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The press screening of Atom Egoyan’s Cannes competition entrant The Captive ended with the boo boys overcoming the cheerleaders as critics widely panned the film.
But for the Canadian filmmaker and his cast members, Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson, Kevin Durand and Mireille Enos, there were no signs of upset at the following press conference.
The film details the kidnapping of a young girl by a pedophile at the center of a crime ring.
Reynolds spoke about his career, during which he has switched between big-budget studio movies, such as R.I.P.D. and The Green Lantern, and script- and director-led indie movies, such as Buried and Adventureland, taking a veiled swipe at some of his big film experiences.
“I’ve done this for 23 years, and it took me a long time to work out that [film] is a director’s medium,” Reynolds said. “When you work on a large film and it is not going the way you hope it would, it’s a pretty difficult scenario to be around, and it can [be] rough on not just the actors but everyone involved.” He didn’t say which movies or filmmakers he was referring to.
“So I just love the idea to immerse myself in another world and work strictly on character,” the star added. “There is nothing about this film that relied on dragging an audience down toward the bottom line by their wallet. It was about telling the story and being part of the story.”
Reynolds drew laughs when discussing the most difficult thing he faced in making the switch to Egoyan’s scale of filmmaking, saying it involved his new wife, Blake Lively, who followed him to Canada as he had to interrupt their honeymoon.
“I dragged my wife from our honeymoon in Africa and landed her in Sudbury Ontario in Canada when it was minus 40 degrees at a roadside motel where we stayed for a month,” he said. “She [actually] coped with it much better than I did.”
Egoyan went along with the suggestion that all filmmakers have “obsessions,” saying that his may include the Canadian cold and landscape.
“I come from Canada, so there’s a lot of snow. It’s a part of my landscape,” the director said. “Niagara Falls I just think is a magnificent natural wonder, which is even more magnificent in winter when it’s frozen.”
Reynolds also said he had a way into the issues raised in the film and for his part because his brother is an Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer.
Egoyan also described the film’s pedophile ring as “an imaginary cult, which is not so hard to imagine.” He said: “It just seems so extreme, and yet there’s something so natural about it, given the psychology that the film is examining. So I just went there . . . It didn’t seem so outlandish, given the world we live in where everything is absurd, all the time. So why not just push it a little bit further?”
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