Debra Messing, best known for the hit series Will & Grace, shows a completely different side of himself in the thriller Searching, which runs from Thursday in Dutch cinemas. That is what director Aneesh Chaganty says, who made unconventional choices for his project.

The film is about a father who tries to find out what happened when his teenage daughter disappears. The story is told by images on computers, smartphones, and laptops.


“The idea of telling the story in this way forced everyone who participated completely out of his or her comfort zone,” says Chaganty. “As a director, I had to approach the project differently than normal, but the same was true for the writers, the people of the editing or the actors.”


The director also deliberately sought actors who could put down a performance that people had not seen before. For that reason, he asked actor John Cho, best known for his supporting roles in the American Pi e-films and Star Trek, for the leading role.

In the role of the bold detective investigating the disappearance of the girl, Chaganty cast the actress Brass. “The general public mainly knows her as a comedienne”, explains the director. “We all know how good her timing and her physical humor are, I wanted to show that she can do a lot more and that she can also do a great job with a dramatic role like this.”

Chaganty doubted for a long time whether the film could fascinateThe production of Searching took more than two years. The assembly was the most labor-intensive part of the process.

“I doubted for a long time whether it would be possible to actually turn our revolutionary idea into a feature film that could captivate for two hours,” Chaganty now confesses. “There were so many bumps and risks we had to take in. But when the prologue was over, where we see how the relationship between father David and daughter Margot has evolved over the years, I was convinced that it really could to work.”

Director does not want to be seen as ‘Wonderboy’

His thriller was praised after the world premiere at the Sundance festival. Searching won several prizes and was immediately purchased by distributor Sony, who released the film in the US at the end of August. Yet Chaganty wants to be careful not to be seen as ‘wonderboy’ now.

“It feels very good to be rewarded after two years of hard work, and not only for me, but for all the people I’ve worked with on this project, I have no illusion that I’m already there. On the contrary, I have just started, let me now prove that I can also bring a normal film to a good end. “