honestly... I love these 2 transcripts.. you definitively can feel how the roundtable interview was conduct... and I love the interaction between the 3 of them...
Having trudged down a lengthy, rubble-strewn path in the baking heat to the train station, it’s safe to say I was in the right frame of mind to talk about THE ROVER. Director David Michôd and stars Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson were in attendance at a thankfully opulent and stress-free location for a quick chat with the world’s press. Laid-back, often amusing and crucially surrounded by free water, they gave us an insight into the making of the most intense Australian road movie since MAD MAX.
Guy Pearce: What are you guys doing in here? (Laughter)
Robert Pattinson: (Putting his shades on the table) Can’t wait to get to a level where I can wear sunglasses…
Journalist: During the day?
RP: During press junkets. (Laughter)
David Michôd: If I ever have a film at Cannes again I’m gonna do that, you get the big photocall and they straight away tell you to…
GP: Take your glasses off.
DM: Take your sunglasses off… The flashes are so intense, so next time if I ever have another film playing Cannes I’m going to be that wanker who wears the sunglasses. (Laughter)
David, after ANIMAL KINGDOM and THE ROVER, when are we going to see you do a romcom? You keep going to dark places.
DM: Yeah. I don’t know why. When I go to the movies I like to have powerful experiences, and for some reason that darkness and menace and sadness is, for me, a powerful experience. Those are the moments, as strange as it sounds, where I get most exhilarated when I’m in an edit room…That’s when I feel my spine tingling. Having said that I would love to have the experience of sitting in the audience watching a movie I’d made that was making people laugh hysterically. I don’t know whether I’m capable but I’d love to give it a try. Having said that…people keep thinking I’m being facetious when I say that I think THE ROVER is really funny. Everything that Rob does especially, in the face of Guy’s relentless abuse…
THN: I should say, in the screening I was at, there was one laugh, and it was when the little guy got shot. (Laughter)
Journalist: I thought your song in the car was really funny Rob.
Journalist: How was that?
RP: I thought it was so funny in the script.
DM: Did it feel funny when you were doing it?
RP: No. I mean, actually…I was trying to telegraph the next scene. I thought it was really brave having that in the script. It was actually a different song first of all, it was The Pussycat Dolls first of all.
David, did you pick that (Pretty Girl Rock by Keri Hilson) because it stuck out so much?
DM: I wanted there to be at that moment, in the film, a particularly dark juncture for Rob’s character, for there to be a moment that reminded the audience of the fact that his character was just a kid who in different circumstances would probably just be listening to music and thinking about girls. It felt very important to me that you just have that one moment. I can also feel it in the movie, just a moment of levity, because the movie can be a little bit…(chuckles) relentlessly grim.
Rob, how did you find working in the Aussie wilderness? Bit of a culture shock?
RP: Kind of. There wasn’t really anyone out there…
DM: There’s no culture…
RP: There was a pub. With an English person working in there. It was incredibly peaceful. You realize the value of your anonymity again and how priceless it is. But also an unusual place as well. A mysticism to the area. It’s not like just being out in nothingness, there’s an intensity to it as well.
DM: It’s corny but it feels weirdly, strangely spiritual. Just because you are surrounded by vast nothingness…And it’s fun being out there too. When you’re shooting in the city you leave work, you have to have a shower because you’ve probably got a dinner to go to. Being out there it was fun not caring about how filthy you were…about what clothes you were wearing.
GP: We were all in the same boat.
THN: Guy, on the subject of clothes, the look of your character is very ‘interesting’. There are certain scenes where you look like an exhumed corpse. How did the look of Eric come together and did you have much input into his overall image?
GP: Well, I mean David had pretty clear ideas about what he wanted, but we also then would discuss…I think the description of the clothes was there in the…To a degree wasn’t it…?
DM: Shirts, shorts and sneakers.
GP: I was excited about just getting to wear one costume for the entire shoot. There’s nothing worse than having to do a quick change.
THN: Did they mess you up a bit before you went on camera, or you just basically went…? (Guy indicates he looks like that normally).
GP: There was a lot of discussions about our haircuts and we tried something, and then David would go “Look it’s nearly, but not right”. I’m just trying to remember the process in the studio in Adelaide. At one point David’s saying: “I really want it to look like you found a blunt pair of old scissors and you just cut it yourself”. So I found a pair of old scissors and cut it myself. I think I might have been drunk.
THN: Well it was very effective.
GP: Absolutely. And you’ve got to take that leap sometimes, to really go to where…you sort of have these ideas about what you think it could be, and maybe it’s this and maybe it’s that, and you realize you’re still operating within some sort of conformity. And eventually you have to go “No, fuck it”, and hope people don’t freak out the next day when you go to work. We did laugh wondering whether people would take on our looks.
Was the atmosphere hushed between takes or was there levity?
GP: It depended what we were doing, but we had fun. We had a good laugh together on set pretty much. I mean, if we were doing a heavy, heavy scene it wasn’t really appropriate to ruin the mood. (Rob mimes interrupting Guy in the middle of a scene) “I’m just killing someone, hang on a second…”
There wasn’t a lot of background about your characters. Did you guys sit down and talk about it?
RP: I’ve suddenly remembered…Do you remember that conversation we had where I wanted to have the tops of his ears snipped off? (Laughs) I’d read this thing about thieves out in the Wild West…And I thought that would be such a great little bit.
GP: What, to be more aerodynamic?
RP: No, it was a punishment.
GP: Oh I see.
Robert, was there anything specific you had to do to get into character?
RP: There was one thing…I only found out later, I didn’t really realize I was doing it, but all the guns were controlled by an armourer, who was obviously very serious about guns, and he got so pissed off when I started playing with the guns…and I realized that was kind of what was getting me into character, annoying the armourer (Laughs).
THE ROVER is released in UK cinemas on August 15th.
from Live for Films
Out in the UK on the 15th of August, The Rover stars Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson. Its based on a story by Joel Edgerton, and written and directed by David Michôd (Animal Kingdom). You can read my review of the film here.
It’s an excellent film, and Pearce and Pattinson are perfect. In a post-financial collapse Australia, Pearce’s Eric is just trying to survive. But, when a gang nick his car he gives unrelenting chase, letting nothing and nobody get between him and his ride.
Along the way he teams up with Pattinson’s Rey. Rey is the brother of one of the car thieves and wants to track down his big bro and find out why he left him for dead on their last job. It’s a tough, dusty thriller with a great central duo of performances and masterful writing and direction.
Pearce, Pattinson and Michôd were all in town to promote the release and, because we’re the best film blog in the UK, I got to rep us at the film’s junket in the posh Corinthia Hotel.
A “round table” interview can suck. Basically, you, the talent and some other journos (anywhere from two to ten) sit around a table (see, clever name) and take turns asking questions.
The reason it can sometimes suck is if the other journos are evil. I’ve done a round table with total bastards who will do anything to stop you getting a word in edge ways. Like I said – sucks.
Luckily, I was in a gang that include the lovely Stuart from Screenjabber, and the equally lovely Craig from The Establishing Shot – so no probs there. Also, the talent, Pearce, Pattinson and Michôd, were great fun. So, yeah, it was brilliant.
Michôd is a total dude and I would love to go and get hammered with him. Guy Pearce was the politest, coolest guy/Guy ever – joking about people’s cameras and responding animatedly and excitedly to all our queries. And Pattinson… Fuck. I’ll level with you. I’ve now got a total man crush on Robert Pattinson. He’d start answering a question brightly, before tailing off and disappearing back inside himself. I just wanted to take him home, feed him pizza, hold him close and tell him that everything is going to be OK.
[Pearce, Pattinson and Michôd enter. Everyone says hello and Pearce starts messing around with the cameras on the table in front of him. Michôd starts talking straight away, while Rob tousles his hair and chooses between still and sparkling water.]
David Michôd: I can’t wait to get to a level where I can where sunglasses…
Guy Pearce: During the day?
David Michôd: During the day! If I ever have a film at Cannes again, I’m gonna do it. You get the photo call and they straight away tell you to take your sunglasses off, and then all the photos of me – I’m doing this [exaggerated squinting]. Next time… I’m gonna be that wanker that wears the sunglasses.
After Animal Kingdom and The Rover, when are we going to see you do something light, like a romcom?
David Michôd: Yeah… When I go to the movies I like to have powerful experiences. For some reason, that darkness and menace and sadness is, for me, a powerful experience. When it’s dark and powerful, that’s when I feel my spine tingling. Having said that… I would love to have the experience of sitting in an audience watching a movie I’d made that was making people laugh!
Robert Pattinson: But people kept saying (about The Rover) yesterday: “it’s a comedy!”
David Michôd: I think The Rover is really funny. Everything Rob does, in the face of Guy’s abuse, is funny!
Live for Films: I thought the song you sing along to in the car was a great, funny moment, Rob. How was that for you?
Robert Pattinson: Yeahhh… I thought that was really brave having that in the script. It was actually a different song in the script. It was The Pussycat Dolls first of all! But yeah, when we found the Keri Wilson song it was… I’d actually never heard it before – I thought it was written for the movie!
Live for Films: What made you pick that particular song, David?
David Michôd: I wanted there to be, in that moment in the film, a particularly dark juncture for Rob’s character. For there to be a moment that reminded the audience of the fact that his character was just a kid, who in different circumstances, would just be listening to music and thinking about girls and… It felt very important to me that you have that one moment of that, and also, you can feel it in the movie – just that moment of levity as well. Because the movie can be a little bit… relentlessly… grim, without those moments of levity.
David, can you tell us about your writing process?
David Michôd: Animal Kingdom took a long time to write, but that was because I was teaching myself to write over those ten years. I started writing it straight out of film school. The first draft of it bears absolutely no resemblance to the finished film at all. There isn’t a single scene, or single line of dialogue, that is still in the movie.
Guy Pearce: It’d be interesting to go and make that original script. With all of us playing different roles!
David Michôd: I’m so glad that I wasn’t a film school wunderkind, because then maybe someone would have thrown money at me to go and make that first draft, and it would have been a disaster! I kept restarting and every time I felt like I was a better writer than the guy who had written the previous draft, so there was no point in me polishing the turd – I should just throw it all out and start again. When I’m left to my own devices, writing is slow. But when I collaborate with people, like Joel (Edgerton), I speeds that process up. Problems that might take me three weeks to solve if I’m by myself, take fifteen minutes to sort when I’m with another person. Also, if you’re writing with someone else, there’s another person waiting for you to say something! If you’re own, you’ll write five words and be like “Phew! I need a break!”
Rob, how did you find working in the Aussie wilderness? Was it a bit of a culture shock?
Robert Pattinson: Errrr… Kind of… I mean, there were… there wasn’t really anyone out there. There wasn’t any culture, just one pub, with an English person running it!
Was it nice to get away from all the hysteria and cameras – that side of things?
Robert Pattinson: Err, yeah. Definitely. We just kind of… it was incredibly peaceful. Just sort of… you really realise the value of your anonymity again, and how kind of priceless it is. But, yeah. Also it was kind of an unusual place as well, because there’s a mysticism to the area. It’s not just being out in nothingness – there’s an intensity to it as well. Yeah, it was really fun being out there.
David Michôd: It’s corny, but it feels weirdly spiritual being out there because the vast nothingness is…
Robert Pattinson: Like savage.
David Michôd: When you’re working in the city, you’ll work and go home and have a shower if you’ve got a dinner to go to. Being out there, it was fun not caring about any of that. Not caring about how filthy you are. Not caring about what clothes you were wearing.
Guy Pearce: Yeah. I never get to wear shorts in normal life! [everyone laughs]
Guy, on the subject of your look in the film, how did that come together, and did you have much input into your image?
Guy Pearce: David had pretty clear ideas about what he wanted. I think the description of the clothes was there… in the script… to a degree, wasn’t it?
David Michôd: Well, yeah. Shirt, shorts and sneakers! [everyone laughs]
Guy Pearce: I was excited about getting to wear just one costume the whole time! [everyone laughs]
Was there much prep before you went on camera, did they have to mess you up a bit, or were you just ready to go?
Guy Pearce: You think I just look like that?! [everyone laughs] I remember there being a lot of discussion about our haircuts. At some point, I remember David saying “I just want it to look like you found an old, blunt pair of scissors, and you just cut it yourself!” So I found a pair of old scissors [everyone laughs]. I think I might have been drunk [everyone laughs]. You’ve gotta take that leap sometimes. Sometimes you just have to say “Fuck it. Do it.” And hope people don’t freak out the next day when you go back to work! [everyone laughs]
Was the atmosphere like while you were filming?
Guy Pearce: It depended what you were doing. We had fun, but if we were doing a heavy, heavy scene and it wasn’t appropriate, you couldn’t be like…
Robert Pattinson: Hey, hey, hey, hey! [Rob starts pretending to finger jab Guy's ribs to put him off]
Guy Pearce: Hang on! Let me just shoot these guys!
What about your character’s look, Rob? Tell us about that.
Robert Pattinson: I suddenly remembered, that I’d been calling you (David) up since the audition process, because I wanted my character to have had the tops of his ears cut off. I’d read this thing about thieves – in the wild west – how they’d have the tops of their ears snipped off.
Guy Pearce: For what? To be more aerodynamic? [everyone laughs]
Robert Pattinson: No! As a punishment! If you were a thief. Now, I’m like thank God you (David) didn’t like that, or I’d have had to always wear these prosthetic ears!
Rob, was there anything specific you did to get into character?
Robert Pattinson: Umm… no, yeah. Well, there was this one thing. I only just found out, I didn’t really realise I was doing it, but there was this… All the gun’s were controlled by this armourer – who’s obviously very serious about guns – and he’d get so pissed off because I would always play with the guns! I didn’t realise, but that was me getting into character: annoying the armourer! [everyone laughs]
Guy Pearce: [doing Rob's voice] I’m sorry, I have to do this. I’m an actor.
Robert Pattinson: But that was my character – he’d be constantly being told off. I’d keep clicking the hammer and breaking it, and could see him in the corner getting so angry with me. That was how I got into character – by irritating people!
Guy, how was it for you to work on an Australian film again?
Guy Pearce: Fantastic. Obviously. Because I got to work with David again. Someone said to me “Oh, it must be great working at home again?” and I said “Well, I live in LA, not the south Aussie outback!” [everyone laughs] So it was quite a schlep to get home! There are certain rhythms that I only get into when I’m playing Australian characters. But this is an extreme character, not your average, everyday Aussie!
David Michôd: Like you can wear it a little bit. Like it’s a comfortable jacket or something.
Live for Films: The ending is pretty devastating, Guy. What was you reaction to it when you first read the script?
Guy Pearce: I really struggled, primarily, with who this guy was. So I thought the ending was fantastic, but then I had to go back through the whole thing, looking for who this guy was – that drove everything for me. I thought it was the most beautiful idea that you’re sent on this particular journey for a reason that you don’t get to understand right until the very end. That it’s something so personal, and so representative of various elements of who we are. That that (the thing at the end that I’m not spoiling) was so important to this guy said so much about who this guy was. So I thought it was a genuinely suRobert Pattinsonrising and beautifully sad… I don’t want to call it a “twist”, it’s not a twist, but a piece of the puzzle. So I was really taken with it.
And then our time was up and we were all really sad that our time with those guys was over.
Don’t forget. The Rover. Is excellent. Is out on the 15th.
Huge thanks to Alex from Entertainment One UK for hooking us up, and huger still thanks to Guy, Rob and David for being so cool, charming and accommodating.