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Interview in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Interview

Sienna Miller • Steve Buscemi
DIRECTOR: Steve Buscemi

Steve Buscemi as Pierre Peders and Sienna Miller as Katya THE CONCEPT:
It was Theo Van Gogh’s vision to make three of his Dutch-language movies into English, setting them in New York City. Unfortunately, Van Gogh was murdered on November 2, 2004. Now three American film makers are remaking Van Gogh’s work, and this is the first to be produced, directed by actor Steve Buscemi. The movie spotlights a self-destructive journalist, Pierre Penders (Buscemi), a former war correspondent, who has been assigned a puff-piece interview with a TV and movie diva named Katya (Miller); when they meet they go head-to-head in discussions about media, truth and celebrity.

U.S. RELEASE: July 13 2007, Limited • Rated: R


When you were approached about doing this project, did you look at several of Theo Van Gogh’s films to decide which you might want to redo?

“There were three films that Theo wanted to remake. I loved all three of them, but Interview was the one that I really responded to because of the characters and the story. It just seemed like it would be a really fun project to work on.”

Was it daunting that part of the deal was to use Theo’s cinematographer and crew, and shoot it the way he made his films?

“No, that was a really interesting aspect of it, because I loved how the original was shot and performed, so I was interested to see how they arrived at that. We shot with three cameras, and they told me Theo liked to shoot the close-ups first, because he wanted to get that sense of spontaneity in the close-ups that you get when you shoot the master, with all the mistakes and the awkwardness. He would get frustrated by the time you’d get to the close-ups as the actors were too well rehearsed.”

Did you and Sienna do much improvising?

“We rehearsed it for two weeks so we knew the dialogue pretty well, but even so when you’re doing these long takes you’re not going to remember everything so it was set up so that we could improvise.”

Which character did you empathize with more?

“I’d have to say Pierre but loved Katya too; I think she’s really smart and funny. The thing about the film is you don’t know who is telling the truth and who’s telling lies and what their motives are. These characters are more alike than they are different. And that to me was more interesting about the film than the commentary about the media and celebrities, I was really interested in them as people.”

What are your views on the value of entertainment journalism compared with Pierre’s?

“I think there’s way too much of it. There’s just too much attention made to Paris Hilton in prison and news cameras documenting her sister’s going to visit here. Why is that even entertainment news? The Paris Hilton thing really isn’t anything new. Sienna has experienced some of that herself. When we were rehearsing in L.A. we’d get into a cab and there would be three cars of paparazzi following us, it was just bizarre.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Interview site
Images above © Sony Pictures Classics
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #685, July 2007 cover

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