Source: Screen Daily
3 September, 2012 |
Paul Thomas Anderson talks about the inspirations for the film, Joaquin Phoenix’s immersive acting style, shooting large format, and now adapting Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice.
Screen spoke to the director during a roundtable interview in Venice immediately after the film’s world premiere.
Congratulations on a stunning film. The world was probably expecting something quite different — this is a film about a friendship between two disturbed men.Thank you. Yes. That was what we talked about all the time. We were concerned with the love story between these two men, about how desperately attracted they are to each other and how good and bad they are for each other. It’s a romance that can never work.
Is it accurate to say your inspirations at script level included unpublished fragments of There Will Be Blood, the lives of John Steinbeck and L. Ron Hubbard and stories from actor Jason Robards?
Robards woke up on the mast of the ship, teetering on the edge, one day. I always wanted to get that into a film.
And yes, John Steinbeck worked the sugar beet fields in California during the prohibition.
It was a process of collecting stories and hoping they found a home with other things. At a certain point, ideally, it starts to write itself. It’s always a chore at first, but then at a point you look back and you can’t believe you’ve written it and it’s a great feeling. But it’s a pain in the ass, to begin with.
Were the two lead male characters the starting point?
But Joaquin and Philip working together was the most exciting thing for me. There weren’t five other stories, it was always about their characters.
Is that the way you usually work?
What were the greatest challenges? And did you feel the shadow of the Church of Scientology over the project?
The biggest challenge is getting good material and to have more good days than bad days. It’s a miracle these things get made - it doesn’t get easier. Each film has its own sets of challenges. Scientology was the least of our problems.
Are you still in touch with Tom Cruise?
Joaquin went down the method route for this role, spending three months in character?
How did you come up with the character’s unusual posture?
Did you conceive The Master in 70mm from the beginning?
We thought at the time that there wouldn’t be many places to play this in 70mm, but we were pleasantly surprised. There are still a lot of projectors, at least in US, that are 35mm and 70mm combined.
Would you want to shoot your next film using the same format?
Are you in touch with Thomas Pynchon?