Quality co-stars can help with sanity issues when on set, how was it working with Tilda Swinton?
Like jamming with David Bowie for a month. Like playing chess with Bobby Fisher for a month. Most simply, it was like living a story through dream with a real made up character for five minutes at a time and in between, having a ball with one of the warmest and simultaneously, coolest mamas ever…for a fucking month!
The story is told through Tilda’s character as you said, and a lot of what we see aside from her memories of her son is the fallout of Kevin’s actions on her social life, specifically how people in the community perceive her, which is not kindly. How much of the community’s opinion is influenced by the media’s coverage of Kevin’s final act of violence, and how much is it human nature to cast blame?
Media these days just reaps the cash benefits of all of our modern heightened human nature. With the ready, happy help of the media monopoly, we ascribe specific blame to every tragedy that comes our way. It seems we’ll blame just about any person, any group, any idea or belief in this fight to never find the blame in ourselves. This is the internal stake and responsibility we all have in the world’s violence and tragedy.
With all this heavy subject matter, how do you expect the mood of the average audience member to be after watching the film?
I have no standards or expectations for how anyone might feel after experiencing anything. Good god, I am no doctor. But I do know that I, personally, couldn’t walk, speak or look at my uncontrollably sobbing mother for a good little while after my viewing.
Sounds like director Lynne Ramsey did a good job then. How was she to work with?
Well I was walking through the thickest forest I’d ever seen. The wood [was] holly and the ground [was] made entirely of bullshit, money and screenplays. After my first long trek through this forest I came to a clearing and saw, at it’s center, a short beautiful woman crying out in a Gaelic tongue I could only partially understand. Wildly swinging a sword made out of celluloid, she told me she’ll have cut a path right through in no time and I laid at her feet in eternal allegiance.
And what of indie films like this, do they too have your eternal allegiance or do big budget productions have to be worked into the picture as well?
I wish there wasn’t such a big difference or exclusivity between those two! I am considering everything I can wrap my head around. But as we know, many have held although most have dropped the sign that reads: Will work for art (and nothing else! till the day I fucking die!)
You seem to be a bit of an old soul, but ultimately because of your age, people will group you amongst the ranks of young Hollywood? How do you feel about being shuffled into that category?
Does anyone in the world have a choice any more? The minds of the world are being dragged one by one, into “the ranks of young Hollywood,” stylized-youth vampires, media brains, hateful of ourselves, afraid and untrusting of each other, fully terrified and unwilling when it comes to sickness, age and death. It’s twisted and corrupted to the marrow of our bones. I know we can all feel that that much is clear.
Is it all bleak then?
The youth of this industry, like the youth of today’s world, [are] rapidly awakening to the facts of Hollywood matters and there just might come a day that the media that employs and relies on us may regret putting us into “ranks.”
What of the overall Hollywood machine; is there anything you’re especially wary of when it comes to your business?
I guess I’ve just felt since I was a kid I’ve felt a bit like corporate America, in the ideal business model, wants to profit extensively off of our imaginations, and then devalue and destroy our imaginations just in time for us to live out our short remaining lives in the all too real debts and logistical crises that our corporatized and Americanized imaginations got us in to in the first place. I’m as wary of Tony Montana as I was of Mickey Mouse.
Well it seems like you’re doing a pretty good job at navigating through the fluff with The Perks of Being a Wallflower on its way out next year after your current indie-darling leaves theatres. Another acclaimed book-turned-film production — this time beloved by a loyal following of teens — did you feel any pressure adapting the material to film?
I’m certain that I systematically ruined everything for all the loyal perks readers who might wish to see a book actually become a movie with full literary triumphs and truths maintained throughout. The best thing anyone can do for them selves when viewing an adaptation is allow for a new experience and story to merely sprout anew from the soils of the original work that we all love so much.
The film deals with teen depression, do you think this issue gets enough attention or should teachers and parents be more schooled when it comes to the signs?
Get unschooled, parents, your kids all hate this school garbage. Make your self as unafraid as your parenting hearts will allow. You need to be unafraid to look at the signs, the symptoms, but most importantly: the causes! Stop talking to your kids and listen! We all have things to say. And at the end of the day, when you know your kid isn’t gonna pull the trigger, as hard as I could imagine this might be, leave us kids and our depression the fuck alone. We as young humans have to figure it out for ourselves now. You’re children are all depressed and suicidal, that’s evidence enough that you guys don’t know what you’re talking about. Let us fix ourselves so we can figure out how to fix the world that all you well intentioned hippy-crites did such a good job destroying.
Is ditching ideas of normalcy part of the fixing things? Seems like the pressure to be “normal” may be a common trigger for depression in teenagers.
Well I imagine that without a diagnosis and a standard of normality, there is only cause and effect within the grand circumscribing human nature. Now, with all the cures on the shelves, everyone’s sick. There is more mental illness and suicide than ever before. I’m not an authority on any of this, but I do know that, as a kid, I first got depressed the day someone told me what depression was.