Well what can I say – today surpassed any expectation Vertigo and I had in going to FlickerLab to hear David talk about this career. I know a lot of us think David is rather good looking, but let me say, like I have said about Rob. Photos do not do this man justice. He has a charisma much like Rob and you can’t help but be drawn towards him. And let me just be shallow and objective here for a minute – David is MUCH better looking in person. (Vertigo – *nods wildly* – a hottie and on top of everything else, this man loves his rock and roll!) There was an awkwardness about David when he first walked out that reminded me a lot of the first time we saw Rob in person on stage at The State Theatre. But once David got going – David got going. And when Vertigo and I spoke to him one on one after the session, he was this charming, humble and fascinating man. (Vertigo – very candid, No ego, Aussie and totally engaging) We were both smitten. Am I going to start a sister site “David Michôd Australia”? I don’t know but I might be seriously thinking about it … yep.
Michôd on the record
Front row seats and unobstructed view of David – check
Fascinating man – check
The Rover and Rob mentions – check and check.
David walked into the theatre at about 11.45 am. Mind you Vertigo had just come from outside and said “David’s here looking mighty fine”. I’m going to relay some of what happened, but it might be out of context. But you will get the drift.
Before I start though, if you haven’t watched Animal Kingdom yet, I highly recommend that you do. Also if you get a chance to watch his short films – Crossbow and Netherland Dwarf do that too. They showed us excerpts from both short films and David spoke about them. I’ve watched both in full prior to today and they are different films both in the way they are shot and also on their subject matter. David mentioned that he shot Netherland Dwarf because his mother refused his grandmother to watch Crossbow. Ha! I’ll let you work out why by watching if you don’t know what I mean. (Vertigo – Still trying to wrap my head around the fact that David sat down to watch parts of his movies with us.)
David also noticed that his films seemed to be from the perspective of a child. He thought that The Rover was the first time this wasn’t so, but then realised that Rob’s character Rey can be considered childlike in The Rover so maybe he hasn’t really distanced himself from that. David talked about how he started out. How much his short films during film school embarrassed him and how he learns something (good and bad) from every film he makes.
After the success of Animal Kingdom he was given the opportunity to direct other people’s scripts, but he realised what he loved the most was that he liked to build films himself from the ground up. He worked on the script of Animal Kingdom for about 10 years (whilst he did other jobs of course) and he wrote the first draft of The Rover with Joel Edgerton in about 10 days before he even filmed Animal Kingdom. David said he doesn’t know how to make a film you don’t believe in. Obviously this isn’t the full dialogue of what David said, but he realises that often when a new director is hot property there is a small window when Hollywood is talking about wanting that director to do other work and your name is on everyone’s lips, but if you haven’t picked a project you want to do within that small window, then Hollywood has moved onto the next “big” thing and often your second film ends up being not what you want to do. So this is why he decided to do The Rover rather than go to Hollywood. And how HAPPY are we that he did.
David talks Rob and The Rover
I can’t tell you enough how much praise David heaps on Rob. David said he “loves talented people”. (Vertigo – David’s face genuinely lit up when he talked about Rob – such a heart starter) He also said numerous times how smart Rob is. Really smart.
David said he finished The Rover about one to one and a half months ago and that noone has seen it yet. He wanted to bring a teaser for us today, but he just wasn’t ready to reveal it yet. Did we groan. Yes we did. Did he look at us – hahaha oops – really that should have been a red flag to him about us. He said they are rolling it out and showing it to people over the next few months. He said he felt the same at the end of The Rover as he did with Animal Kingdom. (That’s a good comment since I’ve seen some people assume he’s nervous about releasing this film – there were no nerves there today about it. He’s really proud of it). (Vertigo – he seems very excited about it’s up coming release. We know how that feels!)
David “absolutely loved the work done by Guy and Rob. They created great characters and loved their performances”.
He said Rob had painted himself into a “luxurious corner” over the last few years. That he’s a “really smart guy and he knows exactly what he wants to do to build the career that he wants”. Rob was “incredibly hardworking and a fun guy to work with” and that “he’s a really good actor”. Of course Rob thinks he’s a really bad actor, but it wasn’t long before David realised that “that was Rob’s schtick”. Another story David relayed was that Rob wanted to make sure that Scoot McNairy and his accents were similar since Scoot plays Rob’s older brother in the film. So Rob spoke to Scoot over the phone about the accents because Rob was worried about screwing up the Texan accent (Scoot is Texan in case you don’t know). When Scoot heard Rob’s accent he said “that guy knows exactly what he’s doing he just playing dumb”. Scoot said Rob’s Texan accent was perfect. (Vertigo – Rob nails another challenge. Check!)
I think the most endearing story David told about Rob today was when they were filming in Quorn. They would all go to the pub for dinner. One evening he was walking down the street towards the pub and he saw Rob walking down the street on his own. When David approached him Rob said “I can’t tell you how magical this experience is – I’m walking down the street by myself”. That comment made me happy and sad at the same time – that it took Rob to work in the arse of nowhere in order to feel I guess normal. He needs to move to Oz. Simple.
So then the floor was opened for questions and most people there were obviously young filmmakers, but I had a burning question to ask.
“David I get enjoyment in searching you out for your cameos/walk on roles in your films. Did you write yourself a walk on role in The Rover”.
In short “NO”. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO and David’s full response is coming from memory because there was no way I was writing anything down when David is looking me in the eye and answering my question. He said he thought it was kind of narcissistic and he realised that when he was shooting the scene where he was the reporter in Animal Kingdom, that he actually wasn’t directing and he was more concerned about his performance. So he decided no more walk on roles. I’m a little crushed because I really wanted some on screen time with David, Rob & Guy and I thought that (and hope I kept that internal and didn’t voice it – oops) (Vertigo – no Maria, it wasn’t internal – David was made aware that you were disappointed there would no more cameos. lol)
Oh and before I forget – David thinks that The Rover is actually darker than Animal Kingdom and by darkness he doesn’t mean bleak. He said he thinks bleakness means relentless depressing, that there is no beauty in it like there can be in a dark film.
Michôd off the record
Ok so when the session was over I may have just sidled up to David and asked him to sign my copy of Animal Kingdom and quickly told him that we have been thrilled for so long that Rob’s doing his film and *cough* we might run Rob’s Aussie fansite *cough*. Let me just say that got him interested.
David’s really interested in how this film will translate with Rob’s fans. He’s curious to know how they will receive Rob in this role. I told him his fans are already beyond excited and highly anticipating this film. And I hope we get the trailer soon because I’m kind of tired of seeing “I want the Rover trailer and now” on Twitter. I’m not so impatient because I know he will give it to us when he’s absolutely ready to. But I told him I’d get the info about Rob’s fans reactions to him once movie has been released.
I asked David whether there will be an Aussie premiere. He said he expects there will be – he just isn’t sure where that will be but there should be something.
He just raved about Rob. He said Rob’s performance in this film is amazing and I can tell you he was pretty genuine about it.
David asked us if we had met Rob. I said – we sure have. We endured hail, torrential rain and wind when he was here for the last Twi film and I said I thought he was such a sweetheart. (Vertigo – I think we blurted out “sweetheart” in unison lol) David said – he really is – he’s such a great guy. And it was said with genuine reverence.
By the way whilst this conversation was happening – other people (like Rachel Ward) would interrupt. I love that David continued chatting with us and kept Rachel waiting. Vertigo will confirm that she may have looked over a few times hoping we would shut the hell up. (Vertigo- *nods* I think poor Rachel was not amused – but David is so down to earth he seemed content to give us his undivided attention. What a man!)
Do you want some 6 degrees of Rob and David again – I don’t think this is something David will mind if I share, but he told us how his housemate “Luke” actually wrote the script for “Life” that Rob will be shooting soon. My only regret – Luke was actually there and left before David’s session finished. One other guy walked past David and us just after we spoke about that and I said – was that Luke? No David said with a laugh. You know I would have interrogated him too.
There’s more but I just can’t remember – Vertigo will update this when she gets home with anything I’ve missed, but on parting with David I said – one last thing. What would you tell RPAU’s followers / Rob’s fans about Rob that you can tell us about The Rover. David thought about it and then he said with so much emphasis. “I know what you can say – you can say that I think “Rob is REMARKABLE”.
David Michôd I think YOU are remarkable. Cannot wait to see this collaboration. CAN.NOT.WAIT.
(Vertigo – sorry there is not that much more to add – Maria you’ve covered things brilliantly and I’m still reeling from the insight and generosity of this incredibly talented man. Me too, cannot wait to see what these guys pull off for our next onscreen adventure!)
*Thanks AussieJen for taking the pic of David when we first started talking to him. I may have cropped out myself and Vertigo – you don’t need to see that lol.
Typos are mine. I’ve only quickly proofread because I wanted to get this out to you.