On Monday we learned from an interview with New York Magazine (via Vulture, though this time with a little bit of praise added to the quote.
“I had no sense of [how big the book was],” Perry said. “If I had, I probably would have walked away from it. If I had known … This is the honest-to-God’s truth. If I had known who David Fincher was, and his body of work … If I had known that the book was so popular, and so many people loved it … Had I known all those things, I would have said no. And my agent knew that! So he didn’t tell me any of those things! Not until after I had signed on to do it. And the reason I wouldn’t have done it is because when things are that magical for people and they become very special for people, there’s a lot of pressure for it to be what they want it to be.”
I’m trying hard not to be judgmental, but this, to me, says a lot about who Perry is as an “artist”. He’s afraid of the pressure and had he known how much pressure there would be associated with the project he would have turned it down. His thoughts on Fincher, however, while it still sounds like he had no clue who Fincher was before signing on, he did get a lesson really quickly in just how many takes Fincher likes to do, but he had nothing but kind words to say of his director:
By the end of that quote Perry sounds like just about every other actor/director that works with a highly regarded filmmaker, soaking in all they can and hopefully using it for their future films. Of course he also mentions Fincher’s eye for detail, something that can’t be taught or even learned so I don’t expect Perry to suddenly start churning out masterpieces, but at the very least I hope he learned more than he did when he starred in Alex Cross for Rob Cohen.
Finally, Perry has seen a “rough cut” of the film, though he tells Vulture Fincher’s idea of a rough cut, “To me, it looked great,” he said. “I was beyond impressed, blown away. I laughed and I was moved and I just thought the performances were amazing. It’s incredible. He’s brilliant. It’s pretty awesome. He nailed it. I didn’t read the entire book, because I didn’t want to take in a lot of the backstory of the characters if it wasn’t in the script for the film. I didn’t want to have a lot of that in my head. But I think he nailed it, though.”
I wouldn’t expect him to say anything less, but along with this morning, Gone Girl and so many other films unseen, 2014 could still shape up to be an amazing year at the movies, even though summer was a bit of a letdown.
Gone Girl will open the New York Film Festival before hitting theaters on October 3.