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Alexander Skarsgård, Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg Discuss Melancholia

Posted on the 12 October 2011 by Thevault @The_Vault

Alexander Skarsgård, Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg Discuss MelancholiaRaffi Asdourian of “The Film Stage”, interviewed Alexander Skarsgård, Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg as Melancholia mades its New York Film Festival premiere.

The interview was conducted in a roundtable setting and covered a variety of topics from Lars working style as a director to the controversial press conference remarks that occurred at Cannes.  Below is part of the interview:


How did you get involved with the project? Did Lars von Trier contact you directly?

Kirsten Dunst: For me, I literally got an email which was just like, read this script, Lars wants to talk to you tomorrow, he is really interested in you for this movie. And we Skyped and it was so simple. I know that two directors had recommended me because it was supposed to be Penelope Cruz in the film at first, so two director friends of his mentioned me for the role. We barely even talked about the script, we just talked about The Night Porter and Charlotte Rampling and I don’t know…it was really simple for me.


Did you know how dark a role you would be playing?

KD: I read the script, I knew I wasn’t doing a WB show here. (laughs)

What was your reaction to the script? Did you have any sort of reservations?

KD: I didn’t. I knew that whatever journey I was going on it would be an interesting one and I’m always up for a challenge.

Did you want to work with Lars?

KD: I did, yeah.

How was the tone conveyed to you about the style of the film?

KD: Personally, I know it’s a Lars film but I didn’t think stylistically how it would look so much, until we were getting to these homes. Did anyone else?
Alexander Skarsgård: No.
Charlotte Gainsbourg: You know visually I didn’t even see it as being America. The castle, the setting was his atmosphere.

How is it different working with Lars von Trier as opposed to other directors you’ve worked with?

AS: It’s very documental. It was such an interesting vibe and atmosphere. We all kind of lived together in the middle of nowhere in southern Sweden. You’re kind of used to working where you block a scene, then you have tape marks and then you shoot a master and the lights are coming from here and you got to find that light. And then you show up and he’s just like ‘Alright, let’s see what happens. Oh, that was great’ or ‘That sucked. Let’s try again’ He doesn’t care about continuity, he’s so open and he wants to be surprised. He wants to be like ‘Oh, that was interesting, I didn’t expect that to happen’. But then he can also be like, you do whatever you want. But then he’ll come in and he knows, you kind of feel like he’s editing it in his head as he watching it. And he’s like ‘Oh, that was great, that’s interesting’ and then if there’s something he needs then he’ll come in and he’ll just whisper something like try this and try that. It really was one of the most amazing experiences of my career.

Does he have you rehearse?

AS: No, well he shoots it. And it’s usually disaster. It is, do you remember those big scenes with cars coming and going? And he’s like ‘Alright, let’s shoot’ and we’re like, what’s my cue when do I drive?’ But I get it because there are these moments that will happen. Most of it will be disaster because people show up and be like, ‘Oh shit, what am I doing here?’ But then something will happen in that rehearsal, some little moment or something awkward or something that is real. And you won’t be able to re-create that and he’ll be there with a camera and he’ll capture that. And then you’ll do it again obviously and you’ll fix what didn’t work but then he’ll have those little moments that he can put in

CG: It’s interesting to be off balance also. That’s what he works with is trying to push you a bit off your grounds and it’s very helpful.

AS: Well it makes it real because if you come and you’re like alright I’m an actor and this is what I’m going to do, planted in my head I’m going to do this and I’m going to look over there when I say that line–

KD: Well that’s not fun… (laughs)

AS: Then it’s kind of great that he’s just like no, no, no break that up, do it differently see what happens, just be there.

CG: But I find that now it’s very difficult to work in a different way, like you feel so free then suddenly when someone says, ‘OK we’re going to rehearse.’ And you’re feeling like they’re missing stuff. It’s very difficult.

To read the rest of this interview go to:

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