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The Grand Budapest Hotel

17. august 2014 af Ronnie Bisgaard Mortensen Skriv en kommentar

The Grand Budapest Hotel billede

Q&A med Jeff Goldblum og Willem Dafoe

Wes Anderson har gjort det igen. Skabt en underfundig, excentrisk og flamboyant film som roses af kritikere og allerede nu har lagt sig solidt på brugerbaserede IMDB’s top 250 liste.

Filmen følger hotelportieren Gustave, som spilles af Ralph Fiennes, og hans liv og arbejde på det fiktive Grand Budapest Hotel, hvor han blandes ind i alle mulige historier og handlingstråde. Som altid har Wes Anderson formået at tiltrække en enorm mængde af Hollywoods A-liste skuespillere til at kigge forbi hotellet. Se blot på denne liste: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, og Owen Wilson. Det er ikke mange film som kan præsentere så mange store skuespillere, hvilket helt sikkert har noget med Andersons måde at lave film på. Hans film formår altid at skille sig ud på den gode måde, de er altid helt deres egen, og man må bare sige at Andersons CV taler for sig selv: Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox og Moonrise Kingdom.

Du kan læse vores anmeldelser af The Grand Budapest Hotel her:
Biograf: http://cinemaonline.dk/Anmeldelse/the_grand_budapest_hotel.7800.html
Blu-Ray: http://cinemaonline.dk/Anmeldelse/the_grand_budapest_hotel.7946.html

På Cinemaonline har vi været så heldige, at vi eksklusivt kan fremvise et generisk interview lavet med to af skuespillerne fra filmen, nemlig Jeff Goldblum (Fluen, Jurassic Park, Independence Day) og Willem Dafoe (Platoon, Spiderman, Antichrist). Interviewet kan læses herunder og er på engelsk:

Q&A with Jeff Goldblum and Willem Dafoe

Q: Do you prefer living in hotel rooms or being at home?

WD: I like both and in that sense I’m still like a child - however much I travel I still like returning to places. I still like taking planes. I still like staying in hotels. It’s a silly thing, but I love the whole event and I love feeling like I'm going somewhere different.

Q: Do you have any rituals when you’re staying in hotels?

WD: First thing I do is take my stuff out and make the room my own. It’s a practical thing too, particularly when you’re in touring theatre and you’re in the same place for a week or so. You’re immediately going into heavy rehearsals and you usually don't have enough time to sleep. And so you have these rituals so that, just from a practical point of view, you can use your time well.

Q: What kind of practical stuff? Do you have your books, scripts, and music?

WD: No, I would say I usually make sure I have coffee (laughs). I travel with a little Mocha because there is nothing worse than espresso in hotel rooms. It usually arrives cold and 99 percent of the time it’s lousy. Plus, I do yoga practice, so I bring my yoga mat, but that’s about it.

Q: And do you bring your I-pad or a laptop and watch movies? Are you into the digital HD formats we can see now?

WD: Not so much because when I’m working I don't have the time. Sometimes, depending on what you’re working on, you’re doing a lot of research and you can have quite a lot of homework. Plus, you’ve got to keep up with reading scripts. And yeah, sure, I watch movies in all formats, but cinema is still the best.

Q: You seem to have done almost everything in you career…

WD: No, I’ve done nothing! Perhaps I’m being coy, but there is some truth in that idea because the job is always different. The target is always moving, so on some level that’s how I feel.

Q: Is Wes quite specific in what he needs from his actors?

WD: Yes, Wes is freakily specific. Of course, he had previously done Fantastic Mr. Fox and like all animated films it had needed so much preparation and planning ahead and having to tell people before you shoot what the shot is. And he brought all of that to this movie too. He produced a kind of animatic storyboard of line drawings in which he did all the voices and all the characters himself. And he showed it to me and I thought, “That’s the movie right there. You don't need us! This is a beautiful movie and it exists as a thing already.” And the details were very articulate, you know. So when I saw that I knew exactly what he wanted to make. It was incredible. Now some people might interpret that as being boring for an actor. But it's not at all. It’s a very clear task and your creative part has to do with inhabiting it, which is the highest and most important thing that any performer can do; the quality of being there, being present and applying yourself to the action. So Wes gives you this wonderful gift. It's very well thought out and beautifully designed and you help him do to it because he can’t do all the parts himself.

JG: Yes, his rendition is very artful, very musical and beautiful. He’s a painter and someone who draws, and the cuts in the animatic version are pretty much the cuts that are in the movie too. So you know that, when you’re looking at him, say, throwing the cat out of the window that he’s then going to cut back to me and there’ll be a side shot of me reacting a certain way. And so you prepare for that and then when it’s done you say, “Did I give you what you what you had planned for?”

Q: Did he show you the animatic version on a big screen?

WD: He was funny because he kind of approached different actors differently. Some actors didn’t want to see it. They said, ‘Oh Wes, I can’t do this. I can’t hear you doing my dialogue. That will blow my mind.’ Me, I said, ‘Come on, yes!’

JG: Yes, me too. But, then, I always do that anyway. I’ll say, ”Ok, how do you imagine me doing it?’ I mean, I’ll walk in the door and make it my own but I also like that kind of guidance.

Q: Willem, tell us about those weird teeth that your character, Jopling, wears in the movie?

WD: Well it started out with Wes suggesting that my character should have long canine teeth, a bit like a vampire’s - and, of course, I’ve played vampires before - but that idea didn’t seem quite right to me for Jopling. I said, ‘Ok I’ll try them.’ But, then, I thought, “Why not wear them like this? More like a bulldog’s teeth?” Because, for me, he’s like a bulldog in the way he behaves. And those teeth became important to me. It was a little key we discovered by accident. But it was, basically, Wes’s vision first that he had these weird teeth. I kind of resisted the vampire idea but then we found something else, something better.

Q: What kind of process do you go through? Do you research or just show up?

JG: Well, from the time I get up I start going through the speeches and I had some big speeches in this movie, where I had to talk a lot. And as it turned out Wes is very particular that the speech is exactly as he wrote it. So in one take I might have left out a ‘the’ and on the set he’d say, “You know, I noticed in that last take that you might have left out a ‘the.’ Can you put it back in?” And I’d say, “Oh really? Ok!’ On top of that, I had an opportunity to be in Gorlitz during the prep stage of the movie and while I was there Wes and I were able to go through a few of my scenes together too and that was a big help in terms of preparation.

Q: Did you also discuss the look of the character that you were going to play?

JG: Yes and it was fortunate that the costume designer, Milana Canonero was also there. She and Wes were working together on some spectacular drawings that they had done. One of the key aspects for my character was his beard and his glasses. They had a whole tray of glasses, but none was quite right. Fortunately, I’m into vintage glasses myself. So when I went back to California, I spoke to some of my connections and I found this pair of glasses that looked just right. I sent Wes and Milana a picture of them and said, ‘Shall I buy them?’ And they said, ‘Yes.’ So those are the glasses that I ended up wearing.

Q: Did shooting the movie in that particular location help?

WD: Yes, I think so. You’ve got a parallel world. You’re getting to know people and, socially, you’re living in the same place. You’re living in the hotel where there are no other clients and Jeff lived down the corridor from me. Edward Norton was around the corner. And you had attitudes about who got the best room and who showed up for dinner and who didn’t want to be social and there were all these dynamics which helped feed the creativity of the movie, because everything else about your normal life just drops away. People go to their little rooms, of course. But in the public space there is this environment that is like hotel and you’re making this movie about people living in a hotel. So, you are creating a complete world and you’re also breaking your habits because you are all coming together around a new habit and a new world and where that happens it kind of sets the tone for imagining a fictional world. So, yes it helps a great deal. And, in the end, it was a real adventure because you couldn’t be who you were before, because the situation is different. So I had a wonderful time.

Q: Were the two of you friends before?

WD: I’d worked with Jeff two times before and I’ve known him through movies for years. But this time we got to hang quite a bit together.

JG: Yes, we had scenes together and we’d also come down for breakfast together and do dinner. Wes had a cook come in and give us dinner.

Q: And did you dress for dinner because Wes likes that?

JG: Sometimes. I mean, he dresses in some style for everything. But there was no obligation.

Q: Still, it sounds like a very civilised way to make a movie and I’m sure you guys have been on movies where it was different.

WD: Yes and it helps with that kind of’ ‘leave your ego at the door’ kind of thing too. There were no trailers because I think he wanted to create that kind of atmosphere of complete equality. And the truth is that most actors prefer it that way. Status and the size of your trailer - all those protections are normally insisted on by other people on your behalf. When you get down to it, particularly this group of actors – I mean there were a couple of stinkers (laughter) - but for the most part they’re people who really want to have fun, be at work with other actors, be proud of what they are doing and be part of a company.

JG: Yes totally. Just like in the theatre. And it’s especially true when you’re doing something that everybody feels is a beautiful thing and when you’re all for what Wes is doing. When that occurs, it’s like being in the Wes Anderson Wonderland Ride Park and you find yourself wanting to hang out and watch them shoot scenes that you’re not even in and say, ‘Look what they got! Look at the extras! Look at the costumes!’ It's great. It’s pretty thrilling.

WD: You know I thought Bill (Murray) was great yesterday at the (Berlin Film Festival) press conference. He was very funny, but he was only half joking when he said, ”We’re all there just so that Wes can have fun.” And it's a little bit true because there is a pleasure in helping someone who is really skilled and has a very personal approach to do what they set out to do. You become part of this beautiful process and that’s really why people want to work with him. It’s much less laboured and more joyous than working on some other movies. But even though the end product has kind of a light tone, it’s actually quite rigorous work and Wes is quite demanding.

Q: Did it help that the hotel the hotel you stayed in was also the unit base for the movie?

WD: One thing that was crazy was that you had breakfast and then the AD would say, “Listen I think we’ll lead you out at about 11 o’clock.” And you’d say, “Ok, I’m going up to my room to read for a little while.” And he’d say, “Ok, I’ll call up to your room.” And then they’d call and say, “OK, you’d better get dressed now.” So you’d go to the little costume room just down the hall.

JG: Yes, it was right next door to my room.

WD: And you go in there and you get dressed and someone checks on you and says, “Ok, you can wait in your room, you’re in your costume.” And then they are like, “Ok, they are ready for you and so you walk the three blocks through the snow to the location.

JG: Yes, and Wes is there. Very focused. And he’s in some kind of enchanted hypnotic state. And he’s there saying, “I think I want this or that.. “And Bob Yeoman, who is there for every shot, is the sweetest most down-to-earth guy and he’s working always. And it’s a very beautiful thing to see.

Q: And how did you find being in Gorlitz?

JG: Well everyone was lovely in Gorlitz. They were very sweet and happy to have us there. They couldn't have been sweeter. And some of them are even in the show.

Q: Even though Wes’s films are humorous they often have quite serious themes. In this one, it seems to me, it’s all about the loss of civilisation. Do you agree?

JG: Yes, it’s the Jungian dream version of it. But I think it is very much a part of it. It all felt very nutritious to me and deep and psychological and soulful.

Q: Did this feel more like a European film than an American film?

WD: I think so.

JG: Well, yes, he does what he wants to do and maybe that IS European.

WD: Yes and there are European themes. There’s a great tradition here. And the design is so specific, such a developed aesthetic, rather than taking people and delegating things and then trying to bring it all together.

Q: And is Wes an American posing as a European?

WD: He’s a guy from Texas who’s been living in Paris for 15 years.

JG: Yes, he’s his own particular, very unusual kind of thing.

WD: But, It doesn’t really matter because cinema is an international language, right?

Q: Jeff, before you arrived we were talking about rituals when you stay in a hotel. Do you have any?

JG: I check the pillows. Usually these places have a nice feathery pillow. But I like a hard pillow. So I check into the room and I say, “Before you leave, can you find me a hard pillow?” I like to know how to control the air too. And the Wi-Fi -maybe people have a better time with it than I do. But on this trip I was like, “How do you do that again?”

Q: Do you prefer staying in hotels or being at home?

JG: Well, I like my house. If I can work near my house then I prefer that. But I like hotels. I like it better than staying with people. I’m not a good houseguest. I don’t like to ask for more towels. You know you go to someone’s house and they say, ‘Here’s your towel for the week.’

WD: You’re staying at the wrong house!

Q: Was the hotel that you were staying in anything like The Grand Budapest Hotel?

JG: It was quaint. Oh yeah.

WD: It was a beautiful hotel but it wasn’t really like The Grand Budapest.

Q: Was there a good concierge?

WD: Well, you know - three people at the desk (laughs).

JG: But they did pamper us and cater to our every need.

WD: And we did have meals prepared for us, which is very different to going to a restaurant at night.

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