Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Lenny Abrahamson Talk ‘Frank’ at the NYC Premiere
Last night, the NY premiere of Magnolia Pictures’ Frank took place downtown and it was quite an event. The entire cast was in attendance and at the after party we had an opportunity to see the cast perform the song “I Love You All” which was featured in the film, it was pretty awesome (scroll to bottom to see it). Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank is one of my favorite films of the year so far (read my review here) and thankfully I was able to briefly speak to the director Lenny Abrahamson, and stars Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal about their roles in the film. I also quickly asked Mr. Fassbender about the Assassin’s Creed movie rumors. Check out the interviews below and be sure to go to Frank this weekend when it releases.
Movie Buzzers – What’s been the most rewarding aspect of making a film like Frank?
Lenny Abrahamson – I think for me it’s the fact that they operate as a band. They can play together, they’re playing tomorrow recording The Colbert Report, playing a song live, the idea of creating a believable band that isn’t just some sort of fiction that you create for the movie using smoke and mirrors. They can really play and that the music’s great, a lot of that’s down to Stephen Rennicksthe composer and also down to the commitments of the actors to really learn what they were doing and really take seriously the band. The band in the movie isn’t a joke, there’s lots of funny stuff about it but it’s actually a pretty good band.
MB: Was it difficult finding a way to balance and hide how selfish Jon was to the audience? To me, he becomes more of a villain by the end but he’s also not.
LA: Yeah, exactly. What we do is sort of play it for laughs in the beginning so that his idiotic search for stardom plays quite lightly and then what we do is drain a little of the silliness out of that and let it become something realer. But I think by that stage the audience do care about him as a character, I think it’s down to Domhnall,his skill as an actor that he manages to play quite a despicable character in a way that you can’t tell feeling for, partially I think because we all recognize that level of smallness, we all have the capacity to be very small in our careers, to be pretty selfish so it’s not something we can’t identify with.
MB: Your next film is titled Room, aside from Brie Larson who else will be starring in the film?
LA: Nobody confirmed yet that I can talk about but some really interesting people are lined up.
Movie Buzzers – A lot of what makes you such a great actor is your ability to convey emotion on your face, how did you go about putting your mark on a character whose face we don’t see for 95% of the film?
Michael Fassbender – I don’t know, with a mask like that the audience start to superimpose what they sort of feel the character’s doing after a while and it’s quite an interesting face so by me remaining still and sort of very minimalistic it can be quite eerie, whereas if I’m more animated with my body he’s a little less threatening so there’s just a lot you can do with it.
MB: What was the longest amount of time that you kept the fake head on for? Does having the head on make it easier or harder for you to sing and perform?
MF: Oh I don’t know, I would take breathers in between takes, hard to say really.
MB: I have to ask, are you still part of the Assassin’s Creed project? Cause I keep seeing conflicting reports.
MF: Oh yeah I know. Yeah, I’m still part of it.
Movie Buzzers – It looked like you had a lot of fun playing Clara and while I can’t say I’ve seen all your films, of the ones that I have seen this part just felt so effortless despite the fact that you had to be villainous lough interest, bring tough as nails sometimes. Could you talk a bit about how you dove into this role and how you had to come off believable with a guy that had a fake head on his head.
Maggie Gyllenhaal – You just had to act like it was totally normal. That’s the funniest thing anyway, that’s just this guy, my friend and to not to ever make a thing out of it at all.
MB: How long did you practice the theremin before you were ready to make your debut on camera?
MG: It’s not just the theremin it’s also the synths and the MS20-Midis and more. The theremin I had to practice more because it’s melodic and with electronic instruments we wanted them to sound more like noise so I could be as good as a monkey might be if you gave them the knobs to turn. I don’t, six weeks or something. Actually, Miles Davis’ MIDI guy came over and taught me how to play the electronic instruments.
Thanks to Magnolia for inviting us to cover the carpet and to Tommy Hilfiger and Dark Horse Wine for sponsoring the after party.