Writer/director J.C. Chandor‘s latest film, A Most Violent Year, is a crime story set in 1981 New York City. The film has already been named the Best Film of 2014 by the National Board of Review and has gotten rave reviews. Movie Buzzers was invited to attend the film’s red carpet premiere and had the opportunity to interview Chandor and the film’s lead actress, Jessica Chastain.
I had previously seen director J.C. Chandor speak at the 2013 New York Film Festival to promote All Is Lost. Since I only had the chance to ask him one question, I thought I would ask him about the differences between his two very different recent films.
The script for All Is Lost was thirty-one pages. What was the biggest challenge with writing this script after writing something as concise as All Is Lost?
It sound crazy, but in a weird way it was about remembering how to and having the confidence that I could still write dialogue. This was probably one hundred and thirty pages by the time it was all said and done. It was a totally different process writing and shooting. It had been two years since I had actually worked with actors speaking to one another [Laughs] which sounds crazy. But that whole film was just a very different experience. For this one I had to get back into it. I was talking to someone about it the other day, at one point when I was doing a last-minute rewrite right before we were about to start shooting I watched Margin Call. I hadn’t watched it since Sundance the year before, but I watched that movie literally just to remember that I could write a movie and direct a movie that had real interactions.
Next I had the opportunity to speak with the talented and beautiful Jessica Chastain about her role in the film.
What was it about All Is Lost that interested you in working with J.C. Chandor?
Well I had seen Margin Call, which was so much about dialogue and relationships, and in All Is Lost there is no dialogue and no relationships, and I thought, “What an incredibly versatile director.” That’s someone who is very adept at storytelling.
You’ve done a number of period pieces — just off the top of my head there’s Lawless, The Help, and now A Most Violent Year. What draws you to them?
I like doing films from all eras. I guess what’s interesting about doing a period piece set in 1930s, 1940s, 1980s, whatever, is getting to live in another time. I wasn’t alive in the 1930s. Being able to play a character and try to understand it is like a history lesson. It’s like going back in time in a way, and I love that.
We’ll be checking out A Most Violent Year later this week and (of course) will let you know what we think.
Special thanks to GIORGIO ARMANI, which not only sponsored the event but dressed the cast to the nines. Also, VERY special thanks to Darin Pfeiffer Consulting for tracking down my coat, which went missing sometime between interviews.