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“It Was Honestly An Absolutely Bats— Crazy Day”: Thomas Lennon Had A Bonkers Time Shooting ‘Knight Of Cups’

"It Was Honestly An Absolutely Bats--- Crazy Day": Thomas Lennon Had A Bonkers Time Shooting 'Knight Of Cups'

“I got a call from my agent and he said, ‘Do you know Terrence Malick?’ And I decided I would try to be a smarty-pants and I said, ‘Of course,’ but I had never seen any of his films. I was aware of his name like you’re aware of names like Atom Egoyan or Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, artsy-fartsy films unlike the things I’m in or write.” And so begins comic actor/screenwriter Thomas Lennon‘s (“Reno 911!,” CBS‘ “The Odd Couple“) amazing story to Business Insider about his single day shooting Terrence Malick‘s “Knight Of Cups.” 

Lennon got the call to join the film for what would turn out to be a full day shooting a party sequence, but true to Malick’s form, there was no script, or even details about who the actor would be playing. Instead, it was expected that the actor would improvise in the moment.

READ MORE: Review: Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’

“We’re all standing there and Malick hands out these pieces of paper to all of us. And the one he gave me said, ‘There’s no such thing as a fireproof wall.’ And I ask, ‘Is this something I’m supposed to say in the scene?’ and he said, ‘I don’t know,’” Lennon recalled. “And then Malick goes, ‘Would you like some more? Because I have a whole stack of these.’ And I was like, ‘I think I’m good.’” 
Lennon was caught a bit adrift by the whole process, which saw Malick swap out cinematographers and camera people on a whim, even employing Bale to use a GoPro. But the one moment Lennon managed to impress Malick was also a deeply personal one, when he was fighting with his wife on the phone. “We were basically yelling at each other,” the actor said. “And at that point Malick himself came up to me with a camera with a stubby lens and got, I’m not kidding, eight inches away from my face, filming me having this totally real fight with my wife. At first I felt it was kind of an invasion of privacy and then I was like, ‘F— it, this is the realest thing that has happened all day.’”

READ MORE: Watch: New Diplo Powered Teaser Trailer For ‘Knight Of Cups’

However, at the end of it all, Lennon managed to appreciate the director’s approach. “[It was] the single most fun day I’ve ever had on a movie set ever. What I realized was, Malick loves to be on his feet and just making movies,” he said. “I don’t mean the editing, just the location, shooting a scene, and letting things happen. I mean, it was honestly an absolutely bats— crazy day. But I would have instantly come back and done it another day if the opportunity came up.”

You can see Lennon, briefly, in “Knight Of Cups” when it opens on Friday. And be sure to head to Business Insider to read the full story, because it’s terrific.

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