September 4th, 2019 / 1 Comment

Robert Pattinson Photographed with Robert Eggers on The Lighthouse Set

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Below is an extract from an interview by Robert Eggers with Vulture:

So much of this film turns on the chemistry between Pattinson and Dafoe. Were you worried at all that they might not have any?

Of course, that was scary. With The Witch and all my theater work, I got to audition people to death and I got to read people together. But when you’re working with names of a certain notoriety, they’re not going to read. So you just have to trust your gut. I’ve been asked before why they seemed like a good pair and I probably should, some morning or evening, give that a good think, because I don’t know why it made sense to me. They have cheekbones and noses. Somehow, the way they looked together was part of it. Especially because this movie plays around with identity in an interesting way. There are ways in which Rob and Willem began their careers more differently, and their approach to the work couldn’t be more different. Though [when you look at] how Dafoe’s continued to navigate his career, and how Rob has chosen to position himself post-Twilight, they are both looking for interesting things. Rob turned down an offer on another film to do mine, because he said that while he liked it, “that role wasn’t weird, and I only want to do weird things. This is weird enough.”

As I understand it, Pattinson and Dafoe have very different acting styles and different processes. Does that prompt you to direct them differently?

You have to direct them differently. Every actor demands different things. Every human being you come in contact with in your life, you have to deal with in slightly different ways. And certainly when you’re trying to provoke a performance that will carry an entire movie, whatever works for them is what you have to do. It is a weird balance, because how do I direct with them within what my own approach is? There is friction. I want everyone to trust each other and skip happily down the lane, and I think that finally everyone trusted each other, but we weren’t skipping down the lane all the time. Because they work very differently, it wasn’t always simple — but it was great for the film and very enjoyable. I wouldn’t say that my overall experience of The Lighthouse was fun. It was quite miserable and difficult, but I did have fun everyday working with them.

When you say everyone wasn’t always skipping down the lane, what do you mean?

There are really demanding scenes, and they’re working differently. [With Willem in the finished film] you’re often looking at bits and pieces of all of his takes. And with Rob it’s usually take one or take 57 — all of that scene is one thing. How do you keep that in balance? It’s difficult for everybody. Funny.

There’s this weird romantic element between the two characters. It’s almost homoerotic.

It is homoerotic, but that doesn’t mean that they actually want to sleep with each other. But the way that we shoot Rob’s muscles is homoerotic. It just is.

Click on link above to read full interview.

Updated with UHQ thanks to Ani

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  • sue
    Posted on September 04, 2019

    “But the way that we shoot Rob’s muscles is homoerotic.” Hmmm….I’ll ponder that comment for the rest of the day. Thank you.

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