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.