It's no secret that marriage is hard work, especially when in-laws are thrown into the mix, and apparently no one understands this better than Edward Burns.
The actor not only stars in "Newlyweds," which closed the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival and is available on demand Dec. 26, but he also wrote and directed the film, which centers around a newly-married man whose marital bliss is shattered thanks to some sister-in-law antics.
In reality, the 43-year-old Long Island native is happily married to supermodel Christy Turlington and says he's quite pleased to continue making small, independent, New York-based movies.
The sisters in "Newlyweds" cause some problems. Who has the pain-in-the-ass sister, you or your wife?
The pain-in-the-ass sister is not based on anyone specifically. It's certainly based on a bunch of people that I knew in my 20s and probably, I'm sure for some of my friends, I was even a little bit of that type of character -- the friend that asks to crash on your couch and decides to stay a couple of days longer than he should.
I've always been smart enough not to draw from my life. When I fell upon the idea about this newlywed couple, I asked people what was the toughest thing they faced when they were first married. Nine out of 10 people that I spoke to mentioned something to do with a family member -- the crazy brother or having to move back home with the in-laws or dealing with an ex-wife. I jotted down all of these ideas and then started to create my own version of what I imagined those situations might be.
Do you consider yourself the Irish Woody Allen?
Woody is the reason I make movies. When I was a kid in high school, my mom turned me onto him and I immediately fell in love with a different type of filmmaking and storytelling. But at the time I never thought I'd be a filmmaker. It wasn't until I was in film school and rediscovering Woody that I thought, "What kind of storyteller do I want to be?" I thought, "I love Woody. Why don't I write small New York walk-and-talk movies?" They don't need to be about Upper East Side intellectuals, they should be about Irish-American kids from Long Island.
Did you use your own apartment in "Newlyweds"?
No, we bummed apartments, restaurants and the gym from friends of mine. Basically, when making these micro-budgeted films, you've got to call in a lot of favors. But we did eat well. You can't ask your crew to not work for a lot of money and not feed them well, and I love a good meal, too. I don't want to eat a slice of pizza and then work 12 hours.
You're married to model Christy Turlington.
My friends more so than I say, "How the hell did you pull that off?"
How did you pull it off?
That Irish charm, I hope.
Did you wear her down?
She was absolutely not interested in dating me when we first met, so I definitely had to be very persuasive. So yes, I think I finally wore her down.
You've been married since 2003. When did your own honeymoon period end?
Quite honestly, it has never ended. I'm still waiting.
Is your wife standing right next to you now?
(Laughs) She is not, but she will probably read this.