Meeting John Malkovich

At the LFF gala for his directorial debut

by empire |
Published on

After countless roles in front of the camera, John Malkovich has finally taken up the director's chair for the first time in romantic drama, The Dancer Upstairs. Directing Javier Bardem with panache and proficiency in this politically charged film, one might wonder why Malkovich has waited so long to take control of a feature. "Actually, It's never been a big life goal of mine to direct," he told Empire Online. "But it seemed to me that it would be simpler for me to do that than to explain how I wanted it to be done. When one produces a film, you have some modicum of input over how it develops and what it becomes, but to control it you really have to direct it yourself." Bardem stars as a South American police investigator charged with rooting out a political revolutionary known as Ezequiel. As disenchanted with the corrupt system he works for as his target, the inspector does his utmost to capture Ezequiel before the country falls under martial law, while simultaneously finding his head turned by his daughter's ballet dancer, played by Nanni Moretti. "This is just a story I liked a lot. I liked the tone in Nicolas Shakespeare's book. It's a political drama and a police thriller but to me it's more of a romantic film than anything. It's a strange sort of love story but it's a terrific tale and very well told. That's the reason to enjoy it."

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