INT: Gwyneth Paltrow
I've seen what happens at child birth. You can see pictures or that video they show you high school health class but nothing can prepare you for the real thing. Copius amounts of blood and guts... The woman you love in a rather compromising position... The sound of flesh being cut with a pair of surgical scissors. I'll never forget that sound. (In case you're morbidly curious, it sounds something like cutting through felt.) But sitting next to Gwyneth Paltrow, you could never imagine this woman, looking as glamorous as ever, could have gone through that. But here we were - me, a father, she, a mother. Not of the same child of course....or are we? Baby aside, Gwyneth had some things to say about some movie she was doing. Something about a Captain and a World...So did the script for the film really blow you away? I had already basically agreed to do it when I read it. Kerry Conran made in his garage a six-minute short which is basically like the fake trailer for the movie. And Jude was already in it and producing it, and I met Jon Avnet and Jude and Sadie at their offices in London. And they kind of described to me what the story was, and then - because Jon Avnet for a while had been trying to get me the script. He said: I've got to give you the script but I have to be in the room with you to show you this thing and explain it all, and I was kind of like: what is he talking about? And then when we finally did all get in the room and he showed me the short, it looked so incredible and stylish and unlike anything I had ever seen, that I thought - if there's ever time to do an action adventure movie, it's in a situation like this where it's a new technology and it's with Jude - So I got really excited, and I said: okay, I'll do it. And they were like - wait! You gotta read the script. I already knew I was going to do it, and then when I read the script, I decided it was exactly what I expected, but more because of the - I found it very stylish, I keep saying that word - the banter between them - I had a very strong kind of vision of what the hair and the costumes should look like and stuff like that - it was just exciting. So you had input into the way you looked. Yes. I always work with the same hair woman. I have for years. She's an Englishwoman named Kay and she does the most incredible hair and wigs and extensions and stuff like that, and I just knew I wanted to be super blonde and then she sort of designed the Veronica Lake hair style. And then Stella McCartney did my costumes and Jude’s, which was fantastic, so we really had to pull some strings to get her to do that. Did you think of Lois Lane? Yeah. It's a funny classic archetype in a way. Woman reporter who has lots of guts and wants to get her story. You can go back throughout cinema and find this type of character.
So much of the film it's just you and Jude on a big black set. How important to have worked with him before? I think it was very important because we're very comfortable with each other. We are friends. There's an ease between us and I really feel like it was an advantage. We had a history and we knew each other and we could just kind of be free and - cause it's very bizarre working in just a sea of blue with no props. It's strange. How do you get yourself into that mode? It's just a leap of faith and imagination, really. I kept watching the short film because it really kind of created the tone and style in my mind. You really have to hang onto the other actor in that scenario. Was it an easy set for you, so to speak? I mean in a way it was, because I knew how I wanted to do it, but in a way it was scary because I didn't know if the way I wanted to play it in the context of the film was going to work. Because I didn't know how it was going to look and I thought I understood the tone and how to play it, which was very straight. You had to play it very straight and that sort of gives it the slight irony - winking at all the movies of its kind and all of that. So it did require a kind of like: okay, let's just do it and cross our fingers and hope that it all comes together. Didn't you find it ironic to be using the latest technology on what is actually a retro-chick kind of film. Well, that's what was so amazing about it. That because it took place in 1939 and because it was a retro idea of what the future would be, I thought that was very appealing and that it would have a very interesting look and Kerry would show us drawings of robots and it was so imaginative because he really captured that retro futuristic look. Could you walk us through a scene - like running through the robots. It's me and a blue screen and a blue floor and pretty much nothing else. So he says: run this way. You go from here to here to here. And then we'll scream when a robot is coming over your head and you'll fall. It's like a dance . . . occasionally there would be a tennis ball on a stick, on a big pole . . . it was hilarious. how meticulously did they have to choreograph this? The thing is that on the animatic, which is the kind of very rough computer animation - because it was all kind of done already an animatics - so you could watch the scene and say: all right this is what I have to do. It was weird composite figure of myself doing it and walking like this and stuff like that. But you could see the robots, and you could see what was going to happen, so in that respect, you felt like you were pretty informed as to what was going on.
So you run here . . . you fall here . . . Right. You run here, you look up, you fall here. You get up, and then you roll quickly out of the way. It was all kind of done. Seen the film? I have, I have. Does it look totally as you imagined? It looks like I imagined but better. You know, I just loved the little touches - THE WIZARD OF OZ playing behind us . . . and how Radio City looks. I think it has a great look. So was there a plane? There was a cockpit and that was it. There were no wings or anything just a cockpit. We were stuck in that thing for about three days. Is this about the weirdest piece of acting you've ever done? Maybe you've talked to an orange ball before. No, I haven't done that before! Um, it was weird but I really just embraced it and thought it was so much fun. I really had a good time doing it. This is like another skill, and I thought - well, this could be the way that movies go. It's not necessarily always watch out for the robot, but it might be easier in five years and less expensive to go into a blue room and shoot a scene instead of flying everyone to Paris and doing a scene in front of the Eiffel Tower. They could just "make" it, so there is a sense that this could be happening, and it is happening in film, and I think it's an important skill to learn - to learn how to conjure what you need to conjure without actually having it there. It's just kind of an extension of what we do anyway.
How did this novice director do? He did very well. It was funny, because he's a very shy person, very soft-spoken, yet at the same time, knows exactly how he wants things to look, sound be. He'd do a very sweet thing - you'd do it and then it would be like: um, could you just do it again - like he was trying to make himself invisible - could you just do it again and this time - it's actually a big weird creature, so could you just make a little bigger reaction? Okay Kerry, whatever you say. Have you ever been with a director who's a screamer? No, thank god. I've been lucky. If this spun off into a sequel, would you be interested in coming back and revisiting the role? I think I would. If it was something new again, if the story was good, I think we would do another one. It was really so much fun. And it was perhaps 6 weeks of work . . . normally if it's a movie like this it's a hundred shooting days which is insane, but it was really easy and fun. Do this after SYLVIA? Yes. I went into this after SYLVIA, like a couple of months afterwards. What now? Nothing. Breast-feeding is my current role (laughs). How is motherhood? Phenomenal. It's beyond - it's just the best thing that's ever happened to me. Think you'll ever act again? I think I will (laughs) but I definitely won't do multiple films a year. No way. And I won't work soon. I'm thinking of doing a couple of tiny parts - like a cameo in one thing and maybe a little tiny part in something else - just to see if I can do it. but I think it will be a while before I do something that's like a big proper role. (You're priorities have probably changed). Oh yeah, completely. Will the roles change now you're a mother? I think so. It's going to take a lot to get me out of the house and working . . . I'll probably just work if it's something I'm really in love with or can't turn. Like an incredible director or an incredible script. Otherwise I think I'll just skip it. Feel good about PROOF. I saw it. It's great. I think it's pretty good. I don't want to jinx myself