Catherine Bray of Film4: Interviews of Pattinson & David Cronenberg; ‘Cosmopolis’ ReviewCast Interview David Cronenberg Director Interview Paul Giamatti
Bray’s Q&A with David Cronenberg:
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Catherine Bray: Hello David. I should start by saying I really loved the film, having seen it twice now, at the premiere in Cannes and on coming back to London – it’s a really extraordinary piece of work.
David Cronenberg: We should stop the interview right now, we can’t do better than that.
Catherine Bray: [laughs] Maybe we can start off by talking about Eric Packer, who I think is such an extraordinary character, for which your casting of Robert Pattinson was such a smart move.
David Cronenberg: Well, as a director you have a lot of balls to juggle, just with casting the main character and something that’s obvious, I suppose, is that you have to have an actor whose fame will support your budget. It’s kind of mundane and it’s not really part of the creative process, but it is part of the pragmatic process of getting a film made, so you need somebody who financiers and financial people and investors can get excited about and obviously Rob has that.
|David Cronenberg with Robert Pattinson at Cannes 2012|
But beyond that, when the smoke clears you’re left with you and the actor on the set, and whether he is good or he’s not good – is he the right guy or not? – and that’s something that as a director you can’t lose sight of. And having looked at a lot of the things that Rob did, particularly the Spanish movie called Little Ashes in which he played the young Salvador Dali, I thought, ‘this is a really interesting and serious actor who’s not afraid to play some very difficult roles’, and so it proved to be. Even Twilight and so on let me know that he could do the accent that we needed for the movie, that he had the charisma that you need if you’re doing a movie in which the lead character’s in absolutely every scene. There’s no scene that he’s not in, so you need someone who’s incredible watchable, and we all know Rob is that.
Catherine Bray: And there’s a really exciting tension between his kind of persona in the film and his public persona, the idea of someone being at their peak deciding to go another way.
David Cronenberg: Yes, and the character himself is a kind of enigma. It’s something that is becoming more and more familiar – someone who is incredibly capable on one level, in this case financial wizardry, and completely inept on the level of human interaction. It seems to go together a lot these days, and we’re just discovering more and more people who’re like that.
Click here for full review Source ; We also posted on this: blog post. First three paragraphs…
Cosmopolis has been assessed as a ‘cold’ film, which it is. Warmth would derail it. An immersion in the process of 28 year old billionaire Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) committing financial suicide over one day as he travels by limo to get his hair cut, David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis isn’t the critique of a social realist or egalitarian, peering in at the villain of the piece. Nor is it asking us to spare a thought for the mega-wealthy because sometimes it’s hard to be a billionaire. What it recognises is the disproportionate and urgent need to comprehend this mindset, given its disproportionate power.
And so Cronenberg’s eerily pitch-perfect realisation of Don DeLillo’s brilliant novel plugs us deep into Eric Packer’s shallow existence, allowing us to feel what he feels – or rather, and here comes that word ‘cold’ again – to not feel what he fails to feel, cold as his lifestyle renders him to the world. And how could it not? That’s the dark question at the heart of Cosmopolis – we can see that such wealth is damaging, we can see the fathomless isolation, the safety, the boredom, the affectless distance, and yet we fail to really hate the rich because, as the film has it, in our minds, we’re all ten seconds away from becoming rich.
The film does not ask how the world came to be this way; it’s enough to know that it has, with Packer’s chief of theory Vija Kinsky, played with delicious callousness by Samantha Morton, boiling it down to money having “lost its narrative quality, the way painting did once upon a time. Money is talking to itself.” We’re into money’s surreal, post-modern, dangerous, self-referential period.
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Film4.com editor Catherine Bray interviews Cosmopolis star Robert Pattinson about playing Eric Packer in David Cronenberg’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis.
“My initial thought was, god, I hope will people get it, because I really got it on a visceral level, as soon as I read it, but I couldn’t explain it to anybody at all. At Cannes, no one was really laughing and I was like, why is no-one laughing, this is funny! But I’m so glad, seeing some of the reactions that came out, really quite passionate reactions. At least some people still want to watch movies like this.” – Robert Pattinson