Diego Luna Interview, Part 2

Diego Luna Interview, Part 2

To read the first part of the Diego Luna interview, click on the link below. Did you watch any other films about children to prepare?
DL: Yeah. I mean, one of my favourite films is Bicycle Thieves. I've watched that many, many times. I watched a lot of films about kids and then I read a lot about how to work with them. And I also was an actor when I was a child, so a lot of that experience helped me to handle the kids. In a way, I created or I tried to create the perfect place for a kid, like a playground for him. And everyone had to behave differently – everyone had to approach their work differently. There were no costume fittings, for example, there were no rehearsals with the other actors – the DP had to light the space, not the faces, because we never had the kid there and I always wanted the kid to be free to move anywhere he wanted. Everyone had to be so aware, because it was kind of an improvising approach to it. And the lines, well, I didn't want him to learn the lines, so many times the lines changed to whatever made sense to him and we followed that.

Do you have a favourite scene in the film?
DL: Well, for me, the pool is very important. The big arc of the film happens there and we shot that the very last day and it was obviously raining and terrible and we just had like half an hour of light to shoot everything and when we shot it I thought I was going to have to reshoot that, but when we edited and used all the little pieces, it suddenly turned into what it is now and I feel really proud of it.

What was the most difficult scene to film?
DL: It's tough because there were plenty. I would say everything that happened outside the house was really tough, because we started shooting in the house and it was like perfect, you know? We could make anything we wanted to happen happen – we were in complete control over there. And suddenly we went out to Aguascalientes and we went out to the streets and we had to deal with the weather, with the people, with the cars - the whole staging wasn't easy at all and it was a big shock for me as a director, because on the stage I was able to go back the next day and reshoot anything I wanted. But on the street it was a completely different world. We never had enough time and we had terrible weather, so we struggled a lot.

Did you cut anything out of the film that you really hated to lose?
DL: Yeah. I mean not that I hated to lose today, but at the moment it was painful, yeah. The beginning of the film was much longer. So much contemplation, so much – stuff that when you write, you think it's really necessary and then when you see the film, you're like, 'Well, it doesn't really matter'. People can imagine this - you don't have to show them everything. So we had a first cut that was a two hour cut and jst from the first 40 minutes, I cut 20 out. That was the big, big change.

What’s the most important lesson you've learned from directing?
DL: I think it's more about listening. Many times the director believes that directing is about just following your instincts and the ideas you have and I believe you need to be clear about what you want to do but then the most amazing process is when you have to convince others to join you in your idea. And then, magically, your idea becomes something nice or bigger with the collaboration. So I believe it's all about that – it's all about dealing with other talented people that can bring a lot to the film. And I feel really honoured and proud and lucky to have the team that I had, because they definitely brought a lot to the film.

How important was it to you to work in the locations that you worked in?
DL: Very important. I believe that the context is a character, you know? The sea, the city where he lives, the house, the streets, the people over there – it means a lot. That's why it was very important to me to have an actor that came from that place, because I don't think the story could happen anywhere else.

Is that where you're from?
DL: No, but I spent some time over there when I was a kid and my father was married to a woman from that place. So I spent a lot of holidays there.

Finally, what's your next project?
DL: I'm writing with the same writer and we're on the way to write what now looks like a comedy but we'll see if it ends up as a comedy or not. It's at a very early stage. And that's it, man – right now I'm just focussing on that.

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Content updated: 21/06/2019 05:52

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