We Own the Night clips and Q&A's
I've just been sent a few clips from We Own the Night, the film starring Joaquin Phoenix, Eva Mendes, Mark Wahlberg and Robert Duvall.
Not only do I have some new clips, but there's a couple of Q&A's with Robert Duvall and Eva Mendes.
We Own the Night tells the story of two brothers who are on different sides of the law, but their loyalty for their father and family draws them together.
Here are the clips, and read on for the Q&A's.
"It's about families...And that's always interesting because there's always things going on, undercurrents and rivalry, and that's what this is all about."
Robert Duval Q&A
Q: Do your friends call you Bobby?
A: Yeah. When I was a kid my name was Bodge because my brother couldn't say Bobby, he said 'Bodgee'. And as I became older I became Bob and now it's Bobby Duvall. But my parents never called my Bob, they always called me Bodge.
Q: What keeps you young and enthusiastic to tackle films like We Own The Night?
A: Well, my wife is younger and that helps. Hanging out with young people is good and she's got me doing yoga now and if I eat a meal and I really try to a little exercise to work it off. You know it's so easy to put it on and I love good food. If I have a plate of pasta I go home and I do 100 of these crunches and a little yoga, so I try to do a little exercise, not a lot, I don't believe in going to the gym or any of that stuff. When I met my father in law he said 'I don't know whether to call you father or son'' (laughs)
Q: In We Own The Night you are the patriarch of the family. Is that a role that you recognise in your own life?
A: I don't know, I think my wife is the general (laughs). so I don't know if I'm a patriarch in my family. My mother always ran the show, even though my father was in the military. So I don't know, if I'm a patriarch or not. I guess I don't really have any real say in the matter, I only have stepdaughters. I don't guess I fit the role of patriarch in life.
Q: There's a lot of suppressed emotion in the film. How did you approach that?
A: I say to my wife, I cry for money. If they pay me, I'll cry (laughs). If it calls for it you can plan it, I find and if it happens it happens. I try to choreograph certain scenes almost in the back of my mind without even talking to the director about it, so then if it happens it happens, it's legitimate. Usually with an emotion it's almost more moving than if you let it come out. Sandy Meisner the acting coach once said 'if great acting is crying then my aunt Tilly could be another Brando…' all the women tried to cry in his class. I don't mind showing emotion at all. It's necessary to find the conflict in the character
Q: Your generation of actors is recognised as one of the best. Do you see young actors that you admire working now?
A: The young actors are better than ever. There are great young actors and just as good as my generation. Maybe we help raised the bar and the standard but there are wonderful young actors out there including these guys.
Q: Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman were your friends early on. Do you still keep in touch with them?
A: No, it's a very fickle business. I haven't seen Hackman in years and yet when we did Geronimo it was 'hey, how are you doing man? Good to see you…' and then it was 'action' and we started acting and then 'cut' and we start talking again it was like we picked up where we left off but I haven't seen him since, 15 years ago. Dustin I see every now and then, at the Four Seasons or wherever, and it's very natural to see him. Maybe it's easier in London but we got 3,000 miles separating us, Hackman lives in New Mexico, I live in Virginia, Hoffman has five houses all over the world so we don't see each other so much.
Q: Do you have friends in the business?
A: I keep in touch with James Caan some. Paul Gleason died and he was a very good friend of mine. I bump into Jon Voight now and then. But other than that I don't have too many actor friends. It's a kind of strange business that way, kind of fickle - for eight weeks you become friends and then it goes out.
Q: Do you think about the past or concentrate on the future?
A: More the future, but you do think about the past. I don't watch my films too much. I'd love to play a gypsy. I loved what Brad Pitt did in Snatch and I'd like to play an American gypsy. I don't watch my films too much, some of them I haven't seen (at all). I like to see it maybe once and then I'll think about it now and then. I'll think about Lonesome Dove more than most things.
Q: You are closely associated with the western. Where does your love of the genre come from?
A: It's our deal. The English have Shakespeare, the French have Moliere and the Western is definitely ours. When I was a kid I went to my uncle's ranch in Montana for two summers - he had a big cattle and sheep place out there. And you know when I first went to Hollywood I would take out a horse every day - bare back, English saddle, western saddle - and I learned to jump a horse, so I would have a seat on a horse, because most actors can draw a pistol but they can't ride a horse. So I wanted to do westerns and it served me well. So I think westerns are our thing. People say they don't sell but they do sell and as soon as you make them they say 'when are you going to do another one?' in England they love Westerns, wide-open spaces and all that, I just like doing 'em. At the end of my career I thought maybe I could do a gun fighter in a western who is mute, so I wouldn't have any lines (laughs).
Q: Do you rate the Godfather films as highly as we all do?
A: Oh yes. They were great films. And somewhere between Coppola and the English director, Ken Loach - who gets very good performances from his actors - is James Gray.
Q: Having worked with Joaquin Phoenix in We Own The Night, how do you rate him?
A: He is a very talented guy. I said to him 'you're a lot better than I thought you were'' because he was always fumbling around. He is very good in the movie.
Q: What do you mean 'fumbling around?'
A: Well, I never saw what he was doing. He was always moping around and grabbing at me. But I think that was some kind of design with the director to get into my space. He was very good and Mark (Wahlberg) too, they are both very talented guys. Mark Wahlberg would fight a bear, that guy. He's a tough kid - he went to jail and everything. It was interesting that Mark would play that guy. I couldn't quite believe it when I saw it. But that was the character and they both did them very well.
Q: Your father was in the navy. What did he make of you becoming an actor?
A: Yeah, he worked with the British navy during the war, he was a career naval officer. He went to the navy academy he was 16 years old, off the farm in Virginia. He was a quiet guy and with my mother, they were the ones who pushed me into acting, which is unusual. I kind of floundered around looking for things to do until I found my niche. But they were supportive. My mother was an amateur actor.
Q: Apocalypse Now has gone down in movie history, not simply because it's a great film, but because there were so many setbacks and traumas during the shoot. What are your memories of the film?
A: For me it was OK. I did the first six weeks and then came over to England and worked on The Eagle Has Landed and then went back and finished up Apocalypse months later - it went on and on and on over there. It was interesting to do it. They had me in a cowboy hat and boots and it didn't seem right so I did a lot of research and they actually wore cavalry hats and spurs as kind of an honour to the last century, the cavalry. And I found out in between that the head general for the Air Cavalry was crazy, he used to deer hunt twice a week along the Cambodian border and he got shot down and killed doing that. And they would go into north Vietnam and they would hook a bicycle from the helicopter and steal it, they were crazy guys.
Q: One of your lines in the movie, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning.." is famous. Do people quote it to you a lot?
A: (laughs)Yes! I run into people who quote that line it's as if it's a private pact between them and me and only they and I know it. Hey everybody does it. When I did The Apostle one of these preachers said 'I don't go to the movies, but I hear Robert Duvall had a famous line in a movie,' I love the smell of gasoline in the morning…' (laughs)
Q: You've directed films before. Any plans on directing again?
A: I got an idea for one we're working on now. It's kind of a border movie, which is very controversial in America, and very complex, nobody has a solution, 72 countries come across that border illegally. So we will try and do that but I don't know where we'll get the money.
Q: You seem to work as much as ever. No plans to retire?
A: Yes, the work comes but not as much as it did a few years ago. You keep going until you run out of enthusiasm or until they have to wipe the drool or whatever. There's always something out there. But they make all these remakes and yet there is so many good original stories, like this one in We Own The Night, out there.
"I was doing rehearsals with Joaquin and James and I was feeling something I'd never felt before and I don't know, maybe it's because it's a drama and I found what I love, I've found my niche"
Eva Mendes Q&A
Q: The time we spoke was when you had just made Out of Time. How has life changed?
A: Well I'm enjoying acting now, which is a big difference. I think what was happening was I still didn't understand 'why me? Why am I getting this attention?'
But I knew I had to stick to it and that there was something in there but that I hadn't found it yet. So I was kind of in a miserable place but I had to keep going and that there was light at the end of the tunnel in a weird way. And I'd tell myself 'something will click…'
Q: And when did that happen?
A: Actually, when I was making We Own The Night. I was doing rehearsals with Joaquin and James and I was feeling something I'd never felt before and I don't know, maybe it's because it's a drama and I found what I love, I've found my niche. We were rehearsing and it felt really good, maybe it was because there wasn't a camera. I remember the first day we shot was the scene when Joaquin and I were in bed and I gave him the necklace - it's a very tender scene - and I've always been very aware of the camera which is a terrible thing for an actor but at the same time you have to make sure you don't bump into it and you have to work with your props and not block yourself with other actors so it's all part of the prop, but sometimes you are too aware.
Q: Why was it different this time?
A: With James, and I'm sure he did it on purpose, the camera was so far away and it was almost like it was in the dark and it just looked like the camera man and the cameraman weren't even there and I literally forgot that it was there. And I literally forgot that it was there in such a way in that it was like 'what just happened?' Obviously when it came to a close up it was different but the master which established that entire scene, it was like I had never been so in it before, ever and I was like 'oh my God, this is cool.' And like when he yelled cut I was like 'oh my God, what just happened, was that really awful or really good? I don't know. And that's a great place to be. Everything changed for me on this movie and I feel really good about it.
Q: How difficult was the love scenes for you to do?
A: It was really difficult. In fact it was so hard that the director prepared a vodka and orange juice for me in the morning and believe me, I do not drink on the job, ever.
Q: Did you drink it?
A: Yes, I downed it in one. Thank God that James shot it at the end of the film so I had a great rapport with Joaquin at that point. And I trusted them. I've certainly never shot anything as intimate before. It was really hard. I was actually crying because it was really hard for me to get there. And I told James and he said 'How can I help you?' And he was really patient. I said, "I guess there is just that little Catholic girl inside me that I didn't know was still there.' And he goes 'well, it's time to tell her to go home because you are an artist now.' And I think it was a combination of that and the Vodka. It was like 'God, you are right. What am I doing? This is the job.' It was a major moment of growth "But it was very difficult. If you have to hit somebody you fake it, you're not really going to do it. But if somebody is fondling your private parts, there's no faking what you're seeing on screen. You sit there and think 'Oh my God, that's really happening.' And you can't get it out of your head. Like my dad can't see this movie, my mum can't see this movie! I've told them when they see it they have to get there 15 minutes late so they miss that scene.
Q: What was Joaquin like to work with?
A: Well when Joaquin commits, he commits. He's amazing. Honestly, he's my favourite. He pushed me and challenged me in ways that I wouldn't have been ready for before. But he's my dream co-star. If every other movie was with him and James I'd be a happy girl. I really mean that, too, because they really took care of me and as goofy as he seems, Joaquin really commits on the day and you are there and you'd better hang with him or else you're going down. It's always about the work and that's what I liked about working with him, everything is about the work. And we just never derailed from that.
Q: And how was it working with James Gray?
A: He's actually very sweet. I knew he was a big action director and I was thinking I was going to meet this big old macho man. And it was like Uh-oh. But he is very softly spoken, very sweet. He was very eager to make a good independent film, as I was. Because I've just finished The Cleaner and I've been bitten by the drama bug (laughs).
Q: How did you first start acting?
A: It was first year of college, I was young and I wanted to go into maybe like art history, I was like 'I don't know what I'm going to do.' and then I met a manager and he said 'why don't you get some head shots and I'll send you up for commercials' because you know, I live in LA so it was all right there. And I thought I would make some quick money over the summer but I never got a commercial and I was at auditions all the time, I was like 'this is terrible.' but he did end up sending me up for a film. I was like 'but I've never done a film' and he said 'look, just go along and see what happens.' and it was Children of the Corn 5. Need I say more? No, OK. Number five! It was a terrible B level thriller horror movie and I went up for it and I ended up getting it which was so crazy and I did it and I ended up being really awful, but I got bitten by the bug and I was like "OK, I found something I want to pursue and that challenges me' so I quit school and started acting. So it happened like that. But it wasn't something that happened overnight and I always say if I wrote an autobiography right now it would be called "kicking and Screaming' because I feel like I was kicking and screaming the whole way, but still doing the hard work though, that was the interesting part, I'm not sure why I make it so hard for myself
Q: You're the face of Revlon..
A: Yes I am and I enjoy it because it is such a great company to be a part of. I just went to the 14th Revlon Run Walk, we do research for women's cancer, breast and ovarian, and that makes me feel really great, because it's not just about cosmetics, there's some substance to it.
Q: Is it fair to say that you're not out and about at every party and premier? You don't seem to court publicity..
A: I don't think of myself as a celebrity, I think of myself as an actress, which is why I don't need to go to the parties. If I go to a party I always go to one that means something to me or that is business. Like my own premier or supporting a friend. I don't go down Roberts Boulevard (a very popular street in Beverley Hills). Usually if you open up any tabloid magazine you'll see all those girls walking down Roberts Boulevard and you can buy those things anywhere else, but the paparazzi hangs out there and so you gets all these girls in LA wanting to have their picture taken and be in magazines. But I stay away from those areas and that's why you don't see me out dining with my boyfriend. Because that's ridiculous that there are paparazzi hiding in the bushes taking photos of you. So I don't ask for it and I don't stumble out of clubs at 4 o'clock in the morning. I get properly drunk at my own home (laughter).
Q: Do you feel that there are enough good roles for Latin American actresses?
A: There's something like 40 million Latin people in America and when you see films we are not fairly represented and that's frustrating. Yes, there are gardeners and maids but there are also bankers and college graduates and professors. So it's all about representation and I don't think we're there quite yet but it is getting a little better. And I'm OK with playing a gardener or a maid because that's is accurate in a lot of places. But I also want to play the banker and the college graduate and the professor. So it's about fair representation and I don't think we're there at all.
Q: How do you stay in shape?
A: I work out five days a week and sometimes six or maybe I do a little hiking at the weekends. But I work out so that I can be healthy and so that I can eat everything that I want. I just had a plate of French fries. So I'm constantly bargaining with myself and saying, 'Right you had a plate of French Fries, so you'll be adding 30 minutes to the treadmill!' Also I love dessert and I'm not giving that up!