Translation by Laura, HQ SCANS to be added later
How did the photoshoot go with Torbjorn Redland? He is a real artist. He usually exhibits in galleries or museums. He is not your tyical fashion photographer.
It was really fun! Interesting and really different from the usual photo shoot sessions. Yeah, it was a really interesting session. I love his work very much and he also gave me his book. He really is a great man.
Let’s talk about your next movie ‘Good Time’. How did you meet the directors, Josh and Ben Safdie?
I have seen ‘Heaven knows what’ a long time ago. There was something magical in Arielle Holmes’ energy, the movie main character. So I contacted Josh and Benny and we met in Los Angeles. I have really liked them. They have an incredible energy and I had the feeling something great would come out of it. I promised myself to do everything they could ask me to do during this first meeting. Knowing what they achieved until now, I think I was right.
We can feel this energy from the movie first seconds. It is a drama, the soundtrack is brilliant, this is a special movie, really different… And it is also a project which is completely independent…
I had the same feeling about the movie: it is unique, taking into account the movies being released nowadays. It ‘s a movie which seems very weird. Nobody does movies like they do. I am really impatient to see how the peoplewill react to it. The filming process went really well.
And it is also a small production…
Yes, really tiny. But we put tons and tons and tons of energy into it. It was a really intense filming process: about sixteen hours a day. In the end, we could make it into three or four movies!
Would you like to work with them once again in the future?
Absolutely! I would do everything with them. On a wink.
‘Good Time’ is a very moving/emotional movie. It tells the story of two brothers, one of them having mental issues an his brother tries helping him. How do you envision their Relationship?
One of the two, Nick, is mentally disabled, and Connie, my character, is one way or another mentally disabled too! He is not a sensible guy who takes normal or rational decisions. He thinks he can do everything he wants, if it means he does it for his brother. But in the end he cannot stop making terrible decisions, he does not connect to the world like normal people. Before filming, we worked in depth on the Relationship between Connie and Nick. Our idea was that Connie and Nick are not really close to one another. Connie just got out of jail and he realises he has to recreate his Relationship with his brother though he does not really know him. It is an unusual relationship.
Connie has no real family. The only one left is his brother…
Yes, and when you look into his character he is one of those guys rejected by his whole relatives. I think we all know someone like that, someone who constantly tests the limits of the other people around so to see if they would be accepted. It has been a while since his family rejected him.
Is it important for you to see that type of movie in competition at the Cannes Festival?
Oh, absolutely! More than ever when you know how this movie was born. It began as a tiny thing and everything went so well. I loved the movie the first time I saw it. And Cannes is my favorite place to present a movie. It is a different experience even when compared to toher festivals. I really think the Safdies deserve to be there, more so in competition. I was so happy when they got selected in the official competition!
You acted in huge productions. Is it important for you to work on smaller and more independent movies?
Yes, even if I haven’t done blockbusters for a long time now. It becomes harder to find interesting projects. Someone can have a very good script, but there is nothing behind to turn it into a good movie. The Safdies are really passionating artists. Everyone wants to work with people like them. I am a very Lucky man.
You also worked twice with David Cronenberg. How was it to work with him?
About five years ago, I filmed ‘Cosmopolis’ with him. It was a totally new experience for me. I would have had never thought of being a part of that kind of movie and working with someone like Cronenberg. And, because David believed in me, my destiny took another path and it completely changed my life. David is truly the best.
He is the best movie maker you have worked with?
They are all really great, but David’s movies are on another level. I was watching ‘Videodrome’ the other day. He made movies at the start of the 80s which are still out of the ordinary nowadays. But all the people I have worked with are incredible.
His 80s movies are completely insane. Their style was brand new then and are still today. The idea of ‘Cosmopolis’ was really unique too: filming a movie majorly in a car and with a video camera solemly centered on yourself.
The writing was incredible. But I love people with unique way of thinking. ‘Good Time’ is like that too, meaning it is not a movie deciding for you what you have to think about. There is no wrong or right. I try working with people who can detect the gray zone of the existence itself. They prove being more clever. There are a lots of similitudes between the Safdie’s vision of existence and Cronenberg’s.
Do you rather prefer working more in Europe than in the US?
Yeah, I am going to be in a Claire Denis’ movie in summer. I think I will be there for at least three months. I don’t know why it took so long for me to work in Europe. It just kind of happened.
Are you living in England or the states?
Actually, I live between London and Los Angeles.
Could you tell us more about Claire Denis’ movie ‘High Life’? Is it in French or in English?
It is in English. It takes place in a space ship. It deals with a group of criminals who are detained for a life penality and who got the opportunity to go in space for a special mission. But it is also about the Relationship between a father and his daughter. There are a lot of psychosexual questions in this movie. All Claire Denis’ movies are deep and interesting. I am really excited about starting the filming process. I have waited for three years for this project to take place.
Will it be the first time you work with a french director?
I think so yeah. I should have been in an Olivier Assayas’ movie though it fell through a day before filming. Twice indeed. I think that Claire is then the first, yeah.
What happened with the Assasyas’ movie? Is it cancelled?
The movie was in full pre-production mode. I was doing rehearsals for about two months. And then the day before the filming the financing got denied. I came back a few months after and the same thing happened. It happens a lot with Indy movies. People look for money everywhere they can so of course nothing is too sure. But I loved the project. Maye someday we will work together.
It is crazy how some projects are cancelled last minute. Are you involved in producing movies too?
I would like to commit to particular movies. It has been some time now that I put my entire trust in directors. A few years ago I could not have been able to commit at 100% in someone else’s ideas. I understood that if you let the director be, and that you let yourself be the actor, it is strangely liberating. I think you learn to do better. But I am still looking out to produce something. I just did not find the ideal project yet.
It could be interesting to be a part of production, but it is a completely different job…
On ‘Good Time’, I loved the producers’ open mind with me. It is always good to be considered a part of the whole process instead of just doing your ators’ job and no one talks to you before the movie premiere. I will probably try going into producing, but it will be later on.
You are really Young to do all that at the sale time…
But I am getting older! (laughs) I still think I am Young though I am not so Young anymore.
You began making movies very Young…
It helps when doing a movie like ‘Good Time’ when you film at night and for long hours. You don’t have enough of a life to do things like that. It is a heavy cross to bear to be accounted responsible towards the others. But once again, I watched ‘King of New York’ the other day, you feel like this movie has a terribly savage energy but Abel Ferrara is getting older too.
Are going from one movie to another? Or do you have breaks in between?
I want to go from a movie to another though the projects I love take time to take place. I find myself pacing in my living room for months, praying for the project to start. I finished ‘Good Time’ a while ago and it is just being released.
Do you still think you have a regular/normal life now that you are famous?
I am a homebody. Once I apply a dynamic in life, I can do the same thing for weeks. It makes other people go crazy, but I can eat the same meal, do exactly the same things and go to bed at exactly the same time every night for a year.
Are you working on other projects?
I am going to make a movie with Antonio Campos, ‘Afterschool’. It is a kind of southern goth thriller.
Are you going to work on Claire Denis’ movie right after Cannes?
Yes and it will take a lot of time. I think we are filming until autumn.
So no summer break for you…
Living in Los Angeles is like being on a break all the time. I have already taken enough! (laughs)
Lucky you! One last question: Do you remember when you decided to be an actor? Was it a precise idea you have had at a precise time?
I did my first audition at 16 or something like that and only a part of me considered being an actor. Little by little I started to take things more seriously. For every project I thouht it would be the last so I just wanted to make it count. I don’t think I ever thought ‘that’s what I want to do’. But I could not imagine not doing it now. Nowadays I can say I spent more than half my life doing this. It is a bit crazy!
Do you know the number of movies you acted in?
23 or something like that? I don’t really know…
It is not enough. There are more to come…
Yeah, I need to have higher numbers!