Irrational Man @ Cannes: First Clip, Allen Interviews, Emma Stone


The 2015 Cannes Film Festival has kicked off and Irrational Man, the new film written and directed by Woody Allen will get its world premiere tomorrow. But before that, we have our first clip, a new interview with Allen

The clip is short and features Joaquín Phoenix and Parker Posey. All we get from it is Phoenix’s Abe is in some real trouble – and something’s gotta give.

Le Figaro has a new interview with Allen, just hours after landing in Cannes. But beware, it gives away some major plot points. It does mean that Allen is definitely in town!

Allen did another interview, earlier in Manhattan, for Deadline. It is light on insight on the new film, but it has many interesting revelations.

DEADLINE: What of Joaquin Phoenix’s work made him right forIrrational Man, playing this tormented philosophy professor who seems reinvigorated by a death wish?
ALLEN: Often, I write a part with an actor in mind; I didn’t in this case. I finished the story because I thought I had a good idea. Then, who would be good for this? The first thought I had was certainly Emma Stone because she’s great for practically anything. She’s young and beautiful and gifted and she plays comedy, romance, drama. I saw her singing and dancing on Broadway…she was an easy choice. And then Juliet Taylor, the casting director, mentioned Joaquin. All of us thought he was a great actor. I wondered to myself, would he be a crazy or hard guy to work with? But he wasn’t. He was a very sweet nice person and very, very self-deprecating and insecure. He doesn’t appreciate how good he is and my job was not to direct him as much as to explain to him that his last take was not bad, it was great. He has such a high bar for himself and you explain to him that he is reaching the high bar that he set for himself. We knew as soon as Juliet mentioned his name, oh, he’s perfect.

DEADLINE: I’ve covered the casting of your films for years and young actors consider your invitation to be real validation of their talent. How does a young actor get on your radar and how voracious are you in watching movies to keep current?
ALLEN: I see movies, but not to keep current. I watch strictly for enjoyment. But you do get exposed to the ones that come along. I saw Winter’s Bone and became aware of Jennifer Lawrence. And Juliet Taylor has an encyclopedic knowledge and will so often say, I want you to meet so-and-so. Like Chazz Palminteri. He had not appeared in anything and I was doing Bullets Over Broadway and the second he stepped into this room…I didn’t even have to hear him say anything. I just cast him right away.

And some insight into the 2016 Amazon series.

DEADLINE: How do you reconcile your avoidance of computers and iPads, when you signed on to create a TV series forAmazon’s streaming service?
ALLEN: I don’t even know what a streaming service is; that’s the interesting thing. When you said streaming service, it was the first time I’ve heard that term connected with the Amazon thing. I never knew what Amazon was. I’ve never seen any of those series, even on cable. I’ve never seen The Sopranos, or Mad Men. I’m out every night and when I come home, I watch the end of the baseball or basketball game, and there’s Charlie Rose and I go to sleep. Amazon kept coming to me and saying, please do this, whatever you want. I kept saying I have no ideas for it, that I never watch television. I don’t know the first thing about it. Well, this went on for a year and a half, and they kept making a better deal and a better deal. Finally they said look, we’ll do anything that you want, just give us six half hours. They can be black and white, they can take place in Paris, in New York and California, they can be about a family, they can be comedy, you can be in them, they can be tragic. We don’t have to know anything, just come in with six half hours. And they offered a lot of money and everybody around me was pressuring me, go ahead and do it, what do you have to lose?

DEADLINE: So you said yes…
ALLEN: And I have regretted every second since I said OK. It’s been so hard for me. I had the cocky confidence, well, I’ll do it like I do a movie…it’ll be a movie in six parts. Turns out, it’s not. For me, it has been very, very difficult. I’ve been struggling and struggling and struggling. I only hope that when I finally do it — I have until the end of 2016 — they’re not crushed with disappointment because they’re nice people and I don’t want to disappoint them. I am doing my best. I fit it in between films, so it’s not like, no film this year, I’m doing Amazon. It’s a job within my usual schedule. But I am not as good at it as I fantasized I might be. It’s not a piece of cake; it’s a tough thing and I’m earning every penny that they’re giving me and I just hope that they don’t feel, ‘My God, we gave him a very substantial amount of money and freedom and this is what he gives us?’

Lots more over at Deadline.

Finally, there’s some excited social media-ring from lucky people who get to see the film first. One tweet confirms Emma Stone is also on ground.

We are bound to hear a lot more once the film premieres, and the stars hit the red carpet. ‘Irrational Man’ premieres…tomorrow!


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