Edward Zwick: ”Modern stories need strong female characters” (Topic)

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Edward Zwick: ”Modern stories need strong female characters”

Image The highly experienced director Edward Zwick in his latest work - the sequel to "Jack Reacher" with the beloved of women's hearts Tom Cruise as a courageous ex-military man - took on a completely new plot for himself. The filmmaker has already collaborated with Cruise earlier in The Last Samurai, and co-shooting the blockbuster Jack Reacher 2: Never Come Back allowed the creative duo to push the boundaries of the genre.

The style of director, producer and screenwriter Edward Zwick is difficult to characterize. He seems to avoid working in one genre or one area - an absolutely multitasking and versatile person. As an executive producer on television, he was engaged in the projects Thirty-something ( Thirtysomething ) and My So-Called Life ( My So-Called Life ) ... Zwick quite successfully combines work on TV with the production of historical dramas ("Valor", "Challenge"), war films ("Courage in Battle") and adventure thrillers ("Blood Diamond"). A couple of times the director was even noticed in the creation of rom-coms ("Love and Other Medicines", "About the Last Night"), and while producing the melodramatic "Shakespeare in Love", he deservedly shared the Oscar

In an interview after the premiere of Jack Reacher 2: Never Come Back, Zwick shared his impressions of the new experience, explained why Tom Cruise is the best action star, and also noticed that his characters needed strong female allies.

Action-packed action movies often turn into franchises. When working on " Jack Reacher 2 ", did you challenge yourself, build on your previous project?

Sequels must be justified at the box office in the first place. Yes, there are great series of films like Mission: Impossible. Such projects are jigsaw puzzles, where each element is unique in itself and made with special skill. I suppose originality is one of the main reasons why such franchises catch the viewer. In the second part of Jack Reacher, I wanted to add drama and at the same time present the story of the relationship between a man and a woman with a more or less traditional ending.


Between filming you and the blockbuster Mission Impossible: Rogue Tribe, Tom Cruise has established himself as an outstanding action star. Why does he fit so well into this genre?

He is still a good actor. His ability to stand out as Ethan Hunt and Jack Reacher is a real achievement. These characters seem completely different to me. In addition, Tom is very insightful and is ahead of many in understanding the development pattern of the modern film industry. The films that the public associate with him, Jerry Maguire, Magnolia and Rain Man, are real serious dramas. But at the moment, studios are producing fewer of these tapes. I think now Tom believes in pop culture, wants to occupy his own niche in it and find his own audience. Therefore, the emphasis on action films seems to be the result of his professional choice. Personally, he didn't say that to me - it's just my speculation. At the same time, even in a project like "Jack Reacher" Tom captures what he appreciated in his previous works. For him, one genre does not cancel another.


How has your working relationship with Tom changed after filming "The Last Samurai"?

We often thought about renewing our cooperation because Samurai proved to be a truly valuable experience for both of us. Then everything went extremely well. Finally something came up and Tom called me with a suggestion. When you're on a short leg with someone, trust is essential. When discussing the future project, I realized that Tom expects decisive action from me. Before starting the filming, outlining landmarks for ourselves, we discussed various films, for example, "Paper Moon". It was necessary to push off from the previously filmed, but in a different genre.


The sequel to "Jack Reacher" presents us with some strong female characters. How important are they to you?

Very. On the set of Courage in Battle starring Meg Ryan, I met a lot of women in the military. They turned out to be surprisingly interesting personalities, someone special in their own way. The portrayal of Susan in Lee Child's book is also very impressive. She is a serious, confident alpha woman who is used to giving orders. The idea of using this image turned out to be very tempting. Of course, I deliberately decided to recreate such a strong female character right now, when we are all literally absorbed in questions about the role of men and women in modern society.


Why did you choose Cobie Smulders to play Major Susan Turner?

I really liked her comedic roles, but the casting took place in a traditional manner. I was looking for an actress who could make the role more voluminous every minute, and Kobe did it. I knew that she was in good physical shape, but I warned that in any case, she would have serious intense training. She showed fearlessness before this. Kobe is a very open, imperturbable and kind girl. It was as if I had a premonition that working with her would be a wonderful experience.


Your directorial track record is known primarily for representatives of two disparate genres - comedy dramas and historical epics. This makes it difficult to group all your projects into one specific group. What does the Ed Zwick films category mean to you?

I think I will sound pretentious when I talk about myself and my work. If you can make a discount on this, then help me. Initially, I am interested in the relationship between the heroes of the story, be it an arthouse drama or a high-budget tape. In every plot, I try to find the flash point. It is also important for me that the character does not fall out of the scope of the genre, be in its context and in a strong connection with other characters.


You have also produced many successful films. What is it about this position that is missing in directing?

Don't get up early.[Laughs].But seriously, producing has always been a good opportunity for me to collaborate with great people. As a producer, I worked with Steven Soderbergh, John Madden and Jesse Nelson. At the same time, this does not take as much effort as creating a film on your own.

An analogy can be drawn: the child idealizes his parents, and the parents idealize their children. So I have always tried to be the kind of producer I would like to have, being in the director's chair - supportive, involved in the creative process and not authoritarian. The producer must be aware that the director and only the director are the gurus in the project. He must provide the director with all the resources and provide freedom of action to implement the plan. On TV, we worked in a similar way with directors and screenwriters, helping them to maximize their abilities.


Your projects fell into the class of "prestigious series" even before the concept itself appeared. Has the television environment changed during this time?

When we were working on Thirty-Something , there were many shows on TV about doctors, lawyers and cops. And we decided: "No, our brainchild will just talk about relationships." When I watch modern TV shows, I understand that projects "just about relationships" are becoming whole franchises, their time has come. This is the whole difference - what seemed radical before is now quite relevant and familiar.

My first job was a pretty good show called Family. I am downright indebted to the creators of this series for the opportunity to cooperate. I am really happy with the result, but there have been situations when it was necessary to redo entire scenes after editing marked "Out of format". Then I decided that the main thing was to get closer to my own character.


What would you like to shoot next?

Something based on a genius script.[Laughs].

What is your preferred tempo in directing?

It's not all that simple, of course. I have shot about 15 films in the last 30 years. It turns out that my pace is one film every two years. I would like to be able to build a nest for myself by carefully preparing for filming. Directors like Soderbergh or Ridley Scott have entire infrastructures to find and prepare material for them. But I have never spent time creating such companies. I prefer directing and producing at the same time. So now, with the release of Jack Reacher 2 , I sit there scratching my ass and ask myself, "What to do next?"

Source: IndieWire

The Topic of Article: Edward Zwick: ”Modern stories need strong female characters”.
Author: Jake Pinkman