Also making Martin feel exposed is putting himself out there
as not only the star of the film, but as a writer and director of his feature
debut. “I feel like, ‘Wow, I'm putting it all out there,’” he says of being
front and center.
The project, a truly independent experience as he describes
it, was an exciting endeavor that came with its caveats. “It was like, ‘Oh sh*t,
be careful what you wish for,’” he says of suddenly being worried about not
embarrassing himself or the cast, including Kline, Gillian Jacobs and Mary
Steenburgen, when it came to producing a low-budget film and not knowing truly how
it would end up.
“You get Kevin Kline. That's a coup. I can't believe I get
that guy to be in my movie and then you're thinking, I don't want to f**k this up,” Martin says, adding that he
eventually reached a place where he got past all of that and put it out there.
MORE: John Legend's Love of the Storytelling Process
First debuting at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, where it
won the Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature, Dean is finally opening in select theaters on Friday, June 2. The
journey from festival to theaters has been a long one for Martin, who shifted
his focus back to stand-up and other projects while he waited for the film to
get an official release date.
But now, it’s here. “It's been a longer journey than I
expected,” Martin says. “But I’ve got to say, it has exceeded what I expected.”