PANEL- VIDEO: David Cronenberg, Sarah Gadon, and Paul Giamatti at Lisbon and Estoril Film Festival

edit 2013: The original 10 minute video that was posted here no longer exists. Fortunately, I took down notes then, so we still know what was said.  I have added another video from this panel below, and again took notes for you, too; actually it’s close to a full verbatim transcipt. I added some pull-out quotes, because there’s some good ones in here to highlight.  

Sarah Gadon (beings 6:57):

Cosmopolis is going to be a really complex film, but at the same time I think it will have a lot of very classic Cronenberg elements, and certainly a lot of special attention, a lot of emphasis on humanity and technology and just kind of resurfacing a lot of Cronenberg-esque themes. It will be very different from A Dangerous Method.

Cronenberg (begins 7:40):

The movie is him [Pattinson], he’s in every scene. Even in Twilight he’s not the only actor. But in Cosmopolis, although there are many other wonderful actors—like Paul Giamatti- they come in and out; Rob is always there. So it was fun to talk to him and to basically convince him that he was as good– good enough–better than good, to play this role and to my delight, I found him to be a superb actor.

Giamatti (beings 8:10)

He [Pattinson] plays a kind of impossibly powerful wealthy American, and it’s one day of his life as he’s crossing Manhattan in a car limousine to get a haircut. I play, among many other things that happen to him in the movie, I play a guy who’s obsessed with him, a stalker. We have a great scene– the climax of the movie is about a 15-20 minute scene– which is long scene for a movie, hopefully it works!

Added video after original post above:

The video starts with the trailer for David Cronenberg’s film from 2011,  A Dangerous Method.

David Cronenberg at 1:00

David is talking first of all, we play like children, we have fun.  No matter how difficult it is to make a movie to get the money together, the egos, the financing and all that, we are on the set together and we don’t have to worry about those things anymore, then it really is very playful, even if you are doing something very dark and dangerous for us, there’s a lot of playfulness. That’s the way I like to feel around me on the set. That the actors have freedom to invent, to play with things I do expect them to do their homework, and be prepared, as Sarah has pointed out to me [smiles at her] am very lazy [laughs] so if the actors do a lot then I don’t have to do so much.

Paul Giamatti at 1:56

“I’m lazy too but I came super-prepared because I figured if I’d shown up unprepared he’s kick my ass probably. This man is going to want good preparation. But he was incredibly relaxed and in this Cosmopolis,  I had a very difficult scene to do. It was about 16 pages long, it was about 15 minutes long. Which is very long. When we finished shooting it after four days, I thought, I didn’t work hard enough at all, it felt too easy. [looking at Cronenberg] you gave us a frightening amount of freedom, actually. You would come in and go “that was great, let’s move on.” It was terrifying- I had to have screwed that up, that couldn’t have been good. So it was amazing freedom and relaxation. It’s a dark scene but it was actually playful and fun to try to murder Robert Pattinson [all laugh]“

Sarah Gadon at 3:18

“Frightening freedom I think is a good way to put it. When I arrived in Germany [to film A Dangerous Method] I really expected that we were going to do rehearsals, read-throughs, and spend a lot of time with the material and you put the kibosh on that. So it just became about Michael [Fassbender] and I spending a lot of time together at this castle in Germany, then creating and crafting this character. Then when we were going to do Cosmopolis, David came into my trailer and said: “So you’re playing a modern woman? Ready?” And I say “yeah, you want to talk about my ideas? and you pointed at the script and said “No, it’s all there.” So I really felt like I had a lot of space to create, these two very different characters.”

Peter Suschitzky at 4:17

“I look forward to every time I film with David with great anticipation, mixed with excitement and fear. Which never leaves me until we finish the film. But both of us work spontaneously without working things out very much beforehand; however much we might talk about a scene, things change, and each scene, each film, makes different demands which we have to discover as we go along- very much.”

Cronenberg at 4:48

[To Giamatti:] “I am sure you’ve done movies where you did rehearse. I tried that once and I didn’t like it. It was on The Fly. We sat around the table and we kind of did it like theater, everybody reading and giving their ideas. Their ideas were really boring [he laughs] and I didn’t want to listen to their ideas. The other thing was… there were weird ego things that started to happen, where people were twisting words and are arguing with each other about interpretations [looks to Giamatti] “do you find that?” [Giamatti is nodding and smiling.] And so I thought, this is not really productive for *me*. Also, I found that once we got on the set, everything changed.  You have all the actors you need for the scene, their in the costumes that they’re in, you are in the actual set, and that changed everything. So I thought, what are we rehearing for? So that was the one time that I tried it and I really didn’t find that it was productive.”

Giamatti talks of liking rehearsals at 5:53

“…because I like my ideas” (he jokes around about this looking at Cronenberg) then says it’s a weird thing with film, I can’t figure out the best thing to do. he says that it worked with this character though as his character [Benno] lives alone. He says his character is in love with Robert Pattinson and hates him so much that he wants to kill him.

Cronenberg at 6:38

“Wow that is a good idea I never thought of that!” [joking and laughing with Giamatti.] Giamatti: “Oh, for Christ’s sake!”  There’s joking, including with Paulo Branco who talks about needing to find money to re-shoot the last scene. Paul Giamatti fakes pouting and says “I’ll do it for free!” Cronenberg says: “I won’t.”

At the end of the video there is one question from the audience answered by Giamatti:

The question was about how did Giamatti become involved in this film, and there’s joking by Cronenberg about how Paul was broke and took the job. From Paul:  ”He needed someone who was in love with Robert Pattinson, and that’s me! He needed someone to do that, and I was available…”

Source: YouTube

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