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‘Gone Girl’ Duo Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike on Fearing and Loving David Fincher

'Gone Girl' Duo Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike on Fearing and Loving David Fincher

Hours before the 52nd New York Film Festival’s official opening night screening of David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” at Alice Tully Hall last night, press wrapped themselves around the nearby advance screening across the street. The large crowd wasn’t surprising, still it was ironic to see a group of hungry viewers show up to see a film that — in part — attempts to mock media sensationalism and examine the vocal power of the masses.

READ MORE: Review: ‘Gone Girl’ is a Curious Choice for David Fincher

An adaptation of the bestselling novel by Gillian Flynn, “Gone Girl” stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as Nick and Amy Dunne, a married couple with more secrets than any couple should ever have. When Amy suddenly goes missing on the day of their fifth anniversary, things begin to spiral out of control for Nick, who may or may not be involved in his wife’s disappearance. “Gone Girl” is Fincher’s first film since his 2011 adaptation of another popular thriller novel, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” 

Following the screening, Fincher, Flynn, Affleck, Pike and actors Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry spoke about their experiences working on the wild film. Below are the highlights. 

On the Only Stable Character in “Gone Girl” 

With Affleck and Pike (and pretty much everyone else) spiraling for much of the movie, “Gone Girl”‘s author and screenwriter Flynn spoke about a character who seemed rather immune to the scandal — the family’s cat. “I love that Nick is so devoted to his cat,” she jokingly said, explaining that the presence of a cat makes a film’s characters more likable. 

On Fincher’s Reputation

“I’m kind of at this point of my career as an actor and decided that it’s just all about the director, really,” Affleck said about his latest endeavors outside of directing. “I would have done the phonebook with David.” He also ‘fangirled’ and shared his admiration for Fincher’s “Se7en.” His greatest quip, however, was about Fincher’s reputation. “Despite his reputation, he’s a very funny and nice guy. Not just a demon.” 

On Working with Fincher

“People say [Fincher] does a lot of takes, but what I realized very early on is that he is seeing everything at once,” actor Perry said about Fincher’s notorious directing style. “I don’t think he sees like regular humans.” Harris also added that although the director expects a lot from his actors, he is calm and confident on set.

On Fincher’s Lingering Influence

Following a question about working with the director, Pike spoke about his lasting influence, citing another film she recently worked on and attended the premiere for. “Oh, God David would hate that,” she remembered thinking. “David would have absolutely whipped that out of me… I think you have pre and post Fincher in your work.”

On Fincher’s Relationship with Music

Working with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross again, Fincher spoke about how the score for “Gone Girl” came to mind. He said that he kept thinking about “the ambient loops you hear at a spa when you get a back rub.” 

On Casting “Gone Girl” 

Fincher said that both his lead actors were really obvious choices and then joked about Harris, saying, “Who else are you gonna get?” He also spoke about the importance of looking at what the actors already have working for them. “I met Tyler [Perry] and I was really taken with the fact that he was so calm and calming.” Nevertheless, he revealed that — based on her previous films — he found it difficult to understand Pike. “It suddenly dawned on me and I asked her, ‘Do you have any siblings?’ And she was an old child and I realized that the person who plays Amy has to have that. It’s this hermetically sealed socialization of it. It’s just a different thing.” Pike joked, “Weird kid,” to which Fincher countered, “No, just off.” He ended on his lead actor with something quick: “And Ben was available.” 

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