Directed by Dan Levy, Netflix’s comedy-drama film ‘Good Grief’ ends with a tribute to “Pat and Redmond.” Both of them were an integral part of the actor-director’s lives. Pat or Patricia Tyler Divine was Levy’s late maternal grandmother. Redmond, on the other hand, was his dog. The deaths of both of them inspired Levy to make a film that deals with affecting themes such as loss and grief. His experiences of dealing with his loved ones’ demises became the foundation of protagonist Marc’s efforts to navigate his life through the aftermath of his husband Oliver’s death!
Levy’s Grandmother Pat
Patricia Tyler Divine was a singer who once trained at The Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto. She passed away towards the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, affecting Dan Levy severely. “I lost my grandmother toward the tail end of the pandemic, and I was in a very strange headspace in terms of feeling the weight and the profound sense of tragedy of what the COVID pandemic had done for all of us, while at the same time trying to honor the passing of someone who meant so much to me,” he told EW.
Patricia’s demise then made Levy consider conceiving a film about death and unbearable loss. “It was hard for me to feel the specificity of loss when all I was feeling was grief for so long. It was that conversation that really expedited the concept of the movie,” the filmmaker added. Making the film helped him process the grief he had been feeling after the loss of his grandmother.
“When I went into [the production of the film], I was still processing a lot. I do feel like, in making this movie, I have honored the grief that I felt at the time, that this is all I could do to celebrate the feelings that I had when my grandmother and my dog passed away. Sometimes if you have the ability to write, it’s the greatest outlet for pain and catharsis,” Levy said in the same EW interview. Patricia’s life is honored at the prestigious Koerner Hall, a venue located in her alma mater The Royal Conservatory of Music. On her 80th birthday, Patricia’s daughter Deborah and son-in-law and actor Eugene Levy (Dan’s parents) named a seat in the venue after her to pay homage to her life.
Levy’s Beloved Redmond
Redmond was Dan Levy’s beloved dog. Along with the filmmaker, the ardent admirers of his sitcom ‘Schitt’s Creek’ adored Redmond. “Last week I lost my best friend. Heartbroken but grateful for every minute of the last ten years that I got to spend with him. I love you, my sweet boy,” the actor-director shared in January 2022. In 2019, Levy described finding Redmond as the “greatest thing that ever happened” to him.
“I adopted Redmond when he was four years old. He had been mistreated and abandoned at an adoption fair in Los Angeles. Finding him was the greatest thing that ever happened to me,” Levy shared. His life with Redmond also motivated him to urge his followers to consider adopting animals. In a 2019 interview given to Vogue, he described Redmond as his “best friend” and went on to add, “He’s very calm and level-headed. Qualities that I strive for every day of my life.”
‘Good Grief’ materialized while Levy was dealing with the absence of Redmond. “My dog died a week before I wrote the script so to be perfectly honest, there were moments when we were making the movie, where I didn’t even remember writing some of the lines,” he told Stylist. He considers his movie as the expression of his loss. “In a way, looking back on the movie now that it’s out and people are watching it, it feels like the only way I could express how I felt [after losing Redmond],” Levy said in an interview given to Shondaland.