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Danny Strong Says Making ‘Rebel in the Rye’ Was Hardest, Most Rewarding Thing in His Career (Video)

Sundance 2017: “I’ve been the Vice President much of my career, and it was nice sitting in that chair,” director Strong tells TheWrap regarding adapting J.D. Salinger’s life story

For his directorial debut, actor, writer and producer Danny Strong took on the daunting task of adapting part of author J.D. Salinger’s life story, specifically the struggles he faced in writing his classic novel “The Catcher in the Rye.”

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done creatively, and the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done creatively,” Strong told TheWrap’s Matt Donnelly. “I loved being in charge, the person ultimately making the decision. I’ve been the Vice President much of my career, and it was nice sitting in that chair.”

“Rebel in the Rye” stars Nicholas Hoult as a young Salinger, and Strong says he immersed himself in the role, going as far as to learn yoga and take dance lessons in order to get close to this mythic figure in American popular culture.

“It will be one of the great collaborations I’ve ever had, working with Nic Hoult,” Strong said. “I felt like he was my partner on the project and that we were in this together.”

“Rebel in the Rye” also stars Zoey Deutsch, Sarah Paulson and Kevin Spacey. Spacey worked with Strong previously on the film “Recount,” and Strong said working with Spacey wasn’t at all intimidating, calling his performance “really tender.”

“It’s the opposite of ‘House of Cards,'” Strong said.

Watch the full interview above.