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: 09.12.2009
: 1061


, 25 2010 . 11:39 +

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Michael Cera and Edgar Wright: «Our fight boot camp that was like a sort of music camp»


Q: How did you feel last night?


MICHAEL: Amazing. I was so overwhelmed. It was really a magical night for me. I’ll never forget it.


EDGAR: It was Michael’s first time seeing it.


MICHAEL: My first time. Surrounded by the cast and everyone involved in the movie and holding hands, it was amazing.Yeah the audience was a very warm crowd. It was nice.


EDGAR: It was nice. It was amazing. It was just a crazy experience because it basically ended up being four and a half hours of entertainment. I literally walked from the panel going to the theater with like 1300 people. And then made sure they all got in so I kind of played usher outside the theater – not Usher the hip hop star.


MICHAEL: You played Usher. That’s a Comic-Con character – Usher.


EDGAR: It was amazing and then to have that and then also to have Metric play afterwards, the whole thing was just crazy. But also, the thing about Comic-Con is that people are going to hear anyway. I like the fact that 1300 people just kind of like changed their plans. It’s like, okay we were just going to be under the likes of, you know, with Scott Pilgrim for the next 4? hours so it was great.


MICHAEL: That’s really cool.


Q: But then again it’s Comic-Con so how do you like the movie is going to play with a regular audience outside the boundaries of this place?


EDGAR: I don’t know we’ve done test screens with the film where you kind of watch it with like a normal audience. In those cases, those ones are they’re nerve wracking but they’re kind of exciting sometimes because you’re watching the people completely cold. You have no idea what the film is or who is even in it.


So when that film plays to those people, I think you know, there is definitely things like all the stuff I’ve done before kind of has some specific references in it. But then the central themes – I mean, I always talked about like the film is that the central kind of like themes in it should be as easy to understand as something like Grease. Do you know what I mean – in terms of like… especially the romantic aspects of it, or certainly in terms of young love and how it isn’t, you know, like sort of you have this idyllic version of what young love is supposed to be and then the reality is a lot more complicated than that. I think most people kind of when they meet their first girlfriend assume that they’re going to be the love of their life and that is very rarely the case. So I think that was what’s interesting about the film is it’s somebody kind of dealing with what could be his first big relationship and seeing whether he’s actually adult enough to make it work.


Q: In the film there is like extreme feelings of young love played out in this very stylized way. What was it like doing a film and then like almost putting a cartoon over it?


EDGAR: In terms of the making of it…


MICHAEL: Who framed Scott Pilgrim.


EDGAR: I’ve been working on this film for two years. I would say like the first year of it was making the film and the second year was editing the film. Not just the editing but also just, you know, there are some points where it becomes almost like making an anime film. Because like all of the graphic work and animation is designed to the frame, it’s all very perspoke… you know, it took a lot of time to get it right.


I think that’s what sort of like the idea about it is that is like these young characters are sort of … Scott Pilgrim is seeing his life through the media that he conceives. So the film that you’re watching is like Scott Pilgrim’s kind of perfect world version of events or how he would like to – it’s almost like how he would like to be remembered and that he may not be our most reliable narrator.


MICHAEL: He could make an entirely different film from someone else’s point of view and just make it like people actually being murdered, carelessly slaughtered.


EDGAR: We were going to shoot something for the DVD which we never got around to. I wish we had where we’re going to do DVD extra where Scott Pilgrim is arrested. A thing like Paranormal Activity, alternative ending, not shown in theaters. Where it’s like Scott Pilgrim is arrested for the murder of 30 people. He killed 7 ex’s and 15 henchmen.


Q: Can you talk about the inspirations and the process that went into this?


EDGAR: It was kind of like the sort of the challenges of the book in terms of the tone and like the book is sort of on one end it’s very relatable and then on the other end it’s very fantastical. There are things that you can do within a comic more difficult to do in live action but then the challenges of that is also what attracted me to it. It was kind of irresistible to try and pull off.


It was a real kind of gift in a way to sort of that you didn’t have to be completely in the real world. A lot of the scenes in the film, they’re kind of like whether it’s a kissing scene or like a fight. They’re kind of explosions of emotion. It’s like imagining how Scott Pilgrim is like sort of seeing this in his own head.


I have this kind of theory about the film. There is the bit where Michael is kind of daydreaming and walks into the bathroom and then comes out and there is a school corridor. If you want to read it like this you could say that the rest of the film is a dream after that point and none of the rest of it is real. It’s the work of a fantasist. That kind of is in the book as well especially in the last volume, the idea of like Scott Pilgrim being an unreliable narrator. So I love this idea that you’re watching somebody’s daydream basically.


Q: I couldn’t see anyone else doing it the same way with the same sense of humor...


EDGAR: We met in 2007?


MICHAEL: Yeah, I think that’s right and spent a magical night out here together. We have met before that though.


EDGAR: Yeah, the first time we met was in Toronto. I think I met Michael when we were doing press for Hot Fuzz in Toronto. So we’ve been talking about it for like three years.


MICHAEL: And then we went and saw Die Hard.


EDGAR: We saw Die Hard with a Vengeance.


MICHAEL: With Mary Elizabeth Winstead


EDGAR: Mary Elizabeth Winstead at the Scotia Bank. Not Die Hard with a Vengeance, Live Free and Die Hard. Let’s get it right! Oh my god, my geek credentials will be taken away forever! Or as it’s called in the UK, Die Hard 4.0.


Q: Same thing in Brazil.


EDGAR: Oh really. {laughs}


MICHAEL: Isn’t it called Mud Die Hard?


Q: Not right now. {laughs}


Q: So basically Michael was in the role already when you started bringing the script to him?


EDGAR: Yeah, yeah. Oh certainly, he was in mind… I read the first draft of the script... I started the first draft of the script in 2005. I actually finished it just before shooting Hot Fuzz. I wrote the first draft in 2005 and we hand it in. Me and Michael Bacall handed it in to the studio the first draft in January 2006 just before I did Hot Fuzz. So it was a long time ago. This was before I met Michael. We actually were watching a lot of Arrested Development when we were writing. I remember saying like, “It’s a shame that the kid from Arrested Development isn’t older.” And then cut to three years later and we’re all good.


Q: Do you think you can get into the Matrix and kick Neo’s ass now?


MICHAEL: Maybe. I mean, we had Bill Pope. We had the same cinematographer as the Matrix so I’m sure he could probably…


EDGAR: He could hook it up. He knows Keanu. {laughing}


Q: We can see that at Celebrity Death Match.


MICHAEL: At Comic-Con – Comic-Con exclusive. {laughs}


Q: How was training for the action scenes?


MICHAEL: Amazing. It was an amazing training. It was great in getting up – we woke up every morning at like 7 in the morning and came in and ran, did like a hundred pushups and like tossed the medicine ball around. It was a nice way for all of us to get to know each other and get really familiar with each other because you see people like…


EDGAR: Once you’re in your gym shorts, there is no going back from that.


MICHAEL: All pretenses go away and you just work out.


EDGAR: We did it for eight weeks. I did it with them every morning as well, which is amazing.


MICHAEL: Sword fighting with foam swords.


EDGAR: We had like a sword fighting tournament. The funny thing is that all of the actors who are involved in the fights train obviously but then the actors who weren’t involved in the fights felt left out and will come and join us anyway. You know, Kieran Culkin and Brie Larson and…


MICHAEL: Bryan Lee O’Malley came


EDGAR: Yeah, Bryan Lee O’Malley came and they worked out. So the people that didn’t actually have any fights to do would come and workout with us in the morning.


Q: This is quite a departure for you because you’ve been in these indie films where the biggest action you’ve had to perform was like running [inaudible 10:10] …


MICHAEL: Which was exhausting.


Q: Yeah, I can imagine. {laughing} Was the acting different?


MICHAEL: Yeah. The acting in this movie I think is very particular and very heightened and cartoon-y. The rehearsal period was really helpful for me to get there because you know you really have to like feel really comfortable around everyone and confident in what you’re doing. It was definitely a process of finding it in the rehearsals. Yeah, it felt totally different. It feels totally unique to this movie I think. Everyone’s performance feels like it really just belongs in this movie.


EDGAR: It’s also something I guess is like, you know, I remember you saying about it being different. It’s also very regimented in places because the set pieces are like either musical numbers or they are like musical – it’s almost like dance sequences and like doing the comedy within the kind of set pieces, it’s all kind of very particular. Maybe in other comedies and stuff, the style is a bit more loose in terms of the way of shooting it and the amount of improv and stuff but we rehearsed a lot to kind of nail a lot of things that were very specific timing wise.


Q: What’s with the blinking?


EDGAR: The blinking. The Blink Nazi. {laughing} You know there used to be that thing that [Michael Caine book, Michael Caine’s acting master class was never blink on a close up. It was like rule #1. But with this, I just felt like with this – especially because all the actors have very expressive eyes and always like whenever like people blink in any close up, it’s always like a sign of weakness and stuff. It’s just something that’s sort of… if you watch the film, there is very little blinking in the film at all.


Q: I have to pay attention to that. Like Hannibal Lecter.


EDGAR: It’s something that kind of helps that entire like stylize or tone is this sort of like the… people are very kind of expressive. The actors in this film all have amazing eyes. The person that I was particularly tough on was Brie Larson who played Envy was sort of like ice cold. I sort of said, “Don’t ever blink. You look so much stronger when you…”


MICHAEL: So in control.


EDGAR: Yeah, exactly. You’re totally in control if you don’t blink.


Q: After Machete and Hobo with a Shotgun, any plans of turning Don’t into a feature?


EDGAR: I don’t know.


Q: That would be fun.


EDGAR: It kind of will be fun. One of the gifts of doing Don’t and the Grindhouse trailer is I didn’t have to bother thinking up a plot {laughing} Basically done as a bunch of money shots strung together.


Q: With no plot at all, it would be fine anyway.


EDGAR: I’m a bit [inaudible 13:12] Italian horror films where it’s sort of it’s style and the substance is not very heavy like set pieces. The thing about making that Don’t trailer was that it was trying to see how many actors and different scenarios you could fit into one trailer so you would watch the thing and what the fuck is this film about?


Q: What’s going on with Ant-Man?


EDGAR: I basically haven’t kind of like sort of done any work on it for like two years because I’ve been working on this full time. I’m a terrible multi-tasker. Once we’re kind of done promoting this film, I’m going to sort of kind of just return to writing and that’s one of the things that I’m going to be writing.


Q: That’s maybe your next project.


EDGAR: Maybe, I’m not sure. It’s not up to me. {laughing}


Q: Tomorrow [inaudible 13:57] big Marvel thing [inaudible 14:02] be crazy.


Q: What about you Michael, what’s next?


MICHAEL: I’m not sure. I don’t know yet. I’m just going to see what feels right. Maybe Ant-Man, Ant-Lad.


EDGAR: I don’t know. We cover like sort of elements of all six books in one film. I guess that’s more like you know, I knew whether Bryan would intend to do anything more with the character. I feel it kind of feels kind of right that we have all arrived at the same place after six years. Like it would be presumptuous and cocky to have kind of said that like, “We’re going to make a six film series.” Because we probably are still going into 2015 and then we’d have a 40 year old [inaudible 14:54]. I think it’s nice. It’s all kind of climaxed together in the same kind of [inaudible 15:03] or month. I don’t know. That’s kind of more up to Bryan. I’m going to put the ball in Bryan’s corner.


Q: How big is music for you guys?


EDGAR: Huge.


MICHAEL: Very big.


EDGAR: I am a big music fan and so is Michael. Can I call you a multi-instrumentalist? {laughing}


MICHAEL: Sure, I don’t mind being called that.


EDGAR: Multi-instrumentalist Michael Cera. But it was a real… that’s what was a gift about this kind of source material is there is – I’m a big music fan. In my previous films, I haven’t had any scenes with people playing music. That was a trip. We worked really hard on that aspect with like Nigel Godrich and the various bands that like did the songs. Again, like similar to the fight boot camp that was like a sort of music camp.


Q: Did you get the Benz you wanted?


EDGAR: Absolutely. I think we kind of have an embarrassment of riches.



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