Darren Aronofsky Interview: ‘mother!’ director
“We recognized that it was very provocative, and it was very intense,” divulges Darren Aronofsky during our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above) about his highly talked-about new film “mother!” This Paramount release centers on a couple (Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem) whose relationship is tested when another couple (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer) arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. “We knew that we were going to places that people don’t normally get taken to,” he adds, “and that there would be certain people that would really dig that ride, and there’d be other people that would be pissed off by that ride.”
The director first got the idea for the film during a period of deep reflection. “I had been thinking about, and very frustrated with, the health of our planet,” he reveals. “We were witnessing all of these superstorms, and all of these unheard-of conditions, but it’s a very complicated thing to understand, to grasp.” He thought, “is there a way of taking this big thing about our home, the planet, and make it into a house?”
From this he devised an allegory for Mother Earth (Lawrence) and God (Bardem) welcoming Adam and Eve (Harris and Pfieffer) into the Garden of Eden, and watching helplessly as mankind destroys their creation and their relationship. The Biblical elements were used “as just a way to structure the movie. I don’t think it’s ultimately about those stories.” He describes the film as “a home invasion story,” explaining, “humanity on the planet is kind of a home invasion story, with us just constantly pulling resources out and not thinking about giving back.”
Aronofsky first came on the independent film scene with “Pi” (1998), followed by his big breakthrough “Requiem for a Dream” (2000). He reaped an Academy Award nomination as Best Director for “Black Swan” (2010), which won Best Actress for Natalie Portman. His other credits include “The Fountain” (2006), “The Wrestler” (2008) – which brought Mickey Rourke a Best Actor bid – and “Noah” (2014).