How do you like Berlin?
I love it. But one thing that totally annoys me is that I’m here either at the beginning or at the end of a promo tour. And then just for a day. Therefore I cannot really enjoy it.
And now they’ve also put you for the interview in a really dark room...
Exactly. And there are people straight in front of the window as well. Really weird. (laughs)
So let’s talk about Cosmopolis. In the scenes in the limo the camera is constantly directed and focused on your face. Was this difficult?
It was awkward, yes. You could take apart the different pieces of the limo and it still was as big as a normal limo. The camera was attached to a crane directly in front of my face. It was navigated by a remote control, like a robot. Furthermore there was no one else in the car, so it was a bit strange. You develop an entire new relation to the camera. It’s almost as if you’re more and at the same time also less aware of it. Plus there was nobody behind the camera. So it was definitely a new experience to shoot that way.
How do you feel about playing such a “dark” role after Twilight?
Well, first of all I wanted Eric Packer not to state something. Right in the first scene we did, I was just paying attention that neither the hair, the suit nor the sunglasses stated something. It was a real ‘no-statement’ thing. In this way I sat in the car, said nothing, my clothes didn’t state anything and neither did the car. Yet, that was a bit frightening. Right in the first scene I turned to Jay Baruchel and noticed that my face didn’t move and that I effectively hadn’t any eyes (because of the sunglasses). That wasn’t easy.
And how do you think about Eric Packer personally?
I like him a lot. Many people think of him to be absolutely apathetic, which is perhaps my fault. After all I played him and I wanted him to seem a bit more human. And some people really notice that. Others think it’s just that guy who doesn’t care. But I see it differently. He’s simply a total egocentric. He thinks he’s the only human on earth. As if he’d want to be god. But not in a greedy way. He was just born that way.
You say it’s not all the same to him. So what’s important to him then?
Well there is this sort of humans who want to improve the world. He wants to improve the world; however he thinks that only his own ideas can contribute. And he doesn’t care if the world gets better for other people or not. It’s not even clear to him that there are other people. That’s how he thinks, that’s important to him.
Is there something what you like about him in particular?
I think he’s really funny. It’s good that he doesn’t simply reject people when he talks to them. He provokes the opposite. But he’s simply always disappointed. He never gets enough. Therefore it’s a huge thing when he meets someone who teases or confuses him because he’s so surprised when someone says something interesting. Like in the scenes with Paul Giamatti, he thinks he’s talking to an oracle until he realises that the guy is simply crazy. But at the beginning he’s totally fascinated by him. He just wants to know more and more.
Speaking of the scene with Giamatti, that was a really long one with immensely long dialogues. How was that?
That was fun. Paul is a great actor. He was the only one whose role was already set when I signed for the project. And to see the result: It’s such a long scene. 22 pages in the script, effectively a small independent movie. That could’ve resulted in any way but I got along with Paul really well and it was fun.
And what did you think when Cronenberg called you to offer the role? Was that a chance not to being put down as the Twilight Star anymore?
It’s not that I wanted to get away of it. But just being called by him...I mean he’s one of the biggest directors of our times. I was really surprised. And then the script: It’s really complex and I’m in every single scene. So much dialogue and everything very subtle. I have to say I was really taken by it.
So how do you deal with the fifteen-year-old fans who camp out before the premieres? Do you think you simply cannot get away of Twilight or are just glad that the fans are there to support you?
It’s really astonishing. I mean when they even watch the movie, that’s crazy! Many Twilight fans do not only want to see the movie, but also when they have the impression of not understanding it, they WANT to understand it. Many have bought Don DeLillo’s books and I’ve talked to several fans who are just 16 years old and have already read Cosmopolis and Underworld and that’s really great. That’s probably the best thing I’ve done since I’ve started acting. And the fans have seen all of David’s movies and even if there are a hundred fans that don’t get it all, there’s still someone who understands it in the right way. And, I don’t want to sound crazy, but that’s something that really changes the life. And it’s totally inspiring when you concentrate yourself on postmodern literature. And inspiring someone to read DeLillo at such a young age is really crazy. Now I don’t really know how to inspire them to it otherwise. I’d never read something by him before I shot this movie and now I’ve read quite a lot. And then even meeting him! He’s really nice and has been with us on the promo tour. I haven’t met him before. And somehow he’s so different from what I’ve imagined. He’s actually very funny and very direct. But I like him a lot. And he’s got a clue about movies. Anyway I’m totally surprised that fans queue here and scream. That’s really hilarious.
In the movie it’s generally about money. How important is money and success to you?
Succes is important to me. Money probably as well but I’m aware of the fact that money’s significantly more important the older you get. It’s not always such a clear thing until you don’t have it. Then it’s truly real.
And lastly a private question: Would you tell the fans what you gave Kristen for her Birthday?
(laughs) No, I don’t talk about private things, sorry.
And with a wink he says: “Looks like you’ve wasted your last question.”
Source | Translation: Robsteners