Toronto Standard: Exclusive Interview with Sarah GadonCast Interview Sarah Gadon
This was published online today; we’ve included only about a third, referring you to the original source for this exclusive article. Gadon’s obviously given the novel, the film and the performance a lot of thought.
Sarah Gadon Exclusive: Working with Cronenberg, Robert Pattinson and adapting Don DeLilloPart one of a conversation about adapting the novel Cosmopolis to the screen, and the type of decisions Gadon, Pattinson and Cronenberg made in the process. This is part one of an exclusive one-on-one interview with actor Sarah Gadon. Part two will run early next week.
Toronto actor Sarah Gadon’s latest film is a David Cronenberg adaptation of Cosmopolis, a short novel by Don DeLillo. The film premieres this Monday at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. In it, Gadon plays Elise Shifrin, a privileged poet newly wed to billionaire asset manager Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson). The film portrays civilization as an intricate but flawed equation, a system seemingly strong but ready to snap, as Packer rolls through Manhattan on a single-day odyssey in a marble-lined limousine.
|Image: Tim Leyes [in Toronto Standard]|
Expansive but brief, the novel is dense DeLillo material. That said, there’s space in any book that is open to interpretation. When moved onscreen, our initial reaction is to gauge an adaptation on its closeness to, or distance from, its source material. But books are interpreted by directors and actors, translated to a different language and passed to the screen. Stitched together these readings make a movie. Wondering how Cosmopolis was translated to film, I asked Gadon.
Full disclosure: Gadon and I have been friends for a number of years.
In prepping for Cosmopolis, where did you start?
Sarah Gadon: I started reading the book as soon as I found out that I would be a part of the project. Then I ran into David, who said, “I don’t think you should read the book. It’s different [from the film], and it might influence you in a way that I don’t think would be right for the project. So I stopped reading. I think he was right to say that. From a character perspective, it’s different playing a real person than words on a page. Pulling a character from a script is a different transformation.
What impact does that have on your interpretation of character?
SG: A writer like DeLillo crafts his characters with so many layers. There’s such a density and richness to them. When I read the script, I didn’t feel confined by the description of Elise. Later, when I was reading the book, I still felt I could dive into the character. I don’t feel that working without the source material limited me at all.