excerpt from The Hollywood Reporter
Cannes: 'Maps to the Stars' Director David Cronenberg on Indie Films and Portraying Hollywood
You made Maps for a little more than $13 million. What is your approach to film financing?Money can be neutral, and as long as the source of the money doesn’t involve giving up creative freedom, I don’t care where it comes from. In fact, I rather like that independent films are put together like Frankenstein: You get pieces from all over the world, and you stitch them together and hope it ends up being a living organism. That’s the financing. But creatively — obviously that’s one of the reasons you make independent films, for creative freedom. You don’t have studio interference. When I was making [2012’s] Cosmopolis, [Robert] Pattinson said to me, “I’ve never seen this before.” I said, “You’ve never seen what?” He said, “You just make all the decisions right here on the spot.” I said, “Yeah.” I mean, you don’t actually have to wait to get memos from the studio. He said he’d never been in a situation where the director did what he wanted, without consultation. I said: “You know, it’s just us making this movie. There’s no one else — there’s no Big Brother.”
Older directors often lose their creative edge as their careers progress. At 71, you don’t seem to have that problem. Why?It’s a matter of creative force and edge. Cosmopolis, which was not a successful film in terms of box office, for me was a really successful film in terms of pushing the envelope of filmmaking. So I’m really very proud and happy with that film. That’s the thing: I’ve never lost sight of why I’m making films. You can lose sight of it. When you get older, for me, you can even get choosier. If a film isn’t really exciting, if it’s just ordinary, there’s no way I’ll do it. I don’t need the money. Not that I’m rich, but I have enough to live on, and I don’t need to do a movie for money — and I don’t need to do a movie just to be doing a movie. It has to be something that really pushes my buttons, and Maps to the Stars did that. It took 10 years to get it made. The same was true of A Dangerous Method, and Crash as well. The more difficult, interesting films take 10 years to get made. Eventually I’m going to run out of time, but it takes a project like that to get me interested. So I’m not likely to make a boring film.
David Cronenberg making a boring film — that would generate some scandal.That would be the bad kind of scandal, absolutely.