Harmony Korine and Werner Herzog are separated by more than 30 years in age and come from two very different filmmaking backgrounds, but the influential directors have maintained a friendship and working relationship that dates back to the ’90s.
In new video for Viceland, Korine explained that when was in his 20’s, he used to prank Herzog by taking advantage of his lack of appreciation for any kind of irony. “He famously has no understanding of irony, so he takes every thing completely literal,” Korine said in the video. “It’s almost like being color blind.”
Korine would frequently call Herzog, who he described as “the least ironic and the most sane director that I know,” and pretend to be a rug salesman, talking on the phone with the German filmmaker for between 20 minutes and a half hour.
“I’d sell him four or five different rugs, and he never knew,” Korine said. “He always takes you at your word. It’s a very special thing.”
While Korine may have had no problem wasting the German director’s time for a gag, it’s worth noting that he did once give Herzog a real job, casting him for a small role in his 2007 film “Mister Lonely.”
To see the Vice clip in its entirety, check out the video below.