David Fincher has a reputation in Hollywood for being a perfectionist behind the camera. The director’s “Mank” actress Amanda Seyfried revealed earlier this year she performed nearly 200 takes of one scene over the course of a week so that it could be just right for Fincher. Carrie Coon remembers performing up to 70 takes for one scene on “Gone Girl,” but she tells Collider this week that all of those takes came in handy as the Ben Affleck-Rosamund Pike thriller was her big screen debut.
“What I discovered about David is he’s a perfectionist and I’m a perfectionist, so if you want to do 70 takes that’s all the more time I have to practice and try to do better,” Coon said. “He would show me the frame and tell me why he was asking me to do the things he was asking for. You can’t take it personally because he’s looking at the whole picture. You know when he’s focused on you and so many other times he’s not. And if you take that personally, you’re going to get in your own way.”
Coon added that Fincher might be one of the biggest perfectionists in Hollywood, but that doesn’t mean he’s above mistakes. The actress remembered Fincher embracing mistakes on the “Gone Girl” set and getting excited by his actors unexpectedly going off script. One moment in which Coon mishandled a prop would have made it into the final “Gone Girl” cut had Coon not broken character because of the mistake.
“People think of him as a perfectionist, but he also loves mistakes because to him those are often the most human moments,” Coon said. “There was a scene where I’m calling Ben [Affleck] at the airport, and I fumbled the phone in the air and then caught it and then I continued and then I broke and he was like, ‘No that was it! That was so great!’ There’s a misconception to what David is after. He’s after the most human behavior and he thinks actors have a lot of bad habits.”
“Gone Girl” remains the last Fincher feature film, a stat that will soon be amended once Netflix distributes the upcoming “Mank.” While Fincher’s new project is expected to open in 2020, Netflix has yet to announce an official release date.