Rolfe Kent Interview: ‘Downsizing’ composer
Although many view “Downsizing” as science fiction, composer Rolfe Kent doesn’t see it that way. “The high concept part of it is, to my mind, a distraction,” he divulges during our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above). “It’s still very much a social satire, very much about the absurdity of human beings.” Directed by Alexander Payne, this Paramount release stars Matt Damon as an ordinary man who decides to improve his life by shrinking himself. Like all of Payne’s films, “Downsizing” is about “the grandiose gestures, and the absurdity of them.”
When Kent finally got to work on the film, which has been gestating for over a decade, “Alexander’s first brief to me was don’t feel like film music. Feel like beautiful classical music. That idea stayed throughout.” In the beginning he reveals, “I was thinking wouldn’t it be great to do a very vocal score, with tons of voices?” He continues, “That didn’t get traction at first, but we did end up with quite a lot more vocal elements in the score to the film.”
Kent’s collaborations with Payne go all the way back to his first film “Citizen Ruth” (1996). The two also worked together on “Election” (1999), “About Schmidt” (2002), and “Sideways” (2004), for which the composer received a Golden Globe nomination. He also competed at the Emmys for his main title theme to “Dexter” in 2007. In addition to scoring the film, he also penned an original song, “A Little Change in the Weather.”
“Downsizing” opens in theaters on December 22.The film also stars Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, and Kristen Wiig.