The player won’t embed and some of you might not have the time to listen but I summarized the interview. It’s not a transcript although some things I wrote were verbatim but you get a good idea from these highlights:
- Starts with Eric and Vija clip
- David begins by saying he’s suffering from separation anxiety because after a 3 week promo in 5 different countries, he said goodbye to Rob (Rob has already returned to Los Angeles) and he’s really feeling it.
- The host says they had no interest in Rob but David quipped back, “I was going to bring him here anyway”. 🙂
- David: The movie is very philosophical. Philosophical observations about the nature of capitalism. He thinks it’s more pro-capitalist. Mentions complexities of the film.
- Host: What were you thinking when you cast Rob? David: You’re looking for a great actor. It’s a very difficult role with a lot of dialogue, Quite funny too. You need an actor that gets all of that.
- Host: Did you know he could do it? David: I had seen him in Little Ashes where he plays a young Salvidor Dali, an extreme, difficult Spanish movie. This is a guy who’s not afraid to do something really challenging and difficult. He’s not afraid to play an unsympathetic role. Until you do the movie, you don’t know the breadth of it and I think he gives a fantastically subtle and beautifully modulated performance.
- The host brings up Rob saying in Cannes he doesn’t know what the film is about and asks David about this. David: We don’t know what the movie is about. If you send an email, you know what the email is about. Art is not an email. Old Hollywood joke, if I wanted to send a message, I’d use Western Union. What you’re delivering is an organic universe. What does your life mean? What does my life mean? A movie is a life and it doesn’t have a meaning in a normal sense.
- Host debates David about that comment. Asked if it’s true of any movie and David said yes. The host asked, “We don’t know what Bad News Bears is about?” Then he begins to describe it and David tells him he’s getting into plot descriptions and then gives the “about a billionaire who goes to get a haircut” description of Cosmopolis. On that level we all know what it’s about.
- David: What Rob is talking about is there’s a feeling that you have to analyze. Psychoanalyze a character to get under the skin. When you think about how people really interact, that’s not how you approach your own life and not how you approach a character. I was telling Rob you don’t need to analyze this character.
- The host (who didn’t want Rob there initially LOL) quotes Rob saying that David wanted him intentionally dazed.
- David: It wasn’t that I wanted him like that. I could see that was the way he was working. When he didn’t think too much. It’s a question of an actor who has not yet learned to trust his intuition, his instinct. His lack of confidence which Rob admitted to.
- David talks about how athletes also do this – over think and outsmarting themselves and they should just throw the ball.
- David mentions the London Whale again (not the baby one that went up the Thames).
- Discusses the isolation of the limo but when Eric leaves the limo, he doesn’t know how to interact and talk. David also warns against making sweeping generalizations.
- Host: Can extreme wealth create extreme desensitization? David: I think it can but it’s not inevitable. Cites Richard Branson and Bill Gates as wealthy people who are not desensitized.
- David: Money is something we created. It doesn’t exist in nature.
- Host: It doesn’t feel like a human thing. It feels out of our human control. David: But it is something we created. You don’t get animals with an economic crisis.
- The host brings up Rob again and his character not being likable.
- David: Rob found a review on the internet that said the film was aggressively unlovable and I loved that and thought that was great. “Yes! That’s what we are!” The desire to be loved is death when it comes to art. You can’t say anything true and cutting and profound if all you’re after is love. (David is referring to art not life).
- Host mentions that seems true for the creators but for characters, isn’t it orthodox to want to see something redeemable in the characters.
- David: This is not coupons in the grocery store. What is interesting is provocativeness, intrigue. If you are intrigued by the characters, if you find them fascinating, what they do is illuminating. If it provokes you. That’s great. None of that equals likable or lovable. There could be that too but the chances are slim that they all go together so I say you can’t take your eyes off Rob in this movie. So it makes you question what is art. What is entertainment. What do you look for in a movie. Some audiences only look for something light and fluffy and feel good. This is not the movie for them. If you’re looking for something more, immediately you’re not talking about something likable.
- The host challenges about having a movie of all villains but David says that would be what’s interesting, more pure potentially because you can only go so far with the generalizations. Also jokes there’s a reason actors like playing villains.
- The American Dream was discussed. The get rich quick dream because the class structure was dissolved that was rooted in England. In America, to be rich was to be elite.
- Host: Do you think people still believe that in America? David: I think they do because they see stories of Facebook and someone becoming a billionaire in his 20s just playing on his computer. I think there are levels where some people don’t believe that. There’s always been a hopelessness in certain segments of society.
- Host: It’s a very compelling film and different from anything else out there. You said it was a difficult film to get made. Why is that?
- David: Part of it was the economics crisis. Money sources have disappeared. The film industry is the amphibians of the world. Such thin skin that any change can effect us. Toxicity in the environment effects us because it’s not a necessary business. Sources have dried up. Distribution has dried up.
- Host: So it wasn’t the content of the film (anti-capitalist). David: No because a really good capitalist would love an anti-capitalist film if it makes money.
- Host: What are you reaching for now as a filmmaker? David: It hasn’t changed. Things that are entertaining amusing provocative. I still love the joy of creation. People talk about the difficulties but when we’re alone on the film set and we’re making the movie, it’s so much fun. You’ve got the people you love to work with and you’re creating something and you’re killing yourself laughing. With Paul, Rob, me and my crew just doing that last 22 minutes of the film on one set with those guys was great fun. It was joyful. It was wonderful.
- Host: Nothing more gratifying than a great artist who still loves making his art. David: Exactly. At that moment, you have defended yourself against despair, despondency, depression. Suddenly you’re just alive and you’re really excited and you’re happy.
David was great and if you have 23 minutes to spare, click HERE to listen.
I can’t wait for David and Rob to be reunited for more promotion. The limo is having separation anxiety too. 😉
Thank you, Jay, for the tip!