|David Schwimmer Webchat Transcript|
The one-time Friends star on his latest directorial effort, Trust...
In this, our David Schwimmer Trust webchat, we managed to keep Friends-related question to, well, under five, and only once let through a "schwimming" joke from a pun-loving Empire questioneer. Because of this, we're quite pleased with ourselves, understandably - or maybe it's because we met ROSS FROM FRIENDS, SQUEEE! Anyway, here's the transcript for you, and in case you were wondering, Trust is out in cinemas on July 8.
Vics says: Hi David, having just had a daughter (congratulations!) do you worry about the growth of the internet, specifically social networking, and how this will affect her future?
Of course, though by the time she's a teenager everything will have changed many times over.
Samantha Edwards says: Hi David, how difficult was it to portray such a delicate topic as you have done in Trust?
It was extremely challenging, and I felt a great deal of responsibility to get it right, so I relied on many, many experts, who acted as consultants on the script and many interviews with actual child victims and their families.
Josh.H says: What do you enjoy about directing the most?
I guess being the storyteller and the collaborative process, working with all the various departments, designers, crew and talent. Kind of harnessing all of their ideas and energy into a single vision is greatly satisfying and challenging. And a blast!
Nubbs says: The performances are so beautifully measured and I'm sure the young girl will garner much acclaim but Viola Davis shows such diversity between the way she deals with the girl and her father... as she should do. Was that a result of research info you gave her or did she spend time in the field?
Both. Viola's work is amazing considering she worked only two days on the film, the very first two days of shooting, and did her own research and work after I introduced her to some of the expert counsellors at the rape treatment centre at Santa Monica UCLA Hospital.
BenR says: Hi David, Clive Owen looks like a fantastic choice for the lead in Trust, was there ever any consideration of any other actor?
We had a shortlist of top choices, but Clive was number one on the list because he has this persona of being "the guy who gets the guy", and that plays wonderfully into the plot of our film, in which the predator eludes capture and justice.
Sophie1990 says: Hey David, I saw Trust last week and thought it was an astonishing piece of film-making. Huge fan of your directing talents! When considering what type of 'look' you wanted for the film, were you conscious of not wanting it to appear too 'Hollywood' and instead display an overall sense of 'realism'?
Yes. We went for a consciously desaturated and realistic, naturalistic feel to the look of the film.
Sophie1990 says: What would be your number one piece of advice for an aspiring screen-writer trying to break into the industry?
My advice would be to write what is most personal and specific to your experience or your life. And your voice will emerge and because of its specificity, it will be universal.
Steve Collier says: Mr. Schwimmer! A pleasure. How much did work on Band of Brothers inspire your direction? I ask because Spielberg seems to have helped a lot of actors realise their directing potential. Was it something you always you wanted to do?
Directing is something I always wanted to do. I started when I was 13 directing scenes in high school and then plays in college with my theatre company. While BOB didn't specifically inform my directing, certainly Spielberg's films have been a huge influence and inspiration.
nicky says: Hi David! Congrats on your beautiful daughter! What will are your latest projects moviewise? And TVwise?
Well, Trust is my latest film and took up the last 3 years. It opens July 8th, if you're able to check it out. Next up I'm going to try to focus on some acting. I may be doing a play on Broadway in the fall.
Quentin_Cappucino says: As a director, which filmmakers do you feel have had the most influence on your shooting style? Do you storyboard a project before you start shooting?
If I made a list of all the directors that influenced me, I wouldn't be able to answer any other questions! Short list would be Mike Nicholls, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Billy Wilder, Woody Allen, Martin Brest, Sidney Pollack etc. For this film I did not storyboard, but prepared extensive shot lists.
DanCooper62 says: David, although you are doing well in your career, do you ever feel like the industry has typecast you as 'Ross from friends?' Because you were such a big part of a huge phenomenon, do you feel you'd prefer the director's role to being in front of the camera or have you always had a knack for direction?
Sometimes I've felt that the industry has typecast me as a certain kind of character. But then I think all it really takes is one role, the right role, to shake that up and change that perception. I think of Woody Harrelson, who was the goofy oaf on Cheers, but after the role in Natural Born Killers he shattered that image.
papwortl says: How did you get Catherine Keener? And, is she as brilliant to work with as she is on screen?
Catherine is a dear friend of mine for more than a decade, and we've always wanted to work together. After Clive signed on, I ran a list of ten actresses by him, including her name, and he singled her out immediately, much to my joy and relief. I called her the next day, and sent her the script, and two days later she was in. And yes, she is as brilliant to work with as she is on screen!
topol says: Hi David, what's your earliest memory of going to the cinema?
I think my earliest memory is my parents taking my sister and I to see Fantasia, but that wasn't necessarily my fondest earliest memory. That would be standing in a line that wrapped around three blocks to see the release of Star Wars, the first film.
|David Schwimmer on the set of Trust with Liana Liberato|
okotta says: Was it always your intention to go for an R rating for Trust, or did you maybe aim for a PG-13 at first?
I didn't want an R-rating, and think it's a big mistake that the American rating system gave it that rating. But I refused to compromise the language in the film, specifically the use of profanity by Clive Owen in his rage at what happened to his daughter. The film was given the rating because of a few "bad" words, and I think it's an antiquated system. There's no violence or nudity in the film, and it's ridiculous to me that a 13, 14 or 15 year-old can't go see it with a friend rather than a parent.
TheHazeyBoy says: David? Do you ever plan to work with Simon Pegg again in the future? I truly enjoyed Big Nothing and would really anticipate seeing you two again together on screen. Have you guys talked about any more collaborations?
We haven't, but I'd be thrilled to work with him again either as a director or onscreen, side by side.
MatineeMouse says: What was the last movie you saw in the cinema and what did you think of it?
The Trip, and I thought it was brilliant.
MattBuckler says: Are you sporty at all? Do you have any favourites? Schwimming perhaps?
I'd answer that but I'm watching Wimbledon right now.
dude says: How is Madagascar 3 coming along?
Great. I've recorded almost all my bits, and I'm looking forward to seeing the result!
Steve Collier says: So far, your interest in stories seems to be those of the ordinary person. Is this a specific area which you'd like to concentrate for the moment or are there plans for a move in to more epic fare. Perhaps a balance between the two a la Eastwood..?
I do plan to move into more epic fare, actually, but still character-driven. I've commissioned an adaptation of The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, a story of a young immigrant from Lithuania to the meat-packing industry of Chicago in 1904, and the rise of the unions in America.
BenR says: What was the atmosphere like on the set of Trust? It being a very dark and much more dramatic film tonally to a lot of your other work I imagine it would have had a very different ambience on set?
Yes, not a lot of laughs. But a very respectful, sensitive atmosphere is what I asked of the crew, and they were fantastic.
Sophie1990 says: You've done interviews where you state that a 'friends reunion' is highly unlikely due to the perfect and fitting ending it had. If a storyline was pitched to you that ultimately captured your interest, would you reconsider?
|David Schwimmer and Clive Owen on the set of Trust|
zloben says: David, hello from Russia. I've seen Trust, it's a uniquely true relationship picture. And I liked Run Fatboy Run a lot. Do you plan to try yourself in all genres? Maybe horror will be next?
I love horror films and would be definitely interested in trying my hand at a good one. Again, I love the character-driven horror films such as The Shining.
Greenzo says: In terms of comedy-show cameos, what was the best experience: 30 Rock or Curb Your Enthusiasm?
Curb! It was a blast improvising with Larry David and getting to meet Mel Brooks.
adelaide says: Hey David, do you hope Trust will get people talking about the issue of online activity? And will it be released in Australia?
Yes, and I hope so.
Quentin_Cappucino says: David, glad you liked The Trip - I loved it too. Can you do any celebrity impressions yourself? I'd love to hear your Michael Caine!
I'm doing it right now.
dairymilk says: Do you think that screenwriting is something that can only be taught in film schools or do you believe that writing on your own, maybe with the help of professional advice, is sufficient to write something good that can be noticed?
I believe that writing on your own with professional advice can be just as brilliant as having formal education and instruction.
@LisaSWilliams says: Hi David, as one half of one of the biggest 'will they won't they' romances on the small screen are you a fan of these kind of stories and if so, which other 'will they won't they' romances have enjoyed watching?
Well, When Harry Met Sally is a classic. Still holds up.
Rigborg says: David, you were brilliant in Come Fly with Me. Do you have any future projects planned with Matt Lucas and David Walliams?
Love those guys! Nothing at the moment but I'm sure we'll work together again and again.
ExplicitG says: What was it like working with Larry David?
Just really good fun. I was up for the challenge of trying to go toe-to-toe with him in improvising our scenes, and was greatly relieved when I was able to make him break and have to cut because he was laughing. I felt like, "YES! I can play in this league!"
FilmFood says: David, big question - what's your favourite sandwich?
It would be just a really good medium-rare cheeseburger with mustard, tomato, lettuce and onion. I don't know if that qualifies as a sandwich in this country, so if not turkey and swiss.
As a new dad, have you managed the one-handed diaper (nappy) change yet?
No, still using both hands. And sometimes my feet.
emmerich says: Did you enjoy The Pacific?
I don't know if "enjoy" is the right word, but I found it compelling. I have to say I'm a bit biased in that I feel BOB was a more emotional journey for me, because I felt it had greater character development.
andy aldridge says: would you ever do a Sam Mendes and direct a play in the West End?
Sure, love to! I'm glad you didn't say "do Sam Mendes".
GreeboJinx says: Hey David, which of your fellow friends cast would you most like to direct, and do you stay in contact with the cast?
Matt LeBlanc, he's the one I'm in contact with the most.
okotta says: How was it working with Harrison Ford on Six Days Seven Nights? When I saw the movie I was surprised to see you in it. Didn't expect you in such a small role too, but liked your performance.
It was a blast. Harrison Ford is one of my heroes.
|David with his Friends co-stars|
Steve Collier says: I was constantly impressed by your physical slapstick in Friends and saw it develop to perfection with a physicality reminiscent to Andy Murray's tennis! Is this a style you'd like to return to or incorporate into your films in the future or did it become too much doing it for so long?
I love physical comedy; I would happily do more of it on film, should the opportunity arise.
timmolton says: Hi David, big fan of your work and saw the trailer for Trust just the other day, and have to say that I can't wait to see it. Your character in Friends was a bit of a geek and a big fan of foreign cinema, so I just wondered, with World Cinema becoming evermore popular, what is your favourite foreign language film?
These four films recently are equally brilliant: A Prophet, The Secret In Their Eyes, The Lives Of Others and Celebration.
Manning says: What advice would you give a student who wants to break into the film industry?
What part of the industry? It depends... If you can, try to get on film sets as a PA, as early as possible, and just study and ask a lot of questions.
Dex says: Do you see much in the way of British films and do you like any in particular?
My favourite film of last year was Fish Tank. If you haven't seen it, you must.
Ugly_Naked_Guy says: Hi David, hope you're enjoying the sunshine! Did you catch any of the Glastonbury festival on TV last night? Are you into music generally?
I didn't, I was indoors the entire day and evening doing press. Bummer! But yes, I'm into music generally. I'm human, right?
DanCooper62 says: Is there certain parts of your job where you just think "I wish I didn't have to do this" or could get someone else to do it?
Honestly, sometimes the promotion and press part of it. Also, photo shoots. But it's hard to get someone else to do that.
Megan says: David where is your favourite place to eat in New York City? We're from Essex and we are travelling to New York for a media trip.
Fantastic! It's a great city. Make sure you hit a place called Supper in the East Village.
clarejamesclare says: Have you ever directed yourself on film?
Yes, in a movie called Since You've Been Gone, in which I cast my entire theatre company of unknown actors. Rent it and you'll find a surprising cameo by Jon Stewart, too.
losthighway says: Just watched you on Loose Women and you were saying that you hope Trust opens up a dialogue with parents/children. Do you think you would have made this film a few years ago, or has becoming a father been a major influence on getting it made?
I've been trying to get the film made and developing it for seven years, and had already finished the film and locked picture before I found out we were expecting our first. I think I still would have made the film if I already had children, but it probably would have informed my direction of Clive's character a bit, or I assume it would.
Quentin_Cappucino says: Who's your favourite Muppet?
MattBuckler says: Where did you get the name Cleo (its a gorgeous name by the way, good choice!)
Thank you! That was entirely my wife's inspired idea.
@LisaSWilliams says: What's the strangest thing you've read about yourself?
That I was dead. I don't think I am.
Rigborg says: The voice work of Melman is one of the best ever. Do you like working like that or would you rather be "seen on the screen"?
I love both. It's incredibly fun and freeing to not have to worry about what you look like and just inhabit the character and go crazy with a microphone.
DanCooper62 says: And if you prefer shooting on location, where was your favourite place to shoot across your whole career?
Well, that would have to be Hawaii for Six Days Seven Nights. Just stunning. I was there for several weeks. Either that, or Battersea.