Indiewire profiled some great talents this year. To cap 2011 off, we’ve combed through every interview we did this year to bring you the 10 most popular profiles of the year. Sometimes the rationale behind why a particular person caught the zietgeist is clear; other times it’s not. See what made the cut below and the reasons why.
Elena Anaya, Pedro Almodvar’s New Muse?
Sorry, Penelope, but it looks like Pedro Almodvar has a new muse. After first working with Almodovar 10 years ago in a small role in “Talk to Her,” the Spanish filmmaker responsible for creating some of cinema’s juiciest female roles asked Elena Anaya if she’d like to take the lead in his latest, “The Skin I Live In.” She gladly accepted and the rest is cinema history. Anaya caught up with Indiewire during the New York Film Festival to discuss her relationship with Almodovar and what it feels like to be part of his esteemed camp.
Tommy Wiseau, the Man Behind ‘The Room’
There are celebrities and then there’s Tommy Wiseau. The elusive cult figure behind “The Room,” hailed as one of the worst films ever, spoke with Indiewire out of Toronto where he was in town to attend a midnight screening of his cult classic. The film was infamously financed by Wiseau (he wrote, directed and stars in it), who somehow pulled together the $6 million budget for production and marketing. Wiseau has been secretive about exactly how he obtained the funding, although he once claimed that he made some of the money by importing leather jackets from Korea. It’s no surprise he made for one of the weirdest (and most fascinating) interviews to ever grace Indiewire.
‘The Dark Knight’ Star Matthew Modine Opens Up About Why Christopher Nolan Didn’t Shoot at Occupy
Let’s be honest; an interview with Matthew Modine where he talks about a personal short film he directed doesn’t scream ‘must read.’ But thanks to Occupy Wall Street and his mystery role in “The Dark Knight Rises,” Modine got Indiewire readers talking (just have a look at the passionate comments). In his chat with Indiewire, Modine explained why Christopher Nolan chose not to incorporate the protests into production and revealed why he didn’t go down there to see it for himself, despite supporting the cause. It makes for a juicy read.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt On His Collaborative Multimedia Studo RECollection
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a busy guy and he likes it that way. This year the actor earned some of the best notices of his career for his brave turn in the cancer comedy “50/50.” The hearthrob recently completed shooting Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” (he plays detective John Blake) and is next set to play the son to Daniel Day-Lewis’s Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.” Indiewire was more interested in learning about hitRECord, his production company where artists from all over the world work together to create short films, music videos and the like. We caught up with the star to talk about his side passion when the company released their first collection on DVD.
‘Shame’ Star Michael Fassbender On His Stellar Year
Michael Fassbender was a name among film circles last year after “Hunger” and “Inglorious Basterds,” but he had yet to break to become a name commodity. That all changed with his varied work in a slew of acclaimed films (“X-Men: First Class,” “A Dangerous Method” and “Shame”) that put him at the forefront of ‘in demand’ actors. Fassbender opened up to Indiewire about his amazing run this year and shared some secrets to his method. One thing’s for sure — whatever he’s doing is working.
Abel Ferrara Shares the Best Way to View His Undistributed Movies
Abel Ferrara always makes for an interesting interview, so that no doubt accounts for why our chat with him out of Locarno was a popular one. Ferrara is also experiencing a comeback of sorts in North America, where his last few films never found distribution. His latest, “4:44 Last Day on Earth,” debuted in Venice to some of the best reviews of his career and was swiftly picked up for U.S. distribution by IFC Films. In his candid chat with Indiewire, Ferrara talked about the upside of pirating movies online. We’re sure IFC is thrilled.
Kirsten Dunst On Her Comeback Role and the Whole Lars von Trier Debacle
No actress garnered more acclaim and media attention than Dunst at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The reason? Lars von Trier. The Danish bad boy auteur mined a career-best performance from Dunst in “Melancholia” as Justine, a depressed bride who feels oddly at ease with the end of the world fast approaching. Thanks to von Trier, her searing tour de force was almost upstaged by the horrific press conference where Dunst tried (and failed) to rescue the director from sticking his foot in his mouth. Lucky for Dunst, the festival chose not condemn her for his actions and justly rewarded her with their Best Actress prize. In this informal profile, Dunst chatted about the experience of making “Melancholia” and addressed the Cannes incident.
Cannes’ Best Director Winner Nicolas Winding Refn Has Some Choice Words for Lars von Trier
It’s no easy feat to snag a Best Director award when your competition includes luminaries such as Terrence Malick, Lars von Trier and Pedro Almodovar, but that’s exactly what Nicolas Winding Refn (“Valhalla Rising”) did when he won the honor at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for “Drive.” His Ryan Gosling-starring critical smash seems poised to do well at the Spirit Awards, where it’s nominated for four top awards. Refn’s move to English-language films has paid off. Indiewire spoke with the director before his big win in Cannes.
‘Take Shelter’ Writer/Director Jeff Nichols Reveals How He Made an Indie Epic
Writer/director Jeff Nichols had one hell of a year. He kicked 2011 off by premiering his drama “Take Shelter” to rave reviews in Sundance, followed that by getting his long-in-the-works passion project “Mud” off the ground and running, and capped the year by netting a Sprit Awards nomination for Best Director. Prior to the release of “Take Shelter,” Nichols caught up with Indiewire to discuss those Terrence Malick comparisons and open up about how he shot the epic-looking “Take Shelter” on an indie film budget (hint: it’s all about who you know).
David Lynch On His Venture Into Music With His Debut Album ‘Crazy Clown Time’
David Lynch sure likes to keep his fans guessing. The beloved auteur hasn’t directed a feature since 2006’s “Inland Empire.” Since then he’s been peddling his own brand of coffee, shooting a campaign for Lady Dior starring Marion Cotillard, doing daily on-camera weather reports from his home (a practice, alas, he appears to have abandoned) and developing a documentary about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Transcendental Meditation. What’s currently attracting the most attention? His music. In this interview, Lynch told Indiewire why he made his first album “Crazy Clown Time” and opened up about his creative process.