Director David Fincher, writer Gillian Flynn, and actors Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tyler Perry discussed “Gone Girl‘s” many twists and turns throughout their press conference after the film was unveiled to press and industry at the New York Film Festival on Friday night, but the film’s surprises are so well guarded that even after the audience had seen it, they were wary about saying too much. “We’re trusting you obviously not to, you know, quote us,” said Pike, half-jokingly. “Off the record, on the QT.”
The film examines the marriage of Nick and Amy Dunne (Affleck and Pike), who we learn were not as happy as they seemed after she goes missing on their fifth anniversary. “I was very concerned with the tone and keeping the dark heart of it, and not turning it into a pure whodunnit,” said Flynn, who adapted her own novel for the film. Added Pike, “We really dissect and put a marriage under a microscope … It seems to be a film about intimacy really, and the wonderful things that can go with it, and the treachery that can come with intimacy when you know someone so well that you can just screw every little nut.”
Casting the lead roles was “obvious” to Fincher, who admired Pike for her inherent mystery: “I pride myself on being able to watch actors and know instinctively what their utility belt is, and I didn’t have that with Rosamund.” Of Affleck, he said, “Just because it’s perfect casting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.”
For Affleck, working with Fincher was an opportunity to grow as a filmmaker himself. “I’ve kind of at this point in my career as an actor decided that it’s all about the director,” he explained. “I would have done the phone book with David … Before all of my movies I direct, all three of them, I watch ‘Seven.’ I feel like it’s the most perfectly, meticulously, Swiss-watch made thing … And David is also, despite his reputation, a very funny and nice guy, and not just a demon.”
Fincher’s reputation for perfectionism and countless takes precedes him, but for Tyler Perry, an actor-director like Affleck, it was a welcome opportunity to watch and learn from a fellow filmmaker: “I don’t think he sees like regular humans. I think he sees everything at once. He’s trying to paint this perfect tableau, and if one thing is out of place, it’s got to be redone. The level of brilliance and genius that it takes to make that happen was so impressive to me. I walked away hopeful that one day I’ll do better in my own films.”
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