Based on the memoir of the same name, Gus Van Sant’s new biographical film Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot tells the story of cartoonist John Callahan, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who became a quadriplegic after being in an auto accident when he was 21. Earlier this year, disability advocacy group Ruderman Family Foundation criticized the casting of Phoenix as a person with disabilities, stating it is “unacceptable and offensive for able-bodied actors to be cast inauthentically in the roles of characters with disabilities.” At the premiere of the film, we spoke with Van Sant about the casting decision.

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