The 2014 Cannes Film Festival start tomorrow, and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them” is set to have two screening on May 17.
The distributor also released the official Cannes press kit of the movie, featuring a very large Q&A with director Ned Benson and producer partner Cassandra Kulukundis. The scans of the press kit have been added to our gallery and you can read some excerpts below.
Jessica Chastain was on board early on—how did she become involved to begin with?
Benson: I met Jes about 11 years ago now. I had a short film playing in a film festival, and there were something like 12 people in the audience. Afterwards this girl comes running up to me in the lobby and asks me if I directed the film she just saw. I said yes. And she said: I want to work with you. And I thought to myself: Why? The girl happened to be Jessica, who had just graduated from Juilliard and moved to LA to be an actor. She was my first fan and has believed in me for a long time, which I am extremely grateful for, because without that I’m not sure I’d have made this project. We became very close and I developed what became the two-film project with and for her…and here we are. Life is funny.
Furthermore, tell us how the rest of the incredible cast became part of the film.
Benson: Once we had Jessica involved, I knew I wanted James McAvoy to play the role of Conor. Because of his scheduling, we actually didn’t have James locked in until a few months before we started shooting. Having Jessica and James was sort of an amazing coup for me. The first to get involved after Jessica was William Hurt. He signed on a year before we started filming and was a big proponent of the script. And from there this amazing thing happened where everyone who we reached out to as my first choice began saying yes. It felt like all of a sudden the film came together and I’m directing this incredible cast of Jessica, James, William, Viola Davis, Isabelle Huppert, Ciara?n Hinds, Bill Hader, Jess Weixler, and Nina Arianda.
What was it like working with Jessica Chastain on the film?
Benson: It was fantastic. She’s the type of actor that when you have a tough emotional scene, you have complete trust in her because she’s going to get there. She’s one of the hardest-working actors I know. She just has this emotional depth that is so incredible to watch when you’re shooting her, or when you’re working on a scene with her because she can do it over, and over, and over again. And to have a film as emotional as this and have somebody who can get where she got in every take, and give you options—it’s a pretty amazing thing.
The New York Times has today an interview with director Ned Benson, in which he talks about his three movie projects The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him, Her and Them, specially the last one which is the one to be screening in Cannes this week.
Q. What inspired the “different perspective” approach?
A. I had written the “Him” part as a script for a movie just before I met Jessica Chastain and became friendly with her. I told her about it, and she asked me lots of questions about the female character: Why did she do this? What did she feel? I thought about all that, and that there was obviously another perspective on the story I had written. So it was organic in a way; I started writing a second script based on getting that other look at the relationship. It wasn’t as if I had a big concept idea about it first. Afterward I became really excited about it, because I don’t think anything quite like this has been done.
Q. It’s not exactly a commercial idea. How hard was it to raise money and to find distributors?
A. It was very hard to raise money. I was 28 when I started writing “Him” — I am 37 now, so that gives you some idea. But Jessica became well known around the time we were working on the second script, and that helped. There were people who were interested in the idea, but terrified to take the risk. I am an unknown director; who knows if I could make one film, let alone two?
Q. How did you plan the filming of “Him” and “Her”? Did you shoot them separately?
A. We didn’t shoot the films separately, although we were always very clear about which scene was for which film. We did it by character.
The first week I spent with James [McAvoy] and Ciaran Hinds, who plays his dad, and shot their whole story. The second week, we did the stuff that shows the early part of Jessica and James’s relationship. And so on. Some scenes are the same in both movies, but they show either his version of what happened or hers. The actors were amazing because you had to approach those scenes in two ways; first as you see it, and then as the other character is seeing you.
Make sure to visit The New York Times to read the whole interview, it’s very interesting. A version of this special report appears in print on May 14, 2014, in The International New York Times.
Jessica posted on her Facebook that yesterday was the last day of shooting, so now Crimson Peak enter on its post-production time. The film will be released by Universal in IMAX on Friday, October 16, 2015.
And the day has come! Jessica completed the social media triade by joining Twitter today!
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) May 8, 2014
Let’s hope for tons of Chaplin pictures!
Exciting news! Three versions of ‘The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby‘ will be released, instead the combined one only!
The Playlist – When the Cannes Film Festival lineup was revealed last month, there was a curious entry in the Un Certain Regard category: Ned Benson’s “The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby.” It was strange because, last September, the director hit the Toronto International Film Festival with a work-in-progress showing of the project as it was originally conceived—as two films: “The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: His” and “The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Hers”. The Cannes news made us wonder if Harvey Weinstein, who is signed up to distribute the film, had weighed in and kiboshed those original plans. The answer is much more complex, but the good news is, you’ll be able to see all three cuts.
Deadline reports that on September 26th, The Weinstein Company will release the two-hour Cannes cut, the newly-titled “The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Them” into theatres. Then later in the fall, “The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: His” and “The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Hers” will get a limited bow in arthouse theatres.
Ned Benson explained a little bit about the Cannes edition:
“At Toronto, it was this hanging question that lingered. It wasn’t until this year that I saw with my editor and my producing partner Cassandra Kulukundis and then talked with Harvey Weinstein about it, and he gave me the opportunity to see if it an omnipotent version could function as its own film. We got in a room and created the film that will premiere in Cannes.
We added some scenes I loved that I had to cut out, lost other scenes I loved, and used different reaction shots. I didn’t initially have the answer to that Toronto question about a combined version of the film, because I’d never tried it. If I had found that the third version didn’t exist, I would have thrown it away. I made two different films to empower audiences to see the story from two different viewpoints. It’s exciting to give them a choice to see it another way.”
Can we have a trailer now, pretty please??
Hamilton fans are having a blast this week, with the shooting of Crimson Peak in full power at the Dundurn Castle. The social media has TONS of photos of Jessica, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam posing with fans before dressing up, with now some other websites has pictures of the stars in full costume.
The user seansmovies on Instagram published this photo taken yesterday, where you can see Jessica already dressed as Lady Lucille Sharpe.