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Nicolas Winding Refn Webchat Transcript
The Drive director pops round to drop some truth bombs

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Director of Bronson, the Pusher trilogy and now Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn isn't scared of a challenge - so perhaps that's why he took the ordeal of a Empire webchat in his stride, firing off answers to all of your tricky questions with panache and aplomb, and in the process, offering the shortest, simplest answer to "What's your favourite sandwich?" we've ever heard...

Nicolas Winding Refn Webchat Transcript

Big_Pants says: Hi Nicolas, Drive is ridiculously awesome, you've basically ruined me as I'm obsessing over it. How did you choose the music for the film? It's almost like character of its own.
I wanted an electronic score that reminded me of my youth in Europe with that whole Eurovision sound, and I thought it would be a good balance to the car and all the stunt world in America, in a masculine universe.

SammyLove says: I absolutely loved Bronson. What brought you to the project, and how was the production?
The producer, Rupert Preston, who's a friend of mine, had acquired the rights to make a movie of Bronson's life and asked me if I was interested in directing it. My first reaction was NO! But then my mother read Bronson's book and said I should reconsider, so I decided to make my version of Bronson's story. It was a very easy shoot, and wonderful. I enjoyed making it a lot. The movie ended up being a biography of my own life.

ViktorJerner says: Do you read a lot and find inspiration to films that way? If so, which are some of your favorite books?
I'm dyslexic so unfortunately I don't read a lot; I should read more. I read very slowly so rarely are books inspirations, unfortunately.

Sichlau says: Hej Jang, Driver er for fed! Do you think that a limited budget is creatively beneficial for your movies?
Absolutely. Limitation spawns creativity.

Rgirvan says: How does it feel to be placed in the hallowed hall of people who have said a naughty word on BBC Breakfast?
I was proud as punch! Well, I didn't intend on doing anything like that, but I guess I was surprised that Shaun Ryder was so polite; I felt I had to carry the torch afterwards.

Costigan74 says: I remember Carey Mulligan saying that Bronson was her favourite film of that year. Is that how she ended up in the film? Did she hound you for the role?
No, she was very polite and wanted to meet. And when we met I realised that she was what I was looking for. I gave her the part right away, which she wanted, so it was a marriage made in heaven.

Costigan74 says: Did James Sallis have any input on the film? And do you prefer a screenplay to be written by someone other than the author?
He did not have any input, because I never spoke with him. I don't care who writes the screenplay, whether it's me or somebody else, as long as I get to make the film I want to make. I don't write because I want to, I write out of need, but I had a wonderful collaboration with Hossein Amini who wrote this film.

Nicolas Winding Refn Webchat Transcript

Costigan74 says: How the hell did you get Albert Brooks to play such an evil git in the film? He's incredible and it's upsetting to see him being so good in that role!
I always wanted him for the movie, but I wanted to meet him first to see if it would work out for us. And when I met him I realised that this guy was a volcano of emotions and that eventually he was going to kill somebody, so I thought we'd better kill someone in a movie instead.

Big_Pants says: People make a big deal of the violence in Drive, the audience I saw it with on Sunday were gasping out loud, do you think it's justified? For the record I thought it was totally necessary in the film.
Absolutely 100% crystal clear...

Jake says: The movie poster looks like a homage to the '80s. How much did the decade influence the style of the movie?
Well, I guess subconsciously I'm a child of the '80s so it very much became what I grew up with.

yourock says: James Cameron just announced that he'd like to film Avatar 2 in 60 frames per second. Do you have a preference?
No. But good luck, James.

Jimmy The Saint says: What can you tell us about Logan Runs with Ryan Gosling? Will you make the trilogy? Will original stars cameo?
I can't say anything now as I'm still working on the script. And I doubt if anyone will make a cameo, because they're all above 30 now.

Rgirvan says: Hello Nicolas! So, they are remaking Pusher and setting it in the UK. Do you have any involvement in this, and if not, is there a way we can stop it from happening?
Well you can't stop because it's already been shot. I didn't have any direct involvement with it other than I would be helpful to my friend Rupert Preston who produced it. But I certainly left the torch to the other filmmakers to produce the UK version.

Nicolas Winding Refn Webchat Transcript

kirk says: Valhalla Rising is an amazing piece of work. Where did the idea come from? And how hard was it to film?
The idea came from experiencing my first daughter being born. I wanted to make a science fiction movie after that, and it was probably the hardest movie, physically, that I've ever done. Both the physicality of making the movie - the locations etc - but also mentally.

Tigrane says: How Mads Mikkelsen reacted when you told him that he would be shooting the whole movie half naked in Scotland?
Well, that didn't surprise him as much as when I told him that he didn't have to say anything, that he'd be a mute and probably somebody from outer space.

Costigan74 says: Is it true that your wife suggested Christina Hendricks for the film?
She suggested Carey Mulligan. None of us had seen Mad Men prior to meeting with Christina, but after I hired her my wife and I started watching it and now we're devoted fans. My wife believes Christina is the perfect prototype of any woman.

Deviation says: So Refn, I need your help. My friend keeps saying that The Holy Mountain is clearly Jodorowsky's best movie but I say that El Topo is clearly Jodorowsky best film. Who is right, me and my friend?
El Topo is a perfect film, The Holy Mountain is a... unique film.

Costigan74 says: Did Ryan Gosling do a lot of his own stunts? Also, is he the coolest man on the planet? He is, isn't he?
Yes, yes and yes. The biggest problem was the bond company, getting him insurance to do it.

kirk says: With Tom hardy being everywhere at the moment and being a big bad guy in one of the biggest films of all time next year, how did you find working with him on Bronson?
I loved it, it was a wonderful experience. We just bumped into each other a few months ago at Comic-Con and reminded each other that we must work together again soon.

Sichlau says: What would be your best advice to a 18-year old you?
Just do what I did.

FORKBOY says: Are you really interested in making a Wonder Woman film, or was that just a flippant comment that got out of hand on the interweb?
I would LOVE to make Wonder Woman, I think I would be perfect to make Wonder Woman.

Nicolas Winding Refn Webchat Transcript

Akos from Hungary says: I saw Drive over the weekend, and it is one of the best movies that I have watched in my life. It's a masterpiece. Thank you for the experience. My question is: I'm an 18 year old boy in Hungary, and I want to be a director, this is my dream. Do you have an advice for the younger amateur directors?
Never give up and always challenge authority.

drive_hard says: Did the notebook make you cry?
I've never seen The Notebook.

Ants says: What would your vision of Wonder Woman be like? Kitchy and fun or dark and serious?
Everything that Christina Hendricks represents.

Ants says: Christina Hendricks and a lot of sex! I Walk With The Dead is suddenly one of the most anticipated movies! What can you tell us about it?
It's a secret and a mystery.

eleven23 says: What's the best film you have seen this year?
Having kids and a wife unfortunately prevents me from going to the movies as often as I'd like, so right now I'm obsessed with the fourth season of Breaking Bad.

Artica says: What was it like sharing your home with your Carey Mulligan?
Great. She also did the cooking, and bakes a very good carrot cake. Smashing.

SansomJam says: So you like Breaking Bad... Is that how the great Bryan Cranston came to be in the film? You got there before the blockbusters did. Bravo!
Thank you. I pursued him very aggressively, and I had to woo him because he had a lot of choices, but happily he chose my movie and turned down a big movie to do that role.

Goodbytes says: Hey Jang! Greetings from Denmark! Loved Drive! My question is: will you ever come back to Denmark and direct a realistic drama film in the style of Bleeder again? That's my favorite movie of yours!
I would LOVE to make Wonder Woman, I think I would be perfect to make Wonder Woman.
Possibly. Possibly.

Lovelife008 says: Did you have certain ‘80s films in mind when thinking about the overall look and feel of the film?
No, because LA still looks like the ‘80s, so it was a given.

Sichlau says: What did Gaspar Noé tell you when you asked him how he made the 'smashing-head' scene in Irréversible?
He just walked me through, technically, how they had done it.

Nicky C says: I notice you like big, red titles at the beginning of some of your movies. How come?
Because red is the most seductive and sexy colour, plus it's one of the few colours I can actually see.

al455 says: You've worked with many different types of actors (Mads Mikkelson, Tom Hardy etc.). Do you have to alter your approach to each or do you make them adapt to your style of work?
No, I've actually been very lucky that great actors can adapt themselves to the process of the director, who essentially is the author of any movie.

pschombu1133 says: I've heard you dedicated Drive to Alejandro Jodorowsky. How has he influenced your work throughout your career?
He's the King, how can you not being inspired by him? Last year I was baptised in Paris as his spiritual son, so our relationship is very, very strong.

Magic man says: You told an amazing story at Big Screen about getting Ryan involved with the project, well, Ryan getting you involved with the project, with you singing in the car and crying. Was that actually true? Any other tear-filled moments with Ryan since then?
The story is absolutely true and documented, and the whole movie usually consisted of laughing and crying, and I did most of the crying. That cold and flu medication was some good shit, man.

Nicolas Winding Refn Webchat Transcript
Nicolas winning the Best Director award at Cannes with his Drive star, Ryan Gosling

Big_Pants says: How weird was it winning Best Director at Cannes?
So weird. When you got it is was wonderful. Thank God for the French.

Michael_M says: How is pre-production going for Only God Forgives, and when do you expect it to be finished and ready for festivals?
The pre-production is going very well, and we start shooting February 1. It should be finished late next year.

Rgirvan says: Has it been satsifying seeing Mads Mikkelsen and Zlatko Buric get high profile work - any hopes to work with either in the future?
I am thrilled that they're getting the recognition they deserve, and of course they're the two people I started out with and I would always be happy to make things with them.

al455 says: Haven't had a chance to see Drive yet but I seem to remember you saying on the Valhalla commentary track that One-Eye would re-appear in your next film in another form. Did you add him in into Drive?
There's a lot of resemblance.

Mark Julian says: How do you feel about comic book movies in general?
If they're great, I love them. I very much enjoyed Christopher Nolan's Batman movies, and I also enjoyed the first Iron Man. Captain America also seemed really interesting.

mike23 says: I like your glasses, where did you get them from?
Tom Ford.

deadites says: I'm a big fan of films being shot in Scotland. What was your experience of filming in Scotland for Valhalla Rising?
Well the locations were absolutely stunning, and certainly made the film more crazy to make. And the crew was OK too.

Ants says: What's your favorite sandwich?
Ham and cheese.

AlyBaba says: Is it true you wee offered Dear Wendy by Von Trier and turned it down? Why?
Yes. Because the script sucked.

Mark Julian says: Are you on Twitter?
I don't know how to twit. I don't even have a Facebook profile, but I guess I have to learn.

saviorim says: The Pusher trilogy seems very realistic in the depiction of the drug world and you took real gangsters to play in it. How much did you research about it?
Well, there was not so much in terms of technical research but emotional research, because essentially the movie was not about crime but people in a criminal environment. So it was basically just talking to them about that.

Big_Pants says: The wedding scene in the second Pusher film is frankly horrific. Are all Danish weddings like this?
We're very liberal.

anton says: You can take a pint with whoever you want (past or present), who do you pick and what are you talking about?
I don't drink alcohol. But I would love to have met Alfred Hitchcock. We'd talk about his weight.



Thank you all for the great questions, and for supporting my films for so long. I hope you will all continue, it means a lot.


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