Excerpted from The Playlist:
You won’t see Mathieu Almaric in his new film, “The Screen Illusion” — which is part of the Rendez-vous with French Cinema Film Festival — because this time, he’s the director.
In fact, Almaric — best-known to American audiences through his roles in “Munich, “Le Scaphandre et le Papillion” (“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly“), and “Quantum of Solace,” has been a director longer than he’s been an actor. As a teenager, he took a job as a trainee AD on Louis Malle‘s “Au Revoir les Enfants” and he won Best Director at Cannes in 2010 for “Tournee.” He has also worked with some of France’s best directors, of course — among them Arnaud Desplechin and Alain Resnais — and he’ll next be seen in David Cronenberg‘s forthcoming “Cosmopolis,” playing a “pastry assassin” who creams Robert Pattinson in the face as part of his mission to sabotage power and wealth worldwide. Almaric sat down with The Playlist to talk about his philosophies on- and off-screen, and why he feels an actor is “nothing.”
Well, I thought since you’re both an actor and a director, there might be some people you’d want to work with just so you could learn from, as a director…
That happens, or not, but you shouldn’t try to make it happen. It’s life that is always more surprising than you believe it is. Always. I don’t wake up in the morning thinking, “I am an actor.” I don’t need to act to feel alive. I don’t think about it. My life and my obsessions are more about making a film. Writing. Stealing time to write. And so, when I do a thing as an actor, yes, I’m attracted to the director. Yes, there’s that. But there’s also friendship and destiny, no? To watch Cronenberg one day, two days, three days shooting, of course it’s amazing. But I never thought about it before — I didn’t wish it to happen.
As the pastry assassin, you get to throw a pie in Robert Pattinson’s face and then give a six-page monologue.
Cronenberg is very close to the book. And Rob is a great guy. Yeah, yeah — it’s a tough scene. I had to speak in English, and Cronenberg shot it in one sequence, where you do the whole scene in one shot. It was very physical, and I spoke so much. And you’re afraid, because it’s Cronenberg! [Laughs] But you manage to learn your lines, and I’m always surprised when I manage to be able to say the words in complete order, you know? I don’t know how it’s possible. But I think it’s going to be an amazing film, especially because he shot it in order, exactly as it happens in the book, about a man who gets broken.
Loved getting this additional insight into the scene! “I glop you good!” Click HERE to read the entire interview.