Paul Giamatti talks Robert Pattinson with Film School Rejects & IndieWire   Leave a comment

Here’s what actor Paul Giamatti had to say about working with David Cronenberg, the film’s straight-faced wackiness, and why he won’t tell you what the towel means:

The tone of Cosmopolis is this very straight-faced, serious type of wacky. How did Cronenberg describe the tone to you?
You know, he didn’t, in a lot of ways. I think he just trusted we’d get a sense of it. Even though the dialogue is very odd, you know what his sensibility is anyway, so you kind of know what the tone is. I did something I don’t normally do on a movie…I just came in at the end, after they shot most of the movie, and I asked David if I could watch the footage, because I wanted to see the tone of the movie and what Rob looked like, talked like, and moved like. I felt it was something I needed to see, because I’m playing a guy who always has a fantasy of him in his head. I did ask to see the footage for exactly what you just said: it’s an odd tone. I wanted to just watch some of it, so I could see how I could fit into it and, in some ways, veer off of it.
It is similar to a few of his previous film in how abstract the story can be at times. When you get a script this dense and full of symbolism, do you try to apply meaning to everything or do you just go with it?
In this instance, with this script, I read this whole script many, many times. I usually do that anyway, but, on this, it felt essential for me to read it a bunch of times. It wasn’t about just concentrating on my stuff, partially because it was so interesting. I just had such a good time reading it and thinking about it. Like you said, there’s a tonal thing, and I needed to have a sense of that in my head. I also feel like the character has a real awareness of Rob’s character, so I felt like I needed to know Rob’s character. Certainly, in my scenes, it all had to make crystal sense to me [Laughs].
Read the rest of the interview here | via

Other interview after the jump!

From Indiewire (click to read the full interview)

How did you wrestle with the verbose dialogue and own it? You essentially talk in wordy, extended diatribes in your scene opposite Robert Pattinson.
Well, I mean it was nice dialogue to say. It’s eccentric, and it’s definitely got a rhythm. It was a bit of a trick to feel your way into it. My character, he’s got a very elaborate fantasy life. He’s got a very intense story playing out in his own head about the other guy and about himself and this relationship. So I think one of the ways it helped me to feel like I could bring the dialogue to life was to make sure that I was constructing this elaborate, emotional life behind all these words so I could connect them all up. And it was weird, the leaps and logic between the speeches — all of a sudden somebody would start talking about something that seems completely unconnected. So I had to make all these connections, and once I could emotionally figure out what was going on, the words then came pretty easily.

“Something about his style as a filmmaker seems to fit well with the book.” It’s odd dialogue, it seems very kind of bare. I don’t know if it’s very complex and intellectual, but it actually comes to an emotional life very well, at least for me. And I think that guy is, as you say, in some ways the most sympathetic because he’s the most visibly emotionally engaged.

Was it difficult to act opposite Pattinson, whose character is beyond detached from any semblance of emotion? Or did his passivity fuel the scene?
It’s like a therapy session in that you keep switching back and forth between, who’s the therapist and who’s the patient? And so yes, some of his passivity absolutely brought a lot of it to life for me.

How long did you and Robert have to shoot the scene?
I think it took us about two-and-a-half days, maybe? You know, it’s a long scene. I think it was nearly twenty pages long, which is a lot for a single scene. So they had set aside maybe four or five days, but it only took us two and a half.


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