Sorry for the quality of the videos, the room was really dark…
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VIDEO 1 (Laura’s question only):
Laura: At the very start of the project you talked about working with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Vincent Gallo for Monte and now Robert Pattinson is the one, what do you think, taking a step back from the project, the filming and his implication, about his performance as Monte?
Claire Denis: Well, Vincent Gallo, it was a joke between us. It was a project we had a while ago, I would tell him ‘you would be good alone in space because you’re so selfish you would be happy left alone but it was just that. A silly joke. And then we wrote the character with Jean-Pol (Fargeau). Yeah. For me, Monte as a character is a tired man, who was in the death row for quite some time. He was tired. And that’s why he chose abstinence. He did not want anything, he did not have hope anymore, he was burned out. And he accepted the experiment because deep down he was just scared to die in the death row, he prefered that and maybe all of them thought like that but HE was really tired. As for the others, they were really young people… and of course. I did not… I mean, Philip Seymour Hoffman was like a dream but I talked about it with Des who took care of casting, when they started, this wonderful actor died and I don’t even know if we would have asked him the question. He had to have so many huge projects that maybe he would not have been aware of ours. But it happened so that Des alerted me numerous times saying ‘You know, there’s Robert Pattinson, he really wants to meet you in one of the appointment we are setting.’ and I found it so wacky to go from this to him, this young man, famous, very handsome and I told myself ‘Oh lala it is impossible for me. It is not possible.’ And in the end, Robert came to these appointments, Des believed in it and I ended up, after several meetings with Robert, to understand that Robert was really not the person I thought he was. And that he was someone, of course younger, and very handsome, but maybe a same lot kind of actors I am used to work with. So, really, I did not feel like… I forgot really fast that he was THIS Robert Pattinson even if I saw the movies. I have seen the ‘Twilight’ movies but he is really immersed in his work. So, for me, he was Ours. He was always there: the hotel, and everywhere (during the filming)… He was OURS. There. I think. I don’t say that with humor, really. I say it with sincereity. I have rarely seen someone being so available as possible. AND also loving to be. Because, truly, he could have been moody (making a face every single day). He loved it (voice over is mine: he was devoted).
Journalist: and apparently he had seen all your movies, he talks about it a lot…
Claire Denis: Well, he kinda had to… I mean, I have never asked him but… there. I did not see myself asking him ‘Did you see them all?!’