David Michôd, Guy Pearce & Robert Pattinson discuss and dissect The Rover and chat storytelling - In Conversation


Posted by Craig Grobler on Google+ On Wednesday, August 13, 2014

David Michod Guy Pearce Rob Pattinson talk The RoverThe first thing that struck me when watching David Michôd's The Rover is the chilling bleak, edge of your seat atmosphere that pervades every aspect of the film - most noticeably the personalities of the characters that fit into Michôd's dystopian not too distant future. The Rover's world is void of empathy and filled with a dog eat dog mentality where brother turns against brother.

Michôd is no stranger to this type of world and the title of his brilliant 2010 debut feature Animal Kingdom even alludes to it. In an odd quirk or projection this is something I have been thinking about a lot recently - whilst watching a new TV show that takes place in a world where a chunk of the population simply disappears and those left behind deal with it in different ways - but ultimately everyone is angry, confused and the world forever tragically altered. Sadly the synchronicity with events rolling out in the Middle East and the effects seemingly bringing out the worst in many people. Highlights the condition of desensitization that people undergo after catastrophic events. This condition and its effects after the big one, the war to end all wars, Vietnam and the Gulf conflict are well documented and have changed the world as we knew it and this is something Michôd taps into.

The Establishing Shot: DAVID MICHÔD, GUY PEARCE & ROBERT PATTINSON TALK THE ROVER IN LONDON ROB PATTINSON HAVING A LAUGH
The Establishing Shot: DAVID MICHÔD, GUY PEARCE & ROBERT PATTINSON TALK THE ROVER IN LONDON ROB PATTINSON HAVING A LAUGH
Whilst The Rover's world is its not to different from our own albeit a lot more broken and the effects have damaged man, further exacerbated by the unforgiving and barren setting of The Rover. The story Michôd tells is that of people pushed to the extremities of the human condition and whilst it is in essence a road or chase movie, for me it is more of a wild ride into the dark heart of man, that could have just as easily fit into a Western setting or sadly even contemporary times.

Being able to transport your audience to another world with enough credible hooks into our own is a hallmark of a great cinematic experience, it is also the hallmark of my favourite type of film – Film Noir. Which brings me to the second thing that struck me about The Rover – the performances. Like the great anti hero characters of noir Guy Pearce's Eric is broken, tough as nails and fiercely driven against the odds for his own reasons.

Video: THE ROVER - FIRST FIVE MINUTES [HD]



The Rover Guy Pearce & Rob Pattinson go road tripping
The Rover Guy Pearce & Rob Pattinson go road tripping
It's a marvel, (albeit a fairly grim marvel) to see Guy Pearce transform himself into a physical and mental husk of a man, as he limps through the film leaving a trail of destruction behind him. Watching him I couldn't help but recall Antony Sher's Richard III as well Christian Bale's largely ignored but absolutely outstanding portrayal of a stooped blue collar steel worker in Scott Cooper's 2013 Out of the Furnace. In which Bale transforms himself into the character with his body, I'm not talking just about his highly publicised weight loss but his physical performance is something to behold - much like Guy Pearce's in The Rover - only on actually meeting the man did I realise what a stark contrast the character is to him, seriously, I'm as straight as an arrow but this man is very good looking with classic Hollywood star looks and a perfect bone structure.

The Establishing Shot: GUY PEARCE & ROBERT PATTINSON TALK THE ROVER IN LONDON
The Establishing Shot: GUY PEARCE & ROBERT PATTINSON TALK THE ROVER IN LONDON
Robert Pattinson pulls in another impressive and understated performance as Rey, continuing his path to become his generations James Dean (without the tragedy). Taking on the role must be a fairly brave move considering Pattinson's heart throb status as his character the young Rey is somewhat stunted and underdeveloped, a condition all to prevalent in this day and age but Pattinson very easily connects with his youthful boldness, vulnerability and surprising moments of savant lucidity making Rey all the more tragic in his dichotomic role as perpetrator and victim - as well as the perfect counterbalance to Pearce's unblinkered and cynical rage.

Of course I would be remiss if I did not mention Scoot McNairy's turn as a beleaguered hood, as he brings such personality and earnestness to each of his roles and I'm looking forward to seeing him in leading roles that hopefully don't diminish his poignancy.

The Rover Guy Pearce
The Rover Guy Pearce
There are many scenes from The Rover that standout for me, some because of the dark humour, some because of the striking visuals, some where music and image come together beautifully despite the dark tone, some where you get a really good look at Eric's (Guy Pearce) haircut (the madness of which has to be seen to be fully comprehended) some like the scene where Rey (Robert Pattinson) is just sitting and listening to music because of its tragic poignancy and others like the ending which fell a little flat for me in its laboured and forced delivery as everything it had to say I heard throughout the film. I'm not the only one who was struck by some of these scenes and further below the team actually dissect and discuss them.

Yet, despite the darkness there is a vein of hope and beauty - running through the barren strip mined landscapes, Composer Antony Partos and Sam Petty's soundtrack (often reminiscent of the haunting sound of someone hitting a barb wire fence in the middle of the night) and Natasha Braier' striking cinematography - underpinning the grim atmosphere.

I was very taken by the depth of David Michôd's Rover, so you can see why I was keen to get in on a roundtable chat with Director David Michôd and it's stars Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson to talk about their latest creation - The Rover.

The Establishing Shot: THE ROVER UK TRAILER - 15 AUGUST 2014

Set in the near future, the world of The Rover is one where mankind’s greed and excesses have pushed civilization to the breaking point.

With society in decline, the rule of law has disintegrated and life is cheap. Hardened loner Eric (Pearce) travels the desolate towns and roads of the Australian outback. When a brutal gang of thieves steals his car and only remaining possession, they leave behind the wounded Rey (Pattinson) in their wake. Forcing Rey to help track the gang, Eric gives chase.

Determined beyond reason, unrelenting in the pursuit of his prey, Eric will go to any lengths to take back the one thing that matters to him.


When I go to the movies I like to have powerful experiences, and for some reason that darkness, and menace and sadness is for me a powerful experience.”
                                                             - David Michôd


The Establishing Shot: DAVID MICHÔD TALKS THE ROVER IN LONDON
The Establishing Shot: DAVID MICHÔD TALKS THE ROVER IN LONDON
The Rover

Set in the near future, the world of THE ROVER is one where mankind’s greed and excesses have pushed civilization to the breaking point.


With society in decline, the rule of law has disintegrated and life is cheap. Hardened loner Eric (Pearce) travels the desolate towns and roads of the Australian outback. When a brutal gang of thieves steals his car and only remaining possession, they leave behind the wounded Rey (Pattinson) in their wake. Forcing Rey to help track the gang, Eric gives chase.

Determined beyond reason, unrelenting in the pursuit of his prey, Eric will go to any lengths to take back the one thing that matters to him.

Director:
David Michôd

Writer:

David Michôd & Joel Edgerton

Stars:
Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scoot McNairy


RELATED
Ben Wheatley talks High Rise & FilmmakingBen Wheatley talks High Rise & Filmmaking
Dallas Buyers Club QA with Leto & McConaugheyDallas Buyers Club QA with Jared Leto & Matthew McConaughey
Jacques Audiard & Thomas Bidegain talk Rust and BoneJacques Audiard & Thomas Bidegain talk Rust and Bone
Alex Garland talks DREDDAlex  Garland talks DREDD
Daniel Espinosa talks Easy MoneyDaniel Espinosa talks Easy Money
I chat with stunt legend Vic ArmstrongI chat with stunt legend Vic Armstrong
The Rover UK Poster
The Rover UK Poster
David can you tell us a little bit about your writing process, Animal Kingdom took almost a decade to script and with The Rover you initially went in one direction kind of took a sharp turn to somewhere else. I was hoping to explore how you get it all out of your head onto screen - as well as how you collaborate with people particularly Joel Edgerton.

David Michôd: Animal Kingdom took a long time to write but largely because I was teaching myself to write over those 10 years. I started writing it straight out of film school. The first draft bears absolutely no resemblance to the finished film at all, there isn't a single scene or line of dialogue that is still in the movie and I started it from scratch about 4 or 5 times.

Guy Pearce: It would be interesting to make that original script, with all of us playing different roles.

David Michôd: Oh Wow! I'm glad that I wasn't like a film school wunderkind because then maybe someone would have thrown money at me to make that first draft. It would have been a disaster. I started it from scratch a few times because I could just feel in my bones that I was a better writer than the guy who had written the previous draft and there was no point to me polishing the turd. I just threw it out and started again.

But also when I'm left to my own devices  that gestation of story stuff can be slow. I have found that in collaborations with people like ; Joel (Edgerton) or Spencer Susser or I'm writing a thing at the moment with a great Australian writer Luke Davies, who wrote the movie Life that Rob just did, that I love that process of sitting in a room with a smart human being and just talking about life, and I also love the fact that it speeds that process up – problems that might take me 3 weeks to solve by myself can be solved in 15 minutes by another person.

The Rover Guy Pearce Eric against the world
The Rover Guy Pearce as  Eric against the world 

Guy Pearce: It's amazing when you do that and you think “imagine if we didn't have that conversation, we just sorted that out, what else are we missing? What else is slipping through the cracks?”

David Michôd: Well it's also because, er I don't know if its bad to spill other peoples trade secrets but [one of my collaborators] started experimenting with dictating his scripts to an assistant, and what he has found is that it speeds the process up incredibly, simply because you have another person in the room  with you who is waiting for you to say something. When you are in that room by yourself, you'll write 5 words and pheww! I need a break.

The Establishing Shot: THE ROVER WHERE'S YOUR BROTHER CLIP - 15 AUGUST

David after Animal kingdom and The Rover when are we going to see you do a Rom Com? You keep to go to dark places.
David Michôd: Yeah, I don't know why. When I go to the movies I like to have powerful experiences, and for some reason  that darkness, and menace and sadness is for me a powerful experience. As strange as it sounds those are the moments that I get most exhilarated when I am in an edit room.

After writing and shooting and it comes together with sound and music, when its dark and powerful that's when I feel my spine tingling.

Having said that I would love to have the experience of sitting in an audience watching a movie I have made that was making people laugh. I don't know whether I'm capable but I'd love to give it a try.

People think I'm being facetious when I say that I think The Rover is really funny. Everything Rob does, especially in the face of Guy's character. I thought your song in the car was really funny Rob, how was that?

Robert Pattinson: Yea, I thought it was so funny in the script.

David Michôd: Did it feel funny when you were doing it?

Robert Pattinson: No, actually it shouldn't have.

David Michôd: It shouldn't have?

Robert Pattinson: I was trying to telegraph for that scene. I thought it was pretty brave having that in the script. It was actually a different song at first, it was The Pussycat Dolls.  But yea, when we found the Keri Hilson song. I had never heard it before I thought it was written for the movie, it felt like a really specific decision.

The Establishing Shot: DAVID MICHÔD, GUY PEARCE & ROBERT PATTINSON TALK THE ROVER IN LONDON (2)
The Establishing Shot: DAVID MICHÔD, GUY PEARCE & ROBERT PATTINSON TALK THE ROVER IN LONDON

David did you pick the song Pretty Girl Rock because, it stuck out so much?
David Michôd: I wanted there to be, at that moment in the film a particularly a dark juncture for Rob's character, for there to be a moment that reminded the audience of the fact that his character was just a kid who in different circumstances would probably just be listening to music and thinking about girls.

It felt very important to me that you have that one moment of that and also just a moment of levity as well, because the movie can be a little relentlessly grim without those moments of levity.

The Rover Guy Pearce & Scoot McNairy face off
The Rover Guy Pearce & Scoot McNairy face off
Rob, how did you find working in the Ozzy wilderness? Was it a bit of a culture shock?
Robert Pattinson: Kind of. We were in a place that there wasn't really anyone out there. So I'm not sure of the culture.
I think you said it was the most remote place you have ever filmed was it a nice change to get away from the hysteria, cameras and that side of things?
Robert Pattinson: Yeah! Definitely it was kind of incredibly peaceful. You realise the value of anonymity again and how priceless it is. It was an unusual place and there was sort of mysticism of the area, its not just like being out in nothingness, there is an intensity to it. It was really hard. Almost savage.

David Michôd: It's corny but it feels weirdly strangely spiritual being out there because you are kind of surrounded by a vast nothingness. But it is fun being out there too because when you are shooting in the city, you can leave work and have to have a shower, because you probably have a dinner to go to or whatever but being out there its fun just not having to care about anything, not caring about how filthy you are, not worrying about what clothes you are wearing.

Guy Pearce: We were all in the same boat.

The Establishing Shot: THE ROVER CHASE CLIP - 15 AUGUST

On the subject of clothes, Guy the look of your character is very interesting, in certain scenes he looks like an exhumed corpse which makes the character a lot more powerful - how did the look of Eric come together? Did you have much input into his overall image?
Guy Pearce: Well David had pretty clear ideas about what he wanted, but we would also then have a discussion. I think to a degree the description of the clothes was in there.

David Michôd: Yes, shirt, shorts and sneakers.
Guy Pearce: Yea, that's right. I was excited about wearing just wearing one costume for an entire movie, there is nothing worse than having to do a quick change.



You've got to take that leap sometimes, you sort of have these ideas of what it could be, maybe it's this, maybe it's that and you realise you are still operating within some sort of conformity”
                                                             - Guy Pearce


The Establishing Shot: GUY PEARCE & ROBERT PATTINSONTALK THE ROVER IN LONDON

Was there much prep, did they dress you up a bit before you went on camera?
Guy Pearce: What? Did you think – that's how I turned up [laughing]? I remember we had a whole lot of discussion about our haircuts and we sort of tried something and David would come in and say it was nearly there but not right. At some point he said I really want you to look like you found a pair of blunt scissors  and you just cut it yourself. All about practicality. So I found a pair of old scissors and cut it myself. I think I might have been drunk while I was doing it.

You've got to take that leap sometimes, you sort of have these ideas of what it could be, maybe it's this, maybe it's that and you realise you are still operating within some sort of conformity and eventually you just have to go f'it and hope people don't freak out the next day when you go to work.
[To David Michôd], did you mean that when you said you wanted me to cut my own hair.

David Michôd: Yea and you ended up giving yourself a really trendy haircut.


Was the atmosphere hushed between takes or was there levity?
Guy Pearce: It depends on what we were doing you know, but we were having fun, we pretty much had a good laugh on set. If we were doing a heavy, heavy scene it wasn't appropriate to ruin the mood.


There wasn't a lot of background to your characters given to the audience, or the collapse in general, did you guys sit down a lot beforehand and discuss the background of your characters and their place in the film?
Guy Pearce: Yea, pretty much as well as the week in Adelaide of rehearsals, which was really just the 3 of us in a hotel room getting to know each other and slowly going through the script.

We, well I can't speak on Rob's behalf, but David and I exchanged emails and chats beforehand, because I was really struggling to get my head around who this guy was now, and who he used to be.

So it was a bit of a laboured process for me to put David through to find him.

David Michôd: That's what happens when you have a very taciturn character on the page, who doesn't reveal himself very much in dialogue. It requires you sit around and talk about it a lot.

Robert Pattinson: Talking to you, I remembered having called you since the audition and a conversation about having the tops of his ears snipped off. I had read this thing about thieves in the Wild West who had the tops of their ears snipped off.  I thought that was such a great little thing.

Guy Pearce: So they could be more aerodynamic?

Robert Pattinson: No it was a punishment, to mark thieves. I thought he was the type of person who would get caught and have his ears snipped off. Thank God I didn't have prosthetic ears in the end.

The Establishing Shot: THE ROVER GRANDMA CLIP - 15 AUGUST


Robert was there anything specific you did to get into character?
Robert Pattinson: There was something, that I didn't really realise I was doing. All the guns were controlled by an Armourer, obviously very serious about guns. He got so pissed off with me when I started playing with the guns and I realised that is what was getting me into character – annoying the Armourer.

I thought wow that is exactly what he would be doing, and being constantly told off. I was constantly clicking the hammer and I could see him sitting in the corner getting so angry. I was getting more and more into character irritating people.


When we were out there, there was literally no option other than staying in a shipping container. It's kind of nice, everyone is on totally equal footing. It doesnt let your vanity take hold.”
                                                             - Robert Pattinson


The Establishing Shot: ROBERT PATTINSON TALKS THE ROVER IN LONDON
The Establishing Shot: ROBERT PATTINSON TALKS THE ROVER IN LONDON





David, what draws you to the stories that you tell? It seems that you focus on relationship dynamics and extreme personalities
David Michôd: To be honest I don't really know. Sometimes it can be as simple as starting with something that is entirely meaningless and then find your way into it, find the things that feel meaningful.

I don't have a book notebook that is full of stories that I must tell. Sometimes it feels like work to me to get into a thing I have to start from a place of hating everything and everything is a bad idea and this movie should not be made and I force my way into it. Force myself to love it - usually that comes from finding ways to connect it to love or sadness, or fear of death or whatever.

For me, as weird as it sounds, The Rover is a movie about love. I wouldn't have been interested in making the film if it had just been a kind of boys-y, shoot em up, guys in the desert movie.

For me the whole reason to make it was the relationship between these two characters and reigniting the potential for love of Guy's character and the lost kid who is just looking for someone to cling onto. That stuff is the reason to make a movie.

Guy how was it for you to be working on an Australian movie again?
Guy Pearce: Oh! It was fantastic obviously. Not just because its an Australian film but primarily because I got to work with David again. It was really interesting being out in that location. Someone said to me –  it must be great working at home again!  - well I don't live there. So it was quite a schlep to get back home at the end of the job.

It's really  satisfying on all sorts of levels, obviously every character you play is different so its hard to generalise but even with this one where the character is so extreme on some level and the character has gone to such an extreme place there is still something that you latch on to that is Australian when you are playing a character that is Australian. I know that it sounds really obvious but there are certain, rhythms or understanding that is very different from when you go to another country and play someone from a different country with a different accent. With a very different sense of logic or whatever.

As I say this is an extreme character I got to play, he is not your everyday Ozzy, but even so there is still something very personally satisfying.

David Michôd: Like you can wear it like a comfortable jacket.

Guy Pearce: Yea. I always love working at home and try to as much as I can.

The ending is pretty devastating, what was your reaction to it when you first read it in the script.
 wear it like a comfortable jacket

Guy Pearce: I don't know. I think I remember talking to you [David] about it. I really struggled with who this guy was, so I remember calling or emailing David and saying I thought the ending was fantastic, but had to go back and go through the whole script again and was really just looking for who this guy was and that was sort of driving everything for me.

I thought it was the most beautiful idea that you are sent on a particular kind of journey, for a reason you don't get to understand until the very end. It is something so personal and so  representative of various elements of who we are and that was important to that guy. It sort of said everything about where he was in the world of the film. So I thought it was really a surprising and kind of beautifully sad piece of the puzzle that unfolds. I was really taken by it obviously.

The Establishing Shot: THE ROVER HE'S PUT A BULLET IN YOU CLIP - 15 AUGUST

Guy & Rob can you tell us a little bit about the differences in working on big films like Marvel franchises and the Twilight series as opposed to The Rover which has a has a much smaller independant feel to it?
Guy Pearce: We were discussing this yesterday. Often really the differences are the people you are working with, so there can be massive differences between one film and another - purely because they are in different countries or different people but the budgets are the same.

I think when it comes down to it and you are standing in front of the camera and you are acting and you have a director who wants a particular thing and you are just trying to successfully do what it is that you – there is no difference really. But if you stand back there are lots of executives standing around being nervous about lots of money, on a film like The Rover or Iron Man 3, although they weren't particularly nervous about their money and they were pretty confident about it, the whole Marvel team I think.  But you are aware that it is bigger, in a way I prefer the more intimate situations, you can get answers out of the people you want answers from as opposed to hold on I need to find out from the hierarchy if we can change that word.

Robert Pattinson: I think The Rover is a more extreme example as well. When you have a big budget it creates expectations of how you are supposed to be treated. When we were out there, there was literally no option other than staying in a shipping container. It's kind of nice, everyone is on totally equal footing. It doesnt let your vanity take hold.

Set in the near future, the world of THE ROVER is one where mankind’s greed and excesses have pushed civilization to the breaking point.

With society in decline, the rule of law has disintegrated and life is cheap. Hardened loner Eric (Guy Pearce) travels the desolate towns and roads of the scorched and dangerous Australian outback. When a brutal gang of thieves steals his car and only remaining possession, they leave behind the wounded Rey (Robert Pattinson) in their wake. Forcing Rey to help track the gang, Eric gives chase. Determined beyond reason, unrelenting in the pursuit of his prey, Eric will go to any lengths to take back the one thing that matters to him.

Written and directed by David Michôd (Animal Kingdom), THE ROVER will be released in UK cinemas on August 22nd.

For more updates you can follow The Rover Filmon Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/TheRoverUK or on Twitter here @TheRoverMovieUK.

To see clips and trailers visit the Entertainment One UK Youtube channel

The Establishing Shot: DAVID MICHÔD, GUY PEARCE & ROBERT PATTINSON DISCUSS AND DISSECT THE ROVER AND CHAT STORYTELLING - IN CONVERSATION

Craig Grobler You want to get out of here? You talk to me!
Craig is a retired superhero, an obsessive hobbyist, comics fan, gadget lover & flâneur who knows an unhealthy amount about Ian Fleming's James Bond.

When not watching or making films he takes pictures, eats, drinks, dives, tries to connect to nature whilst mentally storyboarding the greatest film ever made. He also  & sometimes utilises owl-themed gadgets to fight crime.  A list of his 133 favourite films can be found hereIf you would still like to contact Craig please use any of the buttons below: 
  Follow The Establishing Shot on Twitter Visit The Establishing Shot on Facebook The Establishing Shot on Google Plus The Establishing Shot on Letterboxd Contact The Establishing Shot

0 comments

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

The Establishing Shot HOT LIST


I really enjoyed Johannes Roberts' gripping & taut shark attack thrill ride 47 Metres Down - FILM REVIEW

Christopher Nolan & Emma Thomas introduce their modern classic DUNKIRK and answer some questions about DUNKIRK - EVENT REPORT

The Game of Thrones: Touring Exhibition is coming to London - UPCOMING EXHIBITION

I visit the BT Tower for the riveting Fear The Walking Dead Season 3 pre-premiere launch - EVENT REPORT



In Cinemas this week

Features



The 2017 EE BAFTA Nominations announced

Matthew McConaughey introduces GOLD and tells us a little bit about the film

xXx: Return of Xander Cage European Premiere EVENT REPORT
Richard Kelly talks the Making of Donnie Darko
Alex Zane Presents the FDA Autumn/Winter Film Preview & chats with Tom Conti
The Light Between The Oceans Press Conference
De Palma Review
Prop Store Auction Preview Exhibition
Idris Elba suprises us at Star Trek Beyond
The Nice Guys Surprise Us
Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review
10 Criminally underrated British Crime Films you probably haven't seen yet
Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Batmobile
In discussion the making of Triple 9
Deadpool Film Review
Quentin Tarantino talks The Hateful Eight
Star Wars Visions Exhibition Tokyo
SalonQP 2015 Preview
The Rogues Gallery Creation of a Super Villian Book Launch
Legend Press Conference
SPECTRE all the news
No Escape Review
Ant-Man Euoropean Press Conference
Batman: Arkham Knight Cape & Cowl Exhibition London
Ant-Man Willard Wigan Micro Exhibition
Unheard James Bond Themes
Peyton Reed & Paul Rudd introduce Marvel's Ant-Man
Knight of Cups Trailer Breakdown

Latest Film & TV News

Latest reviews:

Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review
Triple 9 Review
Deadpool Film Review
The Hateful Eight Review
Legend Review
No Escape Review
Mr. Holmes Review
The Grandmaster Review
Dawn of The Planet of The Apes Review
The Drop Film Review
300: Rise of an Empire
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

Craig Says...







LEGEND OF THE EAST END Exhibition

Legend of the East End Exhibition

135 Bethnal Green Rd,E2,
28 Aug - 11 Sep 2015
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
the alibi film club

The Alibi Cult Film Club

The Alibi ,Dalston, E8 2PB
Every Mon

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London The Making of Harry Potter

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London The Making of Harry Potter

Harry Potter Tour

WB Studios, Leavesden
April 2014+

Bond in Motion Exhibition

Bond in Motion at London Film Museum

Bond in Motion London

London Film Museum
21 March 2014+

TheEstShot Listening To:

Craig's Awesome Mix