Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread, one of this year's Academy Award nominees, presents audiences with a curious portrait of fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock and the women who set his world in motion. The main role in the film was played by Daniel Day-Lewis. The three-time Oscar winner previously announced that after filming Anderson's will end his acting career because of the inescapable sadness that has fallen on him.|
In an interview, the director talked about how he got the idea for the film, why he wanted to work with Daniel Day-Lewis again, and also explained why he decided to do without the services of a cameraman and shoot his own film.
Is it true that you came up with the plot of the picture when you were sick?
Yes. I get sick in different ways. Sometimes I get terribly moody and pretend to be perfectly healthy because I don't want to slow down or miss something important. This usually works. And if not, if I am seriously ill and lie absolutely helpless without getting up, then I become very vulnerable. I remember when I had a terrible flu, my wife (Maya Rudolph) looked at me with such tenderness that I thought: would she want me to spend a week or two in this state? Then I was lying in bed and watching the wrong films: Rebecca, The Story of Adele G., Beauty and the Beast. At some point, it even occurred to me that my wife had poisoned me on purpose. This became the core of the idea, what I had in my head when I sat down to write.
The last time you worked with Daniel Day-Lewis was over ten years ago on the drama Oil. Why did you decide to re-invite him to the main role?
Because this actor is always at the top of the list of those you want to work with. Yes, a lot of time has passed since then, and we have both been involved in other projects over the years, but we constantly thought about how to reunite. And after the "Birth Defect" I decided that it was time to take the initiative. I know Daniel well enough and realized that I had to create a certain situation when both of us, as schoolchildren, would sit down at the table and say together: “Yes, we need to do this. Get to work. " At that time I only had pieces of a puzzle and a very, very vague idea. But looking back, I can say that developing the story side by side with Daniel was incredibly cool. We discovered for ourselves step by step what was interesting to us. I couldn't choose anyone else for this role.
Daniel Day-Lewis said that your hero did not immediately became a fashion designer ...
Our story needed someone highly selfish and self-centered. Initially, we proceeded only from these characteristics, so we considered any options. And then they noticed the figure of Cristobal Balenciaga, who was very popular in the 50s, especially in London. He led us to the idea of making a fashion designer out of Woodcock. The approach of such people to work and life circumstances is too incredible to be true, but this is what became our foundation.
Both your character, Reynolds Woodcock, and you yourself are great creators known for your discernment and perfectionism. How similar are your approaches to work?
Our approach to work is similar, but we treat ourselves differently. Reynolds needs silence to create. I grew up in a house with nine children, and I myself have four. So our working environment is completely different ... But the fact that our work is connected with our life, of course, there are parallels. I do not distinguish between these things, I don't even have a hobby. What I do is my life.
Visually, your picture is absolutely fantastic. How did you come up with the idea of abandoning the operator's services by taking over this function?
To call me an operator would be an exaggeration, of course ... It's just that I decided to challenge myself and those with whom I worked. Sometimes you have to do that, especially if you work in a movie. You need to feel that you are walking on a tightrope.
They say this was the last film by Daniel Day-Lewis. Do you believe this? And can you somehow change his mind?
I believe. Fortunately, we have many DVDs of his films left, so we can enjoy the actor's performance at any time. Is there something I can do? Not at the moment. Now I think that we all have to smile and just accept it as a fact. I'm sad to think that I won't be able to work with him anymore, but we should be grateful for what Daniel gave us. He has been playing since childhood, he had an amazing career. So, as moviegoers, we just have to be happy with the fact that we lived at a time when films with his participation could be seen on the big screen.
What can you say about your Oscar competitors?
The first thing that rises before my eyes is Sally Hawkins from The Shape of Water and her acting ... She occupied my thoughts for a long time. As for Chris's films, I prefer to watch them in a relaxed atmosphere in order to sit in a dark cinema and wonder: "How did he even do this?" When I watched Dunkirk, I thought that in every damn scene! "Lady Bird" is of course Saoirse Ronan and her amazing performance as an Irish actress who plays someone from California. That wonderful feeling when you see some kind of magic, and everything that you previously thought about the profession of a director disappears somewhere. And I saw Jordan Peel's film during the winter filming in London, when I was terribly cold, when I needed some kind of life buoy, something that could inspire me. And “Away” became that salvation. It's funny but this movie made me homesick.
The Topic of Article: Paul Thomas Anderson: ”A director must walk a tightrope sometimes”.