VIDEO: STV Interview – Robert Pattinson and David Cronenberg from CannesCast Interview David Cronenberg Robert Pattinson Video
Here’s the video and a transcript we created of interviews with Robert Pattinson and David Cronenberg, done at Cannes. Cronenberg talks of DeLillo’s dialogue, how he cast for the part, and how current events mirrored aspects of DeLillo’s novel. Pattinson talks about the writing as well, first not understanding what the novel was about, but then using that to play the character, and what it’s like working in a confined space like the limo. There are clips from the trailer.
Well at first I was struck by the dialogue in the book. I thought it was fantastic, so unique, it’s realistic in some ways because it is really the way Americans speak but then it is also very stylized. I know from other books of Don DeLillo’s that’s this is something that he does beautifully. And it is sort of the way we talked about the Pinteresque dialogue, like the dialogue of Harold Pinter, the playwright. Something unique about it, very identifiable. And I thought it would be wonderful to hear terrific actors speaking, actually speaking this dialogue because of course in a book, it’s in your head but you are not hearing them.
I really liked the rhythm of it and the structure of the actual sentences. There was something about it, the first thing I liked about it while reading, it rolls, it’s really carefully written.
Well it starts when you are casting in a very basic, pragmatic way. You say, ok what is the age of the character and then you have to cross off your list all actors all the actors who are too young or too old, you know. Then it’s he’s plays an American that means he’s either an American an actor or an actor who can do a good American accent, so you cross off the list. So you start with very practical things and then gradually you find yourself with a very small list, really, of actors and then not surprisingly if your movie is relatively expensive, for us, compared to a Hollywood blockbuster, it’s cheap but compared with most independent films, it is right at the top level. You have to have an actor whose fame will support the budget that you have. So that makes the list even shorter, and at that point, Rob was at the top of the list and I was very excited to think that he would do this movie.
I kept saying when I read that I did not understand. I said to David and everyone, everyone who read it, I said “I find it very good but I do not know. What do you think”. And everybody said “What are you talking about? What do you not understand? I did not cheat and I did not think of anything else. I guess … I think how I played it by imagining things and not being able to identify them. It was a really weird experience when I tried to do because when I did, David was soon realized what he loved when I did not even know what I was doing. I was lost and confused and say “That’s it!”.
It’s funny, I kept saying when I read it , I told David that I didn’t understand it, and everyone I gave it to read, said tell me what you think of it. Everyone is reading it and saying, what are you talking about, you don’t understand it? I wanted to imagine it was something else, and I guess that’s how I was trying to play it, just imagining something is something else the whole time and not being able to identify it. So it was a really weird experience of trying to do it.
David quite quickly realized what he liked was when I didn’t have any idea of what I was doing. I was sitting there completely lost and confused and he was ‘that was the one!’
Normally in films, you have like 50 people looking at you and that makes you feel like you are really in a confined space; and in the limo, you had totally blacked out windows and you had absolutely no sense were dark, it was silence inside. And you had this camera which was controlled by a remote control so you see this little robotic eye moving around looking at you like R2D2 or something. And you’re sitting there. It was the most bizarre experience. Especially when I got used to it and other actors came in and they had to quite quickly get used to it. Everyone was like totally freaked out. There was one sound guy who was underneath the seat wedged in holding a mike. You get to a point where you no longer notice he’s there and start sitting there like farting and stuff.
Well, actually, I started working on the script of Cosmopolis before I make A Dangerous Method. So there was quite a long span before I could get to making this movie, Cosmopolis. And in that time, it is almost like the world caught up with Don DeLillo’s novel which was written 12 years ago. And to our surprise, and it was a complete coincidence, we like we were suddenly shooting a documentary. We were shooting scenes of anti-capitalist riots in the streets of New York and the Occupy Wall Street movement. We thought, well, this is exciting because we suddenly have our finger on the pulse of contemporary events. We had never expected that, I must say.