How does Terrence Malick get the results that he does? That woozy, spiritual feel to his films, the almost transcendent beauty, the kind that plenty of filmmakers have imitated, but none have managed to replicate? Well, according to one big star who worked with him recently: with a ton of corporate coffee.
Michael Fassbender is on the press circuit for “Macbeth,” which opens in the UK in a few weeks, and in an interview with Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph, talks of his experience shooting Malick’s as-yet unnamed music-world movie (co-starring Ryan Gosling and Rooney Mara), saying how he was terrified when the legendary, and legendarily reclusive, filmmaker “handed me 80 pages of script when I arrived on set on the Wednesday, and we were filming on the Friday.”
Fassbender called Malick, confessing that he feared that he’d only be able to memorize a few pages in the time available, and tells Collin that Malick told him in reply “You know, Michael, this is Starbucks-induced dialogue. I’m sure you’ll do a much better job of interpreting it yourself. Do you like dogs?” For all of Malick’s mysterious reputation, this, and his reported love of “Zoolander,” reminds us that he’s got more of a sense of humor, and more of a caffeine habit than his films might let on.
The whole interview’s terrific, and well worth a read, and is particularly revealing about how hard the actor, who seems certain to win an Oscar nod for “Steve Jobs” this year, is on himself. Talking of Ridley Scott’s much-derided “The Counselor,” the star says he got “a lot of things” wrong in his leading performance. “I love working with Ridley. But I just didn’t—I’m not happy with a lot of things I did. I just didn’t think I delivered, you know. I never think that.”
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“Macbeth” opens on October 2nd in the U.K, and December 4th in the U.S, while “Steve Jobs” arrives on October 9th in the U.S. Click here to read the full Telegraph interview.