Episode three: Alan Takes Control
Hilariously cranky and surprisingly sweet, Alan Zweig is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, who makes movies that deal with contentious and difficult people, kind of like himself.
He's a senior citizen and self-described "old dad", who had his first child later in life.
Alan suffers from "foot-in-mouth disease", he can't help but speak his mind, even when it gets him in trouble. He can be crotchety, stubborn, and rude, but I sense tenderness beneath his bluster, which is why I invited him to sleep over.
When it's Alan's turn to bring up a problem he's struggling with, he starts by presenting an innocuous object: a flat, striped, lumpy pillow. One thing leads to another and soon we're saddled with a constellation of overwhelming difficulties around issues of control. Who would have thought a thirty-year-old pillow could contain a life's worth of problems?
In a time when we resort to ticking boxes to slot people into categories, Alan's been boxed into "straight white cis male", a label that comes with a kind of privilege that Sleepover guest, Scaachi Koul, often calls out in her journalism.
I'm curious to see how Alan and Scaachi, with their seemingly opposing views, get along while stuck inside a hotel room together. The conversation clearly pushes his buttons, but Alan surrenders to the process. Thrown into the mix is precocious and bright eight-year-old Charlie McGettigan. Will these strangers help or hinder each other?
PHOTOS FROM THE EPISODE