The Childhood of A Leader Director Brady Corbet recently did a Q&A with Variety where he spoke about developing the script for the movie, how he chose his cast, finding the right location to film, his hopes for the movie and more.
If you happen to live in, or near, Pleasantville, New York then there will be a screening of The Childhood of a Leader followed by a Q&A with Brady Corbet this Sunday (25th Oct) at the Jacob Burns Film Center. More details and links to purchase tickets can be found HERE.
Variety: How would you describe your film, “The Childhood of a Leader”?
Brady Corbet: The film is a chronicle of the childhood experiences of a megalomaniac at the end of the first world war. We were not too interested in pointing at specific instances of cause and effect, however, so the film strings together a series of episodes that evoke the possibility of causality but is designed to leave viewers to identify their own prompting factors.
Variety: Is it a script you developed yourself? What was the process?
Corbet: I began writing a version of the script on my own ten years ago. I put it down because I was worried it was “too big” to make as a debut picture. My partner, Mona Fastvold, convinced me to pick it back up and she breathed new life into it. We finished it together
Variety: How did you cast the film?
Corbet: We offered roles to our adult cast members, and held simple auditions (one page of text) for the boys reading for the main role. Des Hamilton and his great team found Tom Sweet and brought him in. Tom was everything we had envisioned and more. He is the film’s greatest triumph.
Variety: How did Robert Pattinson get involved?
Corbet: Robert Pattinson is a friend of ours, and we really have a lot of common interests and tastes. He’s really charismatic, and we thought it would be wonderful to apply that charisma to these very early, seemingly unimportant sequences, and only really by the end of the film do you realise how significant they are.
Variety: Where did you shoot, and what were you looking for, location-wise?
Corbet: The story is mostly set in France but was shot in Hungary at the strong suggestion of our production designer and creative partner Jean-Vincent Puzos. This was not only for tax reasons, which suited the production, but because he knew how extraordinary the crews were there… We were seeking out massive set-pieces with the bones of what we had in mind already in place as we couldn’t afford to build much.
Variety: What are your hopes for the film?
Corbet: Our hopes have already been exceeded in some ways. The prizes for best director and best debut film at Venice have helped very much for the film’s awareness, so now we just hope that audiences continue to keep an open mind to the experience.
Read the Full Q&A over at Variety.com