Best Directors on Fresh Air
Anytime you cast a movie and you need someone famous in the lead part, you’re a prisoner of whoever happens to be famous in the six month window in which you’re trying to get a film financed. I lament that many times, a director has to compromise about who these lead actors must be, simply in order to get the film financed — when that’s the single most important element of the film that should be never compromised.
— Director Alexander Payne is lucky, having cast George Clooney, Jack Nicholson, Reese Witherspoon and Paul Giamatti in his films. But he says many directors in Hollywood have to make casting compromises to finance their projects. [complete interview here]
Alexander Payne talks about casting George Clooney in The Descendents: “He’s right for The Descendants because he’s the right age, he’s the right look — one of those handsome rich guys out in Hawaii. And also emotionally [right] for the part — because we film viewers have detected in Clooney’s work a certain charming detachment from emotions … how he looks at the proceedings going on around him with a certain twinkle in his eye. … I thought that would be accurate for the character of someone who’s grown detached from the emotions of his own life and has to grow to be more connected and aware and in touch with his own feelings.” [complete interview here]