INTERVIEW: David Cronenberg On His Very Eclectic ‘Maps To The Stars’ Cast + More

David Cronenberg spoke to Entertainment Weekly about his eclectic cast in Maps To The Stars, his technique of working with actors and lots more.  You’ll find some excerpts below but make sure and head over to EW and have a read of the full interview.

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EW: As someone who loves movies about movies—Sunset Blvd., The Player, Get Shorty—I think I was your perfect audience. But Maps to the Stars is maybe a little bit bleaker and darker than those.
David Cronenberg
: That comes from Bruce. He’s written about nine novels, mostly about Hollywood. His father was briefly in the business, and he grew up there and has great stories to tell when he was a limo driver and drove Orson Welles, and Olivia de Havilland, and Mick Jagger. You name it, he’s done it.

Was the tone there from the first draft, or was it even more acerbic?
He wrote the first script 20 years ago, and I first saw it about 10 years ago. It was [always] pretty much what you were seeing. Bruce could’ve written a 1,000-page script, with all the stories that he has. He’s actually said that every line of dialogue in the script he’s actually heard spoken somewhere along the line.

There’s this famous Billy Wilder story that Louis B. Mayer berated him after screening Sunset Blvd., saying he disgraced the industry. What type of reaction have you sensed to your film?
When I first tried to get it made as an American production, the response I got from one very well-known indie producer—who also has done some big studio movies—was the classic thing. He said, “I could not do that to this business that’s been so good to me.” And at the Cannes Film Festival in May, a studio head, also someone who declined to be involved in making the movie, after the screening, came to me, draped his arms around me, hugged me, and said, “Your movie scared the shit out of me. I had nightmares all night and then today, when I went to the Hotel de Cap for a party, all I could see was scenes from your movie.” I thought, “That’s a pretty good review.”

(………)

t’s a film very much about actors. I’m curious what you’ve learned about actors over the years.
My technique of working with actors comes from my temperament, which is I suppose fairly Canadian. [Laughs] It’s very collaborative and congenial. I like to have a really happy set with lots of humor, and the actors have the feeling on my set that they are observed. I see everything that they’re doing. An actor wants to know that you’re watching what they’re doing, and they want to be directed. They don’t want to have no guidelines. And I’ve also found—and I suppose this is somewhat like the Woody Allen technique—if you cast it well, you really don’t have to do a lot of directing of your actors. If they understand the script and you’ve made the right casting choice, they just go do it. I’ve never believed in the sort of svengali thing where you hypnotize the actor to do your bidding, or you take an actor and break him down psychologically so you can rebuild him as the character. I’ve never felt that was remotely realistic, and I never felt that any actors that I worked with needed that.

You mention getting the right actors for the right roles. For Maps, you have a very eclectic cast playing characters who are flawed, if not warped. Was it easy to attract actors, or were there some who reacted the same way as those spooked executives?
I did have some actors who are afraid of the roles because they were so extreme. For example, the scene where Havana Segrand is sitting on the toilet while she has a long conversation with her assistant and she’s farting and doing all that stuff. There were several actresses who were approached during the long development of this script of the movie who couldn’t do that scene. They just could not bring themselves to do that scene. And you accept that. People say, “How do you talk your actors into doing things like that?” I say, “Well, you don’t. If you have to talk them into it, they are the wrong actor for the role.” So with Julie, we never even discussed it. It was just business as usual, and we had a lot of fun with it, because in some ways, it’s a very funny scene. And in some ways, it’s a very disturbing scene. We all understood all of those things. You need the right actor to do that and one who is not afraid or intimidated. There is no calculating that; you just have to really talk to the actor and find out.

(……….)

More disturbing to me than the incest that’s in the film was the entitlement of the child actor, and the way that people around him treat him. That’s Bruce’s perspective—but do you find that pervasive in this industry, with young stars who attain that kind of success?
Sure. I can tell you that John Cusack said, “I was Benjie.” John was a child star, and he could say from his own experience that that would’ve been him at that time. That having fame, adulation, lots of money thrown at you, weird kinds of power that you didn’t know you had, is completely deforming to a kid who has no self yet to shape those kind of events.

All of my actors could vouch for the veracity of those characters. Not that they were those characters, but they knew people who had undergone those things. Julianne Moore, for example: She’s in her 50s. How many actresses did she start with who were really hot for awhile, and after the age of 40, completely disappeared, like they didn’t exist anymore? It becomes like an existential terror—a kind of pre-death in Hollywood that you suddenly don’t get those phone calls. Nobody wants you on the screen. And if you’re not on the screen, you don’t exist. And that happens to women more than men.

Check out the full interview with David over at Entertainment Weekly

INTERVIEWS: Olivia Williams talks about Maps To The Stars – “dark territory but was exhilarating”

The Irish and UK press had a couple of interviews with Olivia Williams that came out for the Bluray/DVD release in the regions, February 2nd.

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Excerpt from The Independent:

Your most recent movie, Maps to the Stars, deals with Hollywood’s dark side. There’s murder, suicide, incest…

I wouldn’t say that all of those things happen all of the time to such a concentrated group of people. But I would say that I have heard of most of those things happening to individuals. It’s a satire and a lot of it is far-fetched. But it’s not unheard of.

You play the controlling mother of a child star. Who did you base your character on?

It is a combination of people I have come across in the past 20 to 25 years in the business. I’m not going to name names.

Is Hollywood an anxiety-inducing, crazy-making place?

It depends on what level you choose, or are forced, to engage with it on. There is a moment when you are accepting a job when you have to become involved with the business affairs people at the studio. Their job is to paint you as worthless and your agent’s job is to paint you as of inconceivable value. They’ll say you haven’t made a successful studio movie in five years and the last thing you did got good reviews but no one went to see it… It’s a gradual chipping away at your worth.

Excerpt from Breaking News (Ireland):

Olivia Williams has said she was drawn to her film Maps To The Stars because it was thrilling heading into “dark territory”.

The 46-year-old actress plays a Hollywood mum in David Cronenberg’s satirical drama, which also stars Robert Pattinson and Julianne Moore.

“I was driven in the first place by the script, which had everyone on set both laughing and appalled in equal measure. It felt like we were in very dark territory, but was exhilarating at the same time,” she said.

“Given the subject matter, some feared we’d never be invited back… but ultimately Hollywood loves to see itself caricatured, whether or not it is flattering.”

Olivia said she was “intrigued” to work with filmmaker Cronenberg on the project.

“I have always been a bit too squeamish to watch his work, but the script was so funny and appalling at the same time, I just wanted to be involved. My enthusiasm carried me through my nerves,” she said.

“Very quickly on set I felt I just wanted to tuck in, like a big meal. There were lines and scenes I just couldn’t wait to play.”

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Julianne Moore Talks Havana Segrand & ‘Maps To The Stars’

Julianne Moore nominated as Best Actress for her part as Havana Segrand in Maps to The Stars spoke to Golden Globes Awards ‘The Dailies’ about the tragically funny and desperate portrayal of a fading movie star in David Cronenberg’s biting Hollywood satire.

Click HERE or on the pic below to watch the video interview.

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VIDEOS: David Cronenberg ‘Maps To The Stars’ Q&A At The Varsity Cinema, Toronto

The people who were lucky enough to attend the screening of Maps To The Stars at the Varsity Theatre in Toronto last night were also treated to a great Q&A with David Cronenberg afterwards.
Site friend Susie attended the Q&A and kindly shared with us the videos she recorded.

In this first video David talks about getting Maps To The Stars made, how making it was very cathartic, how he doesn’t hate Hollywood and more.

Here David talks about the now famous time he lit up the Hollywood sign for the shooting of Maps and talks about the controversy that followed.

In this video David explains how he thought Cosmopolis was going to be his last movie, until that is Maps To The Stars came along.

If you’re like me and could listen to David talk forever then check out Part 2 HERE for more videos.

ROUNDUP: NEW ‘Maps to The Stars’ Interviews With Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, John Cusack, Sarah Gadon & More

With Maps To The Stars being released in Canada today there have been lots of great interviews with the Maps To The Stars cast hitting the internet.
Side Note: For those of you seeing the movie tonight at the 7:10 p.m. screening at Varsity Cinemas, 55 Bloor St West, Toronto, you are being treated to a Q&A with David Cronenberg! You can find out more details about that HERE.

And now onto the interviews…….

Canada Am’s Bev Thompson sat down with Robert Pattinson, John Cusack & Julianne Moore. Click on the pic below to watch the 3 interviews.

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Dork Shelf spoke to John Cusack and Robert Pattinson where they spoke about David Cronenberg’s funny side and lots more!

Cineplex chatted to John Cusack, Robert Pattinson, and newcomer Evan Bird about the pursuit of fame and all that lies underneath.

And CBC’s Eli Glasner asked the cast to share their most horrific audition stories.
(Click on the pic to watch)

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The Watchlist’s Brigitte Truong sat down with Robert Pattinson, John Cusack, and Evan Bird to talk about their new film and working with the twisted Canadian filmmaker. Click on the pic to watch the interviews.

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VIDEOS: Scene Creek & Yahoo Canada Talk To John Cusack & Robert Pattinson At TIFF

Lots of new interviews coming out from TIFF ahead of Maps To The Stars release in Canada tomorrow. Yesterday we had an interview from Scene Creek with Robert Pattinson and today they have a great 7 min interview with John Cusack.

Also Yahoo Canada sat down for an interview with Robert Pattinson where he spoke about how happy he was to work with David Cronenberg again.

VIDEO: Robert Pattinson Talks To Moviefone About Child Actors, Hollywood & More

We already heard Moviefone talk to Sarah Gadon & John Cusack. Now it’s the turn of Robert Pattinson.

VIDEO: Scene Creek Found Out How Robert Pattinson Felt When He First Read The ‘Maps To The Stars’ Script

Scene Creek spoke to Robert Pattinson at TIFF and asked him about working with David Cronenberg, how he felt when he first read the Maps To The Stars script and that now infamous limo scene with Julianne Moore plus lots more.

VIDEO: Sarah Gadon On ‘Maps To The Stars’ & Working With David Cronenberg Yet Again

Moviefone interviewed Sarah Gadon about starring in yet another David Cronenberg movie. She also spoke about how she felt when she first read the script for Maps To The Stars, what it was like working opposite Julianne Moore and more.
Check out the interview below………

LIVECHAT: David Cronenberg Talks About Working With Mia Wasikowska & Robert Pattinson, Why He Wanted To Direct ‘Maps To The Stars’ & More

Yesterday David Cronenberg took part in a Twitter LiveChat in association with EOneFilms. We livetweeted it over on our twitter account but for those of you that missed it you can check out it in full below.

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