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Talking grief, rock 'n' roll and comedy with a Princess Diaries heartthrob

Robert Schwartzman is directing and producing the film "The Good Half," which is the opener for the 2024 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.
Courtesy of Robert Schwartzman
Robert Schwartzman is directing and producing the film The Good Half, which is the opener for the 2024 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.

One guy shouldn’t be allowed to be as talented — and as good-looking — as our guest today, Robert Schwartzman.

If you have daughters, like me, you’ll recognize him from The Princess Diaries. He's Michael, the heartthrob from the original movie. Go ahead and squeal right now, get it out of your system.

Or you might know Robert as a gifted musician. He put together a band with his high school buddies, called Rooney.

And though it’s probably not the first thing he brings up at cocktail parties, he’s kinda Hollywood royalty. His uncle is Francis Ford Coppola and, yeah, that was his mom playing Adrian in Rocky.

His passion, though, is storytelling. And that’s where he’s focused his talent. Robert’s career these days is behind the camera as a director and producer.

This weekend he is presenting not one but four films at the Fort Lauderdale Internaional Film Festival. He directed a feature starring Nick Jonas called The Good Half, which is lighting up the festival circuit. He’s showing a documentary about the band The Zombies, which like his band, had a bright but short career. And he produced a third, a mystery thriller called Drugstore June.

The fourth? It’s an encore screening of the movie that put him on the map, as Michael from The Princess Diaries. He will be taking photos with you at the event.

On the Nov. 2 episode of Sundial, we spoke with Robert about his new set of films and his passion for storytelling in all of these different mediums.

On Sundial’s previous episode, we spoke with Tony Laurencio and Cuci Amador, the founders of Afrobeta — they embody a Miami sound. They star in the Emmy-nominated documentary, "Birthright," about their trip to play in Cuba. They join us to talk about that controversial trip and what it taught them about themselves.

Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such as Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Spotify.

Carlos Frías is a bilingual writer, a journalist of more than 25 years and the author of an award-winning memoir published by Simon & Schuster.
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.
Elisa Baena is a former associate producer for Sundial.