David Cronenberg Talks to Metro France About Cosmopolis and Rob

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Cosmopolis is one of the most anticipated films of the 65th Cannes Film Festival. His director spoke to Metro.

A few months after telling the story of the disagreement between Freud and Jung in A Dangerous Method, the Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg returns to theaters with Cosmopolis, in theaters on May 25th. The adaptation of the short novel by the American author Don DeLillo in which a young businessman, Eric Packer, drives through New York in a limousine. The beginning of a journey that also implies sexual violence and that will leave no character unharmed. Alongside Robert Pattinson, star of Twilight saga, we'll also find Paul Giamatti, Samantha Morton and two frenchies, Juliette Binoche and Mathieu Amalric. Awarded with the Special Jury Prize for Crash in 1996, and in competition in 2005 with History of Violence, David Cronenberg spoke to Metro.

How did you tackle the adaptation of Don Lillo’s novel?

I wrote the script in six days. The first three days, I transcribed again the dialogues in their entirety. The next three days, I added descriptions for each scene. In short, you will find all the dialogues from Don DeLillo, because it is a great language. However, I didn't keep the internal monologues. Instead, you will get visual ideas that the book brought out of me. I’m very excited about the film and even more by Robert Pattinson’s performance.

This is a choice that could be surprising to some of your fans …

Rob is a wonderful actor and I think he will surprise people . He is young, he’s handsome, he's had a lot of success with Twilight and because of that many people think he's a bad actor. I'm aware of that, but I can garanty you he is very good and he works very seriously. In the most wonderful of ways. For that matter, I can not wait to work with him again. I even told him I would love to put him and Viggo Mortensen together in an upcoming film.

Do these famous actors directly contact you to work with you?

Most of the time, they ask their agent to tell my agent that they're eager to work with me. (laughs) But sometimes I ask to work with an actor without knowing if he knows about my movies. This was the case with Rob, and it turned out he knew of my work, actually he's a guy with great cinematic knowledge. On the set of Cosmopolis, I remember him having long conversations with Juliette Binoche about dark French short films. He's a true cinephile.

To hiring him was another way to attract a different audience from yours?

Once we have confirmed his part in Cosmopolis, a lot of online blogs began talking about the film. I saw teenagers reading Don De Lillo’s novel and say that it was great. And I hope the film will please them. Now, if they 'only' like Twilight, they might be disappointed. But if they're actual Rob’s fans, they’ll love Cosmopolis. It was the same when I worked with Viggo Mortensen the first time. If you were an hardcore Aragorn fan in Lord of the Rings, you might not want to see him in History of Violence. But if you like the actor, then you are ready to follow him in different movie projects.

You wrote the sceenplay for several novels in your career, starting with Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs or Crash J.G. Ballard. What kind of reader are you?

I don't like reading a book just to make a film. For Cosmopolis, it'ss the producer who contacted me. He said “I have the rights and I think you’d be the perfect person to direct this film.” And he was right! The rest of the time I read a book because it feeds me, because it excites me, because I’m just interested. I love David Foster’s novel, Wallace that I discovered after his death. The Pale King, his posthumous book, is absolutely brilliant.

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