After the recent New York Film Festival screening of “Gone Girl,” its cast discussed director David Fincher‘s rigorous style and multiple takes; the cast of “Inherent Vice” made similar observations about its director, Paul Thomas Anderson, after it was unveiled on October 4, but while the impression of Fincher was of a perfectionist, Anderson seems to be free-flowing and experimental. Owen Wilson described his approach as “loose and chaotic.”
But noting her extensive character and story discussions with the director, Jena Malone added of the experience, “That chaos can only come from a grounded, sort of logical base.” The preparation was similar for Sasha Pieterse: “We worked on it and worked on it, and he wasn’t afraid for it to take the whole day … I think that’s in total what made this film come together.”
Michael Kenneth Williams was relieved to hear his co-stars’ insight into the filmmaker’s process. “I thought it was me,” he said. “I didn’t think Paul liked me.”
Williams was also surprised by the more relaxed pace of Anderson’s direction, coming mostly from fast-paced TV productions like “Boardwalk Empire” and “The Wire.” “Most of my credits are in television, where they crack the whip,” he explained. “I get to this situation, it’s like, ‘Let’s sit down and talk about this.’ I’m like, ‘Really?'”
But the actors admired Anderson, who hoped to be “as faithful to the feeling of [Thomas Pynchon‘s] book as possible.” Martin Short, who plays lecherous dentist Rudy Blatnoyd in an especially outlandish sequence of the film, said, “If you’re working with a great director, you feel very, very, very safe.” Katherine Waterston added, “Working with Paul was the best creative experience I ever had.”
Anderson currently ranks eighth in our racetrack odds for Best Director (click here for his stats). Do you think we’re underestimating him? Make your predictions below.