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Backlot: Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer
Eric Charbonneau/Le Studio

The Oscar winner discusses life without Ronni, those Superman rumors and his star on the Walk of Fame.

He may be an Oscar front-runner for his audacious Inception score, but you can’t blame Hans Zimmer for not basking in acclaim at the moment. Still reeling from the shocking death of his longtime publicist Ronni Chasen, a subdued Zimmer took time to discuss her loss, dispel Internet rumors and explain why getting his star on Hollywood Boulevard will be a bittersweet affair.

The Hollywood Reporter: Is there any way to make sense of Ronni’s death?

Hans Zimmer: No one can make sense of it. Even if we find out what the whole truth is, it still won’t make sense. In a funny way, I’m sort of past “will we ever find out what happened?” I don’t really care. I care much more profoundly about the fact that it did happen. The blame isn’t even that important to me anymore.

THR: What has life been like without her around?

Zimmer: This was somebody I was talking to on virtually a daily basis. We were always coming up with ideas, and it was just good conversation. The big hole in my heart is about the friendship; that’s truly the big thing that’s missing. We would make each other laugh a lot. She had a wicked sense of humor.

THR: She was also a tireless advocate for film composers.

Zimmer: She loved composers. She thought we were interesting and what we did was interesting. She was part of the composer family.

THR: Can you address the rumors about Zack Snyder’s Superman film?

Zimmer: It’s like some dirty quote taken out of context. Let’s just be absolutely straight here: I have never in my life met Zack Snyder. But here’s the thing: No Ronni. So suddenly, all sorts of stuff starts floating around with no warning.

THR: Ronni wouldn’t allow a rumor like this to spread?

Zimmer: No! Absolutely not! I can’t even remember ever talking about Superman. It’s a little bit like “guilty by association,” isn’t it? I know Chris Nolan, and he met Snyder once, so therefore I’m doing Superman.

THR: A lot of people would be thrilled if it was true.

Zimmer: How can I say it? My heart belongs to Batman [Laughs]. I wouldn’t even know how to give voice to it.

THR: Not to mention following in the footsteps of John Williams.

Zimmer: Right! The greatest living composer. And that happens to be one of his greatest themes. So, no. And I’m not thinking of rewriting Beethoven’s Ninth, either. That’s unequivocally a no. I have never spoken with Zack Snyder.

THR: Did you ever imagine you’d get a star on the Walk of Fame?

Zimmer: Um, no. Does anybody ever imagine something like that? It’s sort of an extraordinary thing, and this gets me back to Ronni. Ronni and my mother would have been the two proudest people there. The tragedy is she won’t be there. Neither will my mom. My mother died last year. It’s been a tough year. The work has been good, but the personal side of things has been a little challenging. I see the star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame being as much Ronni’s as it is mine. She was the one that really started putting the idea out there into the world that composers deserve to be stars in their own right.

HANS’ NOMS: Will Inception bring  Zimmer his first Oscar win since 1995?

Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images

Sherlock Holmes (2010)
Gladiator (2001)
The Thin Red Line (1999)
The Prince of Egypt (1999)
As Good as It Gets (1998)
The Preacher’s Wife (1997)
The Lion King (1995)