Le Monde: This way of perceiving a script can suprise coming from an author so versed in genre movies?
David Cronenberg: It is often thought that the cinema is a visual art. I think that for me, it’s a more complicated combination. For me, the heart of cinema is a face that talks. It’s what we film the most. I heard someone say that the last 22 minutes of the movie – where’s there is only Paul Giamatti and Robert Pattinson in a room – is like theater. I don’t think so. In a play, you woudln’t have wide shots, movements from the camera, change of lighting. This is cinema. Without close-ups, there’s no cinema.
Le Monde: And Robert Pattinson?
DonDeLillo: The character he plays is really close to the one in the book. I haven’t seen Twilight, but I impressed my two 13 years old nieces when I told them the British Robert Pattinson was going to play in a movie adapted from one of my books. They respect me now!
David Cronenberg: Casting is an occult art. It’s a matter of intuition. There’s objectives factors tho. The character is 28, he’s american. We needed someone who would look that age and that could do a perfect American accent. The movie is partnership between France and Canada. Also, I could only use one American actor and for me, it was Paul Giamatti. I could get an English actor though.
Then of course, there’s the presence of the actor, he has to be able to portray a complex, crual, brutal and almost vulgar character in a way. He has to be really sophisticated and vulnerable at the same time, naiive and childish. If only to make people believe that he’s capable of accomplishing so much, he needs strength and charisma. Moreover, he’s in every scene. It doesn’t mean he has to be handsome bu he has to be nice enough to look at for an hour and a half. And to finish, he needs to have some kind of notoriety. When a movie cost some kind of budget, you need to be able to tease your financial partners. And with all these restrictions, the list of actors you need, gets shorter. I thought about Rob pretty early on.