Tom Hardy’s next project, The Revenant, to be helmed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, is briefly mentioned in a Variety interview with Inarritu about his film Birdman. It’s a piece worth reading that I’d recommend to everyone for insights into this brilliantly original director’s way of working and the art of filmmaking in general. The entire article is at Variety, but here are a few excerpts.
On Inarritu’s shooting method for Birdman, “Keaton and the rest of the cast had to adapt to Inarritu’s rigorous shooting style, which required them to perform up to 15 pages of dialogue at a time while hitting precisely choreographed marks.”
Keaton about Inarritu: “The thing about Alejandro is he’s got guts; huge, big, big balls; intelligence; unrivaled passion; and he’s enormously creative,” says Keaton, who also praises his director for not basing his casting decisions on recent box office track record. “He gave me a tremendous opportunity to do the very type of thing that is really what I got into this profession for in the first place,” Keaton adds. “You don’t often get a chance to work with someone who has all those qualities. And he’s nuts! He’s totally fucking nuts! But he’s my kind of nut.”
Inarritu on actors (sounds like he’s describing T. Hardy to a T): “Actors are exposed in a way that nobody else can understand,” he says. “They are subject to the likes and dislikes of people their entire life, no matter how successful they are. At the same time, in order to be liked, you have to not be yourself. So it’s a very complicated human exercise — an alchemy that I have never understood. Three minutes before, you’re talking to them and making jokes. Then it’s ‘Lights! Camera! Action!’ and suddenly they go into a zone, as if you are seeing another person, or someone possessed.”
On The Revenant: “And with his comedy now behind him, he’s eager to move on to his Western, or “pre-Western” as he calls “The Revenant,” the true story of a trapper for the Rocky Mountain Fur Co. left for dead by his colleagues after a near-fatal bear mauling. It will, Inarritu says, be one more venture into the unknown.
“This is another extreme challenge, and I don’t know how I’m going to do it,” he says. “I’m scared of horses, and I don’t know how to shoot them, but that’s what excites me. After 40 years old, if you don’t do some things that really terrify you, I don’t think they’re worth doing. I didn’t know even how to start pre-producing ‘Birdman,’ and it was such a terrifying, beautiful, vital thing that I don’t want to do anything that is not like that. So I am on that journey again.”