tried to get money for this movie,” Wolfhard said. “They’re like, ‘You’re a little young to be directing a movie.’ I’m like, ‘Yep.’”

He added, “Oh my God, they gave money to two kids to make a crazy [movie].’ Not to downplay it, I’m incredibly proud of it, but it was a crazy thing.”

The child star continued, “We’d like to let the film speak for itself. I don’t think age defines filmmaking in any way. I think everyone has stories to tell, and if you have the chance to do it, then do it.”

Wolfhard admitted that he and Bryk have “enough self-awareness” to accept that there would be hiccups helming their first movie.

“We’re really young, we’re going mess up a lot, and we’re going to make mistakes. Let’s just ride the wave and be as communicative with everyone as possible and make everyone feel a part of the team,” Wolfhard said. “It was really informative. I learned more on that set about myself and about other people and about running a set and working with different personalities. I learned more in those three weeks than I have my whole life.”

“Hell of a Summer” centers on an older summer camp counselor who becomes the main suspect in a series of deaths. Wolfhard noted that growing up in the spotlight led him to feel empowered to step behind the camera. Wolfhard and Bryk star, along with Fred Hechinger (“The White Lotus”), D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai (“Reservation Dogs”), Abby Quinn (“Mad About You”), and Pardis Saremi (“Career Opportunities in Murder and Mayhem”). The film completed post-production earlier this year but is still seeking U.S. distribution.

“Since I was maybe 10 or 11, I’ve been watching tons of movies, I’ve been watching behind the scenes on movies, I would stay after work on set to watch all the directors and learn from them and how sets work,” the “When You Finish Saving the World” actor said. “So I felt a little in my element at some points. At some points, I felt completely terrified and like I was flailing, but we had a great cast and crew. It was great. It was all the things, right? It was a small movie in the middle of nowhere in Canada, and it was incredible and hilarious. It was one of the best experiences of my life.”

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