Guy Pearce - A Slipping Down Life


Guy Pearce - A Slipping Down Life
Starring: Guy Pearce, Lili Taylor, Sara Rue.
Director: Toni Kalem
Run Time: 109 minutes
Genre: Drama
Rated: R

Synopsis:
Based on the novel by Anne Tyler, "A Slipping Down Life" is the story of the peculiar courtship of an awkward young woman and a charismatic singer/songwriter, and the profound effect that their unlikely relationship has on each other's lives and futures...

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW BY PAUL FISCHER IN LOS ANGELES.

GUY PEARCE SLIPS DOWN LIFE AND COMES UP SMILING.

Guy Pearce was in a trendy West Hollywood hotel for a fleeting visit topromote his little-known Indie film A Slipping Down Life. The film wasactually made some five years ago, but has taken this long to get any sortof release. Not one to mince words, Pearce, at the end of a day doinginterviews for the film, admitted that the bloody producer took it off theDirector at Sundance in 99, where he was busy promoting both that film andRavenous. Clearly bitter by the experience, Pearce recalls I think theproducer saw dollar signs in her eyes. Happy Texas sold for 12 milliondollars and she went 'right well we're not interested in these companiesthat will only buy my movie for a small amount... I want to sell it for 12million. I don't know the process exactly but for some reason she feltinspired to go and do a whole lot of cuts and changes to the movie based onwhat some distributor wanted. Basically we said 'go and get fucked' we arenot going to support that. Then there was a stalemate because none of thedistributors obviously were interested in a film that the director and theactors were not going to support and then eventually through the bank we gotthe original version of the film back, an angry Pearce says, adding that heand the films director as well as co-star Lili Taylor spent the last 2years getting word out that the film is fine, that it is back on it's feetand it's open for discussion.

A Slipping Down Life, based on the novel by Anne Tyler, tells of Evie Decker[Taylor] a shy young woman, who falls in love with pop star Drumstrings Casey[Pearce] after hearing his voice on the radio. Summoning the courage topursue the singer, Evie starts to break out of her shell. acting as his kindof muse in the process. Despite waiting five years for the film to see thelight of day, the Australian actor is not as disillusioned by the filmindustry as one might think, or at least no more than the generalday-to-day hoo-ha that you come across in LA, you know what I mean? This wasjust about one person doing one crazy thing. A producer who is well andtruly out of the picture. I can't really philosophize about what was goingon for her, but I got the impression that she fancied herself as a directorand so this kind of excuse of Happy Texas selling for this amount allowedher to go 'Well, I know better with this movie... I know how it should look.. I know who to please... I know der der der'. So she hired a new editor,and worked away on it and sent it out to all us with a big happy proud smileon her face saying 'Well here it is, heres the new version and we all went E and said 'well you fucked yourself, you silly cow'. I was so fuckingangry, that I wrote her the nastiest letter.

As for the film, it is clearly a film he loves, and a character heidentified with. I related to the inability for him to be able to expresshimself in any other way than through music, Guy confesses, for when hesnot acting, music remains his other passion. I feel like there is a lotthat I can only express through music and that I cant express in any otherway, adds Pearce. The actor adds that acting resonates within him in asimilar way. I can express a certain aspect of my personality or a desireto get a sense of the world through my acting that I then find difficulteven now to even sit and articulate. There is something that is very realabout getting up there and actually being somebody else and finding thetruth of another character I suppose, feels far more satisfying to me thanintellectualizing stuff. I find even when we make a film, if were fortunateenough to have rehearsals I actually just want to get on my feet andrehearse. I cant sit around a table for days and days and days to talkabout it. It gets to a point where it just becomes like noisy homework,explains Guy.

For Pearce, who had the opportunity to succumb to mainstream Hollywoodfollowing LA Confidential, rejected the commercialism of Hollywood for thesmaller, challenging world of independent cinema, yet Pearce says hischoices were never part of a grand scheme. It wasn't a sort of a contrivedplan as such it was, as I was just doing what I was interested in doing. Ididn't feel like I was avoiding anything, but I just didn't want to do filmsthat I didn't really believe in or like.

A lot of people kept saying to me 'Why do you keep doing these weird, obscure, independent movies?' and Im like 'well, I'd rather do a weird, obscure, independent movie rather a big dumb, stupid, studio movie that I'm going to feel embarrassed about for the rest of my life.' So I've just kind of done what I've felt I wanted to doreally. And then he agreed to star in The Time Machine. When you look atit you go 'ok, well this is a DreamWorks movie, and Spielberg is going to beat the helm in a way. I loved the original film and hadnt really considered the idea of doing things for kids before. Also I remember the effect that the original Time Machine had on me when I was a kid and kind of went 'oh wow... this could actually be really interesting in this day and age, with visual effects and what they could do'. But too many cooks, you know? Adds Guy: Time Machine in a way was an experiment and sort of a weird risk to take. I was aware that it was going to be a huge movie and Iwas aware if it was huge, that might completely change my life. I wanted thefilm to be good, wanted people to like the film but I didnt necessarily want it to catapult me into a sort of stratosphere of super stardom or anything and so I was really nervous about it. There is a part of me that is sort of pleased that it failed in a way. You know every time you muck up you kind of go ok I just learned a bit more about myself, I learned a bit more about how discerning I can be and to listen to your heart and this, that and the other so the nice things is if anyone tries to force me into doing a big stupid movie I've got the Time Machine experience to back up my argument about not doing it, Pearce says, laughingly.

Now given that experience, one would have thought that he would be morethan reluctant to take on, say, Batman. Another of those internet rumours itappears. Well it never even came about. I never spoke to Chris about it,there was never any thought about it. I heard about it through the Internetand went Oh that could be sort of interesting. If I was ever to do aBatman it would be with Chris Nolan, But it was funny, as I almost felt likeI was experiencing a bit of that without even having to go to work. It waskind of a nice rumour I guess. Instead, Pearce will instead turn up inJean-Jacque Annauds Two Brothers, a French film he shot, which he says hasbeen re-cut for the US market. Now I see the trailer its now like a kidsmovie, Pearce says smilingly. I havent seen the American version so Idont know how theyre going to present it. Theyve made some changes fromthe French version to make it really PG and theyre really aiming I guess atkids or family, so Im curious the see the American version of the film.

Two Brothers tells of two tigers, separated as cubs and taken into captivity only to be reunited years later as enemies by an explorer (Pearce) whoinadvertently forces them to fight each other. Pearce describes Frenchdirector Annaud as an odd soul. There wasnt a huge amount of rehearsalnecessarily but there was a lot of discussion in the beginning about thetone he was after and once we kind of figured that out then you just kind ofwent off and did your thing. I think he felt that once you knew what youwere doing you just kind of did it and I didnt feel like I needed to hasslehim too much about anymore detail.

Pearce, who continues to call Australia home, also hopes to begin a new filmin his homeland soon. Im going to do The Proposition hopefully that NickCave has written. John Hillcoat is going to direct it, who did Ghosts of theCivil Dead. Pearce says Liam Neeson may co-star. Clearly, Pearce is happyjust to act, and not to play movie star, even when doing interviews in theheart of Tinsel Town.

A SLIPPING DOWN LIFE AND TWO BROTHERS OPEN LATER THIS YEAR....

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW BY PAUL FISCHER IN LOS ANGELES.

GUY PEARCE SLIPS DOWN LIFE AND COMES UP SMILING.

Guy Pearce was in a trendy West Hollywood hotel for a fleeting visit topromote his little-known Indie film A Slipping Down Life. The film wasactually made some five years ago, but has taken this long to get any sortof release. Not one to mince words, Pearce, at the end of a day doinginterviews for the film, admitted that the bloody producer took it off theDirector at Sundance in 99, where he was busy promoting both that film andRavenous. Clearly bitter by the experience, Pearce recalls I think theproducer saw dollar signs in her eyes. Happy Texas sold for 12 milliondollars and she went 'right well we're not interested in these companiesthat will only buy my movie for a small amount... I want to sell it for 12million. I don't know the process exactly but for some reason she feltinspired to go and do a whole lot of cuts and changes to the movie based onwhat some distributor wanted. Basically we said 'go and get fucked' we arenot going to support that. Then there was a stalemate because none of thedistributors obviously were interested in a film that the director and theactors were not going to support and then eventually through the bank we gotthe original version of the film back, an angry Pearce says, adding that heand the films director as well as co-star Lili Taylor spent the last 2years getting word out that the film is fine, that it is back on it's feetand it's open for discussion.

A Slipping Down Life, based on the novel by Anne Tyler, tells of Evie Decker[Taylor] a shy young woman, who falls in love with pop star Drumstrings Casey[Pearce] after hearing his voice on the radio. Summoning the courage topursue the singer, Evie starts to break out of her shell. acting as his kindof muse in the process. Despite waiting five years for the film to see thelight of day, the Australian actor is not as disillusioned by the filmindustry as one might think, or at least no more than the generalday-to-day hoo-ha that you come across in LA, you know what I mean? This wasjust about one person doing one crazy thing. A producer who is well andtruly out of the picture. I can't really philosophize about what was goingon for her, but I got the impression that she fancied herself as a directorand so this kind of excuse of Happy Texas selling for this amount allowedher to go 'Well, I know better with this movie... I know how it should look.. I know who to please... I know der der der'. So she hired a new editor,and worked away on it and sent it out to all us with a big happy proud smileon her face saying 'Well here it is, heres the new version and we all went E and said 'well you fucked yourself, you silly cow'. I was so fuckingangry, that I wrote her the nastiest letter.

As for the film, it is clearly a film he loves, and a character heidentified with. I related to the inability for him to be able to expresshimself in any other way than through music, Guy confesses, for when hesnot acting, music remains his other passion. I feel like there is a lotthat I can only express through music and that I cant express in any otherway, adds Pearce. The actor adds that acting resonates within him in asimilar way. I can express a certain aspect of my personality or a desireto get a sense of the world through my acting that I then find difficulteven now to even sit and articulate. There is something that is very realabout getting up there and actually being somebody else and finding thetruth of another character I suppose, feels far more satisfying to me thanintellectualizing stuff. I find even when we make a film, if were fortunateenough to have rehearsals I actually just want to get on my feet andrehearse. I cant sit around a table for days and days and days to talkabout it. It gets to a point where it just becomes like noisy homework,explains Guy.

For Pearce, who had the opportunity to succumb to mainstream Hollywoodfollowing LA Confidential, rejected the commercialism of Hollywood for thesmaller, challenging world of independent cinema, yet Pearce says hischoices were never part of a grand scheme. It wasn't a sort of a contrivedplan as such it was, as I was just doing what I was interested in doing. Ididn't feel like I was avoiding anything, but I just didn't want to do filmsthat I didn't really believe in or like.

A lot of people kept saying to me 'Why do you keep doing these weird, obscure, independent movies?' and Im like 'well, I'd rather do a weird, obscure, independent movie rather a big dumb, stupid, studio movie that I'm going to feel embarrassed about for the rest of my life.' So I've just kind of done what I've felt I wanted to doreally. And then he agreed to star in The Time Machine. When you look atit you go 'ok, well this is a DreamWorks movie, and Spielberg is going to beat the helm in a way. I loved the original film and hadnt really considered the idea of doing things for kids before. Also I remember the effect that the original Time Machine had on me when I was a kid and kind of went 'oh wow... this could actually be really interesting in this day and age, with visual effects and what they could do'. But too many cooks, you know? Adds Guy: Time Machine in a way was an experiment and sort of a weird risk to take. I was aware that it was going to be a huge movie and Iwas aware if it was huge, that might completely change my life. I wanted thefilm to be good, wanted people to like the film but I didnt necessarily want it to catapult me into a sort of stratosphere of super stardom or anything and so I was really nervous about it. There is a part of me that is sort of pleased that it failed in a way. You know every time you muck up you kind of go ok I just learned a bit more about myself, I learned a bit more about how discerning I can be and to listen to your heart and this, that and the other so the nice things is if anyone tries to force me into doing a big stupid movie I've got the Time Machine experience to back up my argument about not doing it, Pearce says, laughingly.

Now given that experience, one would have thought that he would be morethan reluctant to take on, say, Batman. Another of those internet rumours itappears. Well it never even came about. I never spoke to Chris about it,there was never any thought about it. I heard about it through the Internetand went Oh that could be sort of interesting. If I was ever to do aBatman it would be with Chris Nolan, But it was funny, as I almost felt likeI was experiencing a bit of that without even having to go to work. It waskind of a nice rumour I guess. Instead, Pearce will instead turn up inJean-Jacque Annauds Two Brothers, a French film he shot, which he says hasbeen re-cut for the US market. Now I see the trailer its now like a kidsmovie, Pearce says smilingly. I havent seen the American version so Idont know how theyre going to present it. Theyve made some changes fromthe French version to make it really PG and theyre really aiming I guess atkids or family, so Im curious the see the American version of the film.

Two Brothers tells of two tigers, separated as cubs and taken into captivity only to be reunited years later as enemies by an explorer (Pearce) whoinadvertently forces them to fight each other. Pearce describes Frenchdirector Annaud as an odd soul. There wasnt a huge amount of rehearsalnecessarily but there was a lot of discussion in the beginning about thetone he was after and once we kind of figured that out then you just kind ofwent off and did your thing. I think he felt that once you knew what youwere doing you just kind of did it and I didnt feel like I needed to hasslehim too much about anymore detail.

Pearce, who continues to call Australia home, also hopes to begin a new filmin his homeland soon. Im going to do The Proposition hopefully that NickCave has written. John Hillcoat is going to direct it, who did Ghosts of theCivil Dead. Pearce says Liam Neeson may co-star. Clearly, Pearce is happyjust to act, and not to play movie star, even when doing interviews in theheart of Tinsel Town.

A SLIPPING DOWN LIFE AND TWO BROTHERS OPEN LATER THIS YEAR.

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