Joaquin Phoenix Explains Motivations for Spike Jonze's HER at NY Film Festival
Spike Jonze's HER, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde and Scarlett Johansson made its World Premiere as the Closing Night Gala presentation for the upcoming 51st New York Film Festival (September 27 - October 13).
The AP reports that the usually press-shy Phoenix was talkative as a post-screening panel, and explained his motivation for the character. They write:
"I'd like to say that I trained, but as an actor, I'm accustomed to walking around my house and talking to myself," Phoenix said. "We rehearse all the time so I don't think it was that dissimilar."
On capturing the loneliness of his character, Phoenix replied that "Spike just broke me."
"Going into the movie, all I was concerned about was trying to feel natural in something that wasn't there," he said. As to how he managed to "break" Phoenix, Jonze fumbled for an answer before guessing, "I think he's joking?" while Phoenix nodded.
Written and directed by Jonze, HER is set in Los Angeles, in the near future and follows Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet "Samantha," a bright, female voice (Scarlett Johansson), who is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other. HER is an original love story that explores the evolving nature-and the risks-of intimacy in the modern world. The Warner Bros. Pictures film is set for a limited release on November 20.
Spike Jonze said, "I'm very excited that it's a premiere in the city. The New York Film Festival is where we premiered our first movie and that's really special. It was our first U.S. premiere of BEING JOHN MALKOVICH and we had all our friends there and it feels so nice to come back to NYFF."
Rose Kuo, the Executive Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, said, "In dealing with tragi-comic pupeteers, renegade orchid growers, an island of wild things, or a man's unique love affair, visionary film-maker Spike Jonze has shown himself to be the poet-laureate of our increasingly post-human world. Jonze's extraordinary new film, HER, features Joaquin Phoenix who delivers an unforgettable, emotionally nuanced performance. We are delighted to feature HER as the Closing Night gala presentation of the 51st New York Film Festival."
The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones also includes: Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Cinematheque Programming; Marian Masone, FSLC Associate Director of Programming; Gavin Smith, Editor-in-Chief, Film Comment; and Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight and Sound.
Written and directed by Spike Jonze, HER stars Oscar nominees Joaquin Phoenix ("The Master," "Walk the Line"), Amy Adams ("The Master," "Doubt"), Rooney Mara ("The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"), Olivia Wilde (upcoming "Rush") and Scarlett Johansson ("Lost in Translation").
It is produced by Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay. Daniel Lupi, Natalie Farrey and Chelsea Barnard serve as executive producers. The film reunites many of Jonze's longtime creative collaborators, including production designer KK Barrett, editor Eric Zumbrunnen and costume designer Casey Storm, who worked together on "Where the Wild Things Are," "Adaptation." and "Being John Malkovich." Joining them is director of photography Hoyte Van Hoytema ("Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy") and editor Jeff Buchanan (HBO's "Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak," which Jonze co-directed). The music is composed by Arcade Fire.
HER is a Warner Bros. Pictures presentation of an Annapurna Pictures Production. It will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
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