Maps to the stars interview john cusack biography
But there's also a sense in which Hollywood is very much haunted by ghosts — you think of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, or even Humphrey Bogart — people whose presence is still felt very strongly, not just actors but many other creative forces still haunt Hollywood that way, and have an influence on Hollywood. In the wide-ranging interview, Cusack also railed against the issue of age in Hollywood, which is laid bare in Maps.
How did that become your prevailing style? I feel that was happening as far back as The Fly , which was really two people, or occasionally three people, in a room. Without pushing that idea too much, in my mind at least I really understood that Beckettian desire for incredible stillness and more and more simplicity, which could allow for more and more complexity.
My director of photography, Peter Suschitzky, who first shot for me on Dead Ringerssaid to me: Also, I have more confidence in my casting. And once you got on the set, you were Spider [as Dennis is known]. I just told you what the frame is, how big you are in it, and how to play the frame—but that was it. It was the same with Maps to the Stars. I only shot as much as I needed. One can imagine Havana Segrand being incredibly needy on the set and wanting all kinds of pampering and reassurance from her directors.
What were your thoughts about the ghosts in the films? Well, one of the things I cut from the script was a scene in which Agatha was riding in a car and she looked out the window to see the street full of children—dead children. I said to Bruce: I do understand being haunted by dead people in your life, but not in the literal sense of actual, physical ghosts.
My approach is that ghosts are like memories—you might be haunted by your dead parents, whose voices you can hear in your head, whose presence is almost physical. I know for a fact that is real. But they are not ghosts in a living-after-death kind of way.
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He shares it with his psychiatrist ultimately, but her approach is very benign and clinical. So his fear and this empathy come out in a different way. The implication is that the only liberty to be found by these characters is death. Liberty of creative freedom, liberty of financial freedom, liberty of emotional freedom—all these things are possible for most of the people in the film. Bruce and I got an interesting reaction to our use of the poem from the Eluard family, but as the film shows, a poem is an organic, living thing, as all art is.
Edit Cast Cast overview, first billed only: Edit Storyline The Weiss family is the archetypical Hollywood dynasty: Edit Details Official Sites: Edit Did You Know? Stafford Weiss and Havana Segrand. Both left the project due schedule conflicts and were replaced by John Cusack and Julianne Moore. Goofs At the courtyard restaurant, the shadows formed by the retaining wall move around between shots.
In Christina's shots it's clear the sun is over her left shoulder, with the wall in shadow and the shots completed, perhaps, in the morning.
In Harriet's, the shadow of the railing is on the ground, it must be around noon. In Stafford's the wall is lit up, so maybe it's the afternoon. Everyone's going to know the truth now. Go up to Alaska? Go be fucking Grizzly Man?
So I think that environment leads to all sorts of free, original thinking, but also desert crazies! And all the people that prey on those people. We were just noticing in LA that there were these things — agents and managers. John Cusack broke a million hearts as Lloyd Dobler in 'Say Anything', a film he says wouldn't exist now. Well, I knew about Tony Robbins. I know Scientology is bat-shit crazy.
It was a cult! What am I going to get? But he actually is a really nice, friendly guy.
All those things can happen all the time. I think if you survive in the business, you probably get the joke after a while.
I think there are people that are pretty nice, but they do tend to live other places! I got into the surf music and Dick Dale and all that stuff — and it came from Phil Spector and his sound, the Wall of Sound, and then Brian Wilson was in this race, almost, with the Beatles.
It was just him, The Beatles and George Martin, and they were creating the next century of music as they went. So for a filmmaker, you are body conscious no matter what. Bodies, aging bodies — particularly how they relate to careers — are a big subject of concern for the characters.
Interview: David Cronenberg
And that's true because it's the screen, you know. As you can see with the character Havana, it's an existential desperation. You don't exist if you're not being photographed. And of course, if your body isn't looking good, and isn't going to attract further work, then you're in big trouble.
So when you're an actor — and I've had this experience because I've done a bit of acting myself — you're there, it's your body, it's your instrument. That's all you've got. And suddenly, as a director acting, you completely understand why actors are very obsessed with what's on their body, like their clothes and their hair and their makeup, because that is your instrument, that's what you've got.
The same dynamics are there — ambition, power, money, greed, desperation — but in Hollywood, it's much more visible and body conscious.
And it made me think about how this kind of extreme physicality and sexuality is getting interpreted, or kind of sanded down, in a pop cinema sphere. I haven't read it, and I haven't seen the movie, so I really can't comment. I mean, I've read tons about all that. So I suppose it's sort of old hat to me, I have to say. I did scenes of bondage 30 years ago, so I don't think it's gonna be a revelation to me, let's put it that way.
Maybe a few people will be convinced to start with Dead Ringers instead of Fifty Shades. Tech Apple Google Microsoft. Apps Photography Virtual Reality. Ride-Sharing Cars Mass Transit.