Die Kunst des Schauspiels analysieren …

– … Darsteller Lou Diamond Phillips und Regisseur Santiago Rizzo am Beispiel von „Quest“ –

An Momenten wie diesen zeigt sich der besondere Reiz des Filmfests Oldenburg: Zu einem Interview mit Schauspieler Lou Diamond Phillips gesellt sich spontan Santiago Rizzo, bleibt und verwickelt Phillips in ein Gespräch. Wegen Rizzos Erstlingswerks „Quest“ sind Darsteller und Regisseur nach Oldenburg gekommen. Sie reden über die Kunst des Schauspiels, die Zusammenarbeit von Regisseur und Schauspieler und verteilen dabei gegenseitig ordentlich Komplimente. OffBloggerin Mareike Lange hat das Gespräch eingefangen. 

Santiago Rizzo: You are the real deal, Lou! And the reason I say that is because in the editing room, you can really see it. Every single take you give, is incredibly on the point. It is very interesting because I was asking you how you are doing it. Everything has some thougt behind every action you are taking in the language, not in the dialogue. You play an abusive stepfather who is a monster and it is so believable! My mother saw this and she knows my stepfather and she couldn’t believe how similar at times your actions were.

You have to be there! That is the difference between a TV star and an actor like Lou. You have to be in the moment!

Lou Diamond Phillips: First of all, I was given great material. If the material is bad or cliché then you really have to work hard to make it organic and interesting. With good material, you can follow a map, you are given all that you need. I always tell young people: Take an actor’s class! Even take a strip class! It is not just studying your characters. That is mechanical. It is about: What does this guy do? What is the art of this story? What is the overview, the relationship of all the characters in the movie? It’s not just between the stepfather Gus and his stepson Mills, between Gus and Mills‘ younger brother, between Gus and his dreams. You never see the character paint, but just him saying „failed artist“. He is a frustrated artist himself and wants to be more succesful in life – that’s huge!!

Rizzo: Lou, I am curious about this: How did you get into a character of an abusive man? You told me when you took this role that you understand this guy.

Phillips: An actor first must be really honest with himself and understand those dark places that everyone has. A lot of young people ask: How do you cry? The answer is: Put yourself in the character’s shoes, be in the moment and really play the reality! The tears will come!

Be open to it: If you are this kind of person. Then it will physicalize itself.

Rizzo: Did I give you enough to get there?

Phillips: Obviously! But the other thing is: An actor’s life is observation. You have to see life. There is certain characters and things that I’ll do that I ‚ve never done before and all of a sudden I go: Oh, that’s the guy that I’m playing! I’ve seen him at the bus station, in the grocery store. He walks like this and he stands like this (macht die Bewegungen vor). The hair, the beard – I couldn’t have played the character like this without watching. So, it becomes this transformation to where everyday as I’m preparing for a role, I’m looking in the mirror going: That’s him! There are times, when even my facial expressions change.

Rizzo: Do you remember the scene in the dash in the door way? What were your thoughts going on beyond what you were saying there?

Phillips: You gave me something! This is why you need a director. Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman always joke: What do you say if you see a director? Get out of my way!

But a really good director gives you the right „no“ at the right time.

Of course, you can let an actor do his own thing. But there are those moments where there is a note. There is a note that you have given me, not only in that scene, that I might not have seen otherwise: Gus is charming, people get to like the character!

Rizzo: You were being manipulating.

Phillips: That was a colour I wasn’t playing as much and you allowed me to bring that in. Because otherwise I would have played like a tough guy all the time.

Rizzo: There is so much tension and lying going on in that scene. And when you allow yourself opening up to see wether he has figured it out or not – that was a choice. I’ve seen the scene a couple of hundred times and every time I was so engaged.

Phillips: Apart from the project itself, it is playing with actors like Dash (Mihok, Darsteller von Mills‘ Lehrer Tim Moellering; Anm. d. R.) that let me choose to be in the movie. Believe me:

That the cooperation is so fulfilling, isn’t always the case.

Rizzo: I also learned how green I am as a director. After I went into the editing room and saw him acting, I realized what it is like to work with a professional actor. Exactly what he said: If you have people as talented as Lou and Dash and Betsy and Lakeith, you really just have to give the note. You don’t have to explain much. Because it is a collaboration.

Redaktion: Mareike Lange
Fotos: Filmfest Oldenburg

Screenings von „Quest“:
So., 17.9., 14.30 Uhr, JVA

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