Several articles have come out of Cannes about The Rover and this roundup has some great interviews with David Michôd and Robert Pattinson. Guy Pearce also chimes in but we’ll hear more from him in our video posts.
David sat down with Indiewire to talk about The Rover, his experience at Cannes and more. It’s a great read and we only posted an excerpt so make sure to check it out. The link follows the excerpt:
How do you want “The Rover” to be read? To me it’s an incredibly bleak, nihilistic tale. Do you see it in those terms? Critics have been labeling it an angry work, much like “Animal Kingdom.”
In some ways, yeah, it is an angry movie. I feel like I was angrier when I was writing it. But at the same time I feel like “Animal Kingdom” is an angrier movie than this one. That weird of tableaux of characters you’re left with at the end of “Animal Kingdom” is a pretty kind of loveless tableaux. Whereas here, where this movie ends for all of its brutality, is an almost sentimental place of human connection.
It does boast the lightest scene of Cannes, where Pattinson’s character sings along to a Keri Hilson jam alone in a car.
You’re the first person to bring that up! I kind of half expected it would be a thing. When I was doing press for “Animal Kingdom” every press person would ask me about “All Out of Love.”
What went into selecting that song?
One of the things that was challenging for this movie was it was set in a period of the future, so it makes musical choices really kind of difficult. I’d imagine that maybe there’s a sense that pop is still some kind of functioning genre, like the equivalent to classic rock. I wanted at that point in the movie to remind people that Rob’s character is a lost kid, one who in different circumstances would have favored pop songs. I just wanted that moment in the film to be a strong reminder of the fact that he just wants to be a kid.
About his performance, he’s a true revelation in “The Rover.” What led you to cast him?
It was a meeting. I still haven’t seen the “Twilight” films. I don’t feel I need to. I had a meeting with him before I knew I was going to make “The Rover,” and found him instantly beguiling.
Why did you meet with him if you weren’t familiar with his work?
I’d seen nothing. It’s that weird thing that happens after a movie you’ve made has gotten some attention — you go on a billion blind dates. And this was one of them. I didn’t really know anything about him, but I really liked him. He was really smart, funny and open. He seemingly had great taste. He had a really interesting and eclectic knowledge of cinema. When it came time to cast for “The Rover,” I just had this weird feeling that he was the one I wanted to see the most. Fortunately he really wanted to do the movie.
I mean I put him through the wringer. We worked for three of four hours during our camera test, but I felt I knew within the first few minutes that I found the guy for the character. The next few hours were just us exploring. He helped me find the character.
What were the reasons for not including your “Animal Kingdom” star Joel Edgerton in the cast, given he’s co-credited for the story of “The Rover”?
Joel and I actually talked about it. When we were first working on the story together, I don’t know that we had any ideas of who might be in this thing. Then I went away and started writing the screenplay, and started very quickly writing it for Guy. It was very important that this character be a man in his mid 40s, a man who remembered what things used to be like. It’s amazing the difference a thing makes, something so simple like a seven or eight years difference in the age.
What types of conversations did you have with Joel that led to you writing “The Rover”?
We initially thought we were writing a movie for his brother Nash to direct. We were in Los Angeles together, this was back in 2007, I didn’t know why I was there. Joel and I started talking about this movie that Nash could direct, and we started with just as basic as a man in the desert gets his car stolen. Initially we thought we were working on something that would turn into a car chase movie, but as soon as I started writing it, I started writing the kind of movie that I wanted to make, and not the kind of movie that Nash would want to make. If I start writing something and I’m committed, I can’t help but want to mold a world that is mine.
Click HERE to continue reading David’s interview.
Rob’s been doing a lot of press because he had two films at Cannes – The Rover and Maps To The Stars. Vanity Fair caught up with him and this excerpt is about The Rover:
VF Hollywood: David Michôd has talked a lot about the back story for The Rover, which is set “10 years after the collapse.” How much did he tell you about your character?
Robert Pattinson: Well, not a lot. I kept questioning that aspect of it. “What is this economic collapse? I want to know the details about it.” Then I realized it didn’t really make any difference to my character.
Guy Pearce’s character refers to your character as a “half-wit.” Were you playing him as someone with a real disability, or just someone who hasn’t been that well educated?
I was thinking he’s almost like someone who’s been told there is something wrong with him and there actually isn’t—but he has been told there is so many times that he has just sort of accepted it.
He reminds me a bit of Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad.
Yeah, I think there is a similar trajectory. But even if he does prove himself in a dark situation, he really really never wanted to do that in the first place—and it sort of breaks him.
What about those brown stains on your teeth? Was that a process every day?
Yeah, I mean, initially it was [supposed to be that] they didn’t have fluoride in the water so everyone’s teeth were messed up, but then I end up being the only one with really messed-up teeth. I put it down to, he was just one of those kids who didn’t brush his teeth. I think it’s quite a distinct person, and I knew a few of them in school—kids who had brown teeth at 11 and were always, like, really weird.
Are you an end-of-the-world guy? Do you think the end is near unless we change our ways?
Um, not really. Probably because I’m just quite ignorant and I have a nice life. I think everything is quite cyclical. There are definitely some incredibly worrying things—and for the sake of what? So you can play video games all day? It’s kind of ridiculous.
Click HERE to read Rob’s interview in its entirety.
MORE articles under the cut!
More than any film before, “The Rover” announces the 28-year-old former “Twilight” star as a talented actor of range, capable of disappearing into a complicated role.
“It’s literally exactly what I wanted,” Pattinson said of his Cannes, smiling atop the Palais des Festivals.
His performances have been eye-opening for many, including Pattinson’s co-stars. “I wasn’t aware of what he was capable of,” says Pearce. “On the second day, I said to David, ‘He’s really (expletive) good, isn’t he?'”
Along with Michod (“Animal Kingdom”) and Cronenberg, Pattinson has shot movies with Werner Herzog and Anton Corbijn. He’s lined up films with Harmony Korine (“Spring Breakers”) and Olivier Assayas (“Carlos”). All are widely acclaimed filmmakers who mostly operate far from the mainstream.
“It takes so much of the responsibility off you,” says Pattinson. “I don’t like the idea of trying to make movies as, like, a vehicle. Also, I don’t really know who my audience is. I don’t know if I have an audience. Outside of ‘Twilight,’ I don’t know.”
Pattinson auditioned for Michod for “The Rover,” though the screenplay’s scant backstory made it difficult. Exposition is largely resisted on the characters and the nature of the “collapse” that destroyed Australian currency. Pattinson went in in character.
“But then I had to sort of ask a couple questions half in character at the beginning, like: ‘Is he mentally handicapped? Before I completely make a fool out of myself?'” he recalled laughing.
“The second he started doing the character, I was getting excited,” says Michod. “I was getting excited about the performance he would give, excited about the character as invented by him and excited by the prospect of taking a possibly very underestimated franchise star and letting him demonstrated what he’s actually capable of.”
Click HERE to read the article in its entirety.
The Wrap had a fantastic expose on Rob and his metamorphosis at Cannes:
After the last couple of days at Cannes, it’s easy to see why Robert Pattinson is on the cover of French Premiere with the headline “la metamorphose.”
The two movies that have brought Pattinson to the Croisette are weird, dark, supremely edgy and nothing like what we might expect from an actor who became famous as the vampire dude in the “Twilight” movies.
His reinvention (at least when he strays into the indie world) is indeed a metamorphosis. And Cannes has become an accessory to his intriguing makeover, which actually started a couple of years ago when he came to the festival with David Cronenberg’s austere and arty “Cosmopolis.”
This year, he’s back with Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars” and David Michod’s “The Rover” which premiered on back-to-back days at Cannes. Both are bloody, brutal and strange, and both are terrific.
Click HERE to keep reading.
We’ll keep bringing you the latest from The Rover promo!