Sarah Gadon talks David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis
By Anne Brodie Jun 6, 2012, 14:12 GMT
The film follows a 28-year-old billionaire with his financial future hanging on the value of the yen as he travels through Manhattan in search of a haircut at his father\'s barber but is delayed by a presidential visit, an attack by anarchists and a rapper\'s funeral. ...more
Sarah Gadon is a petite, blue eyed Blonde Canadian whose career has taken a major upswing thanks to the Cronenbergs. David Cronenberg cast her in two of his films, A Dangerous Method and Cosmopolis opposite Robert Pattinson and his son Brandon cast Gadon in his short film Antiviral.
Both Cosmopolis and Antiviral premiered at Cannes last month in a sweet kind of overlap and Gadon’s starting to feel the heat. The former ballet dancer is still studying film and theatre in university and that may help keep her grounded, but things are changing rapidly.
Monsters and Critics spoke with Gadon in Toronto:
M&C: This is a big moment for you with the Cronenberg films and your TV series. Do you feel it coming together now?
Gadon: Blood and sweat and tears! Yeah, I think a lot of people said to me before I left for Cannes that this was going to be a really big moment for me and my career. But it’s so different from the inside looking out because you work so hard to get the things you want and maybe you reach a new level in your career there are new challenges.
When you’re an actor you’re only as good as your last project so you’re always moving forward and thinking about what’s next, but while I was in Cannes, I was able to have a few moments to exhale and really appreciate how far I’d come and how wonderful it was to be at Cannes with two films, father and son, and what a moment that was for Canadian filmmaking, for David’s career, for Brandon’s and for my own. It was really great.
There are two films I’m very proud of and that are very distinct. Cosmopolis shows the tremendous respect David has for the film going audience he still believes exists.
As a film student aspiring for me to see that because it’s the beginning of the summer and we’re accustomed to a certain kind of film coming out, a certain kind of viewership and a certain kind of box office for him to release the film that I think is almost Brechtian, where he almost intentionally frustrates his audience into intellectualizing about the subject matter.
It’s a really inspiring moment and time for a film like this to come out.
M&C: Tell me about Brandon’s film.
Gadon: Antiviral is about a young man who falls in love with someone he doesn’t know, Hanna Geist, a celebrity. That love becomes an obsession and that obsession becomes an illness and she plays this ... she is the icon of celebrity. But behind that icon is a vulnerable, sick and dying person.
M&C: Did David ever tell you why he picked you for Cosmopolis?
Gadon: No I’d love to be a fly on the wall when someone asks him that because he cast a lot off tape. When he was casting for A Dangerous Method I went in and did a casting session with Deirdre Bowen and we made a tape and sent it to him.
And suddenly I was going on a journey and got on a plane and arrived on the set, but I didn’t meet him until I was in full period wardrobe and hair for A Dangerous Method.
M&C: You’re joking!
Gadon: No! I was terrified! And I don’t really know what it was. You spend so much time fighting for roles and trying to get parts and he never told me. That was scary. “Why DID you pick me?!”
M&C: Your character’s relationship with Eric Pattinson) her husband, is oddly straightforward – it’s love/hate. It’s brittle, combative and sexual. What's your take on it?
Gadon: So often as a female actress you’re accustomed to reading material where the male character projects onto you exactly what you’re feeling and exactly what you’re working in and exactly what your actions are in a scene.
What I thought was so hilarious about the two of them is that he spent the entire time trying to project onto her – “I want to fuck you, I think you’re sexy, I want this. That, you’re sad, you’re happy”.
And she spends the whole time saying “No, no” until the end of the arc when he says “I’m not going to be the man you want me to be” and she says "Okay well, I’m out”. It was so refreshing to me to read that also terrifying. There is a charisma to the way she does it. But there is no blazing moment where the screenwriter is saying “fall in love with this woman” because she’s a woman.
M&C: Was your purpose was to dominate the indomitable guy?
Gadon: I think that’s why women are so responsive to the character. Men say to me “So she’s really cold” [laughs] but that is what is so great about David is that as a filmmaker, he leaves so much open to interpretation and he allows for the female and male spectator.
He’s not assuming all audiences members are young men. He’s saying “I'm going to give you a guy like this or a girl like this and then a woman and a sex scene like that”. That’s what I find so stimulating about his work. I'm speculating into the void now but I think he really does account for audiences that are both men and women.
M&C: He has a strong wife and daughter. He’s interesting to see him grow over the years; he seems to have relaxed as a director now, perhaps less of a control freak now.
Gadon: But he is not a lax director. Everything is so defined. He spent a lot of time getting the script to get to that point. So often, as Rob Pattinson says, you get material that is not fully developed and just because of the nature of the industry now, you don’t know what’s going to get green lit.
It has nothing to do with the script and everything to do with the casting, director, financing, so an actor may go to camera with a script that is not going to be developed anymore.
It creates a different kind of role for an actor. So often you’re trying to figure out a scene, the action, intention, emotion with the director on the day and it’s just a lot messier. With David it’s already there.
There is that difference, but on the day. He’s there watching and listening and he comes up and says something, even a word, “comprised”, not composed”, and you’ll say it and it will change your whole performance.
Rob and I had breakfast, lunch and dinner in the movie and he wanted us to sit side by side. He asked us to sit outward until the end of the scene when we face each other. Things like that that change your performance. He likes to play like he’s laid back!
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FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CDavid Cronenberg Biography -
David Cronenberg Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesRobert Pattinson Biography -
Robert Pattinson Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sites
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