I do my best to avoid interviews at film festivals. It's not because I have a problem sitting down to talk people about their work, but because of the finite nature of time. There's only so much you can do at a festival, and when I'm averaging four hours of sleep a night as it is, something's got to give.
But there are interviews I make time for. Some, like the "Bellflower" conversations, are because I see something at the fest and flip out for it. My upcoming conversation with Lucky McKee and Pollyanna MacIntosh about their film "The Woman" is the same way. But others, you know you want to do before you ever even get on the plane, and one such priority for me this year was spending some time with Jason Eisener, who directed "Hobo With A Shotgun," and Rutger Hauer, who is the Hobo With A Shotgun.
And it was sooooooo worth it.
I've met Jason a few times before, and after the Sundance premiere of his short film "Treevenge" a few years ago, we had a great chat standing outside the Egyptian theater on Main Street. But for this one, we did an extensive sit-down. So intensive that we've broken the full dialogue down into three six-minute videos.
Hauer has had an amazing circuitous career, moving from indie foreign films to giant Hollywood blockbusters to wild exploitation movies and back to indie foreign films. He doesn't play the game by anyone's else's rules, and he doesn't seem terribly concerned with what people think of his choices. This is a great, free-wheeling conversation, and by the end of it, I was more impressed than ever by Eisener, because he somehow harnessed all of this wild energy that Hauer seems to generate just sitting still, and he managed to focus it. I've seen more experienced directors who couldn't keep up with Hauer, and Eisener not only kept up with him, but the feeling I get is that he genuinely won the actor's respect.
Hauer was also at Sundance to support his new film "The Mill and The Cross," and that comes up in our conversation, as does the South African film he recently shot with Carice Van Houton. Our main focus, though, is "Hobo" and the new indie spirit, and one thing's for sure. Rutger Hauer is a man who loves the work and who doesn't care about all the other nonsense, and this unfiltered conversation makes me respect him even more.
There was one exchange we had off-camera at the end of the interview that I want to include, just because he knocked me out of my own way of thinking. I was chatting with him about the documentary "Corman's World," and I mentioned how warm and affectionate the Nicholson interview is. "I think he looks back on those days with real fondness," I said, "but if I was a guy with a great script and only a million bucks to make it, there's no way Nicholson would do it for the love at this point."
"Have you asked him?" Hauer replied.
"No," I said. "I'm just speaking hypothetically."
"Well if you haven't asked him, you don't know," he said. "These guys thought they'd never get me, and yet here we are. You have to ask the pretty girl if she wants to dance, and you'd be surprised how many people just won't because they're afraid of getting turned down."
He makes an excellent point, and that's just a sample of what you can expect from the conversation we did get on video.
As always, thanks to everyone who helped put this together and coordinate some crazy mid-festival schedules.
"Hobo With A Shotgun" will be in theaters April 1, through Magnet Releasing.