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Meet Emily Watson and Peter Medak (from Dubrovnik)

Press conference with Emily Watson and Peter Medak on Dubrovnik International Film Festival 2005

Q&A with Emily Watson and Peter Medak

“-Tell us your impressions of Dubrovnik”
Emily Watson: “ Its completely stunning. Blows your mind away. It’s absolutely beautiful. We should make films here, its perfect. And the fact you have managed to do not have cars. It’s amazing, it’s really beautiful. ”

“-About Dubrovnik impressions?”
Peter Medak: “Just magical, absolutely! We just walked about, thinking about reason being here. The whole city is just most incredible thing. And extensive size of it and architecture, just, magical. ”

“-How did you started to act?”
Emily Watson: “Well’ I guess as anybody. You just feel when you start. I’ve been making movies for ten years now and I suppose it feels like yesterday, it was a bit of a surprise, but its always very very nice feeling. Its always wonderful to have your work recognize really. And I owe so much to film directors and other actors that I worked along the way. It’s fantastic really. Its great pleasure and I’m honored to be invited on a place like this. To be told that you are nice. It’s very nice. Thank you!”

“-Tell us about your variety of roles you had?”
Emily Watson: “Well I have to say that I had sort of vast choice of amazing roles. But it doesn’t really work like that. There’s probably a hand full of actors in the world who are waiting for something good. I mean, when I first started out, I had the incredible good fortune. You have an amazing role and that’s recognized. But you have to keep working on that way. Good parts don’t grow on trees. But my first sort of stage to get passed is a good screenplay. If it’s not a good screenplay I am very reluctant.”

“-Tell us about your experience with Robert Altman?
Emily Watson: “It’s a most amazing man, he just turned 80. When I worked with him, 1977- 1978, he was like a 4 year old. He was utterly delightful to be with, always the last one to go to bed. He would drink everybody else under the table. And the spirit of the man is completely infected. We worked with enormous cast, what could have been just a huge ego festival. You know, all those great great British actors. Everyone behaved impeccably, because the way he is. He’s always a great democratic spirit really. I’m sure in his past he uses to be a shutter, but now he is kind a layback. He would say: “If there’s a problem, I’m going to go and lay down, wake me up when you sort it out.” And when I first arrived on that film, I was already 2 weeks at the shooting of other film and I’ve been on another film in Los Angeles. And I went on the set and I watched him, starting up the scene, which was one of the really big scenes with lots lots of characters and everybody talking, and I thought: “My God this is chaos, he’s completely lost it: he doesn’t know what he was doing. And I watched monitor and it was like most fabulous choreograph dance I’ve seen. He was absolutely brilliant. So I don’t know how it gets it but it’s amazing. “

“-What’s your next project?”:
Emily Watson: “I plan to work again but, you don’t know what is going to happen’, do you? I don’t want to make any fast hard rules that I’m not going to stop now. And I’ll see what happens. what arrives?”

“-Tell us the difference between European and USA films? “
Peter Medak: “It is 2 different thing and I feel that, every time I come back to England, every time I work in England, I can make a better movie. Making movies in America is different, because everything is enormous. When you make picture for a studio you don’t really have freedom. They never leave you alone and everybody nosing through. We have freedom while shooting, but nightmare begins when you’re editing. It has been a great fight, but it’s not a loosing battle just as well. But it’s always joyful to come Britain because it is left in one piece and at least you are going to express yourself, you feel intention. So I love coming back. At the same time I went to America because in 80s it was very difficult to get movies made. Joyce Scott offered to write script so I went there and stayed there. And I travel all around the world. It is difficult to live on two places at the same time. That’s the only answer to it.”

“-What about Hungary? You are from Hungary.”
Peter Medak: “No Hungary I know, but I mean, I only worked once in Hungary, since I escaped. It was 49 years ago with a great pleasure, with Richard Harry while he was still alive. We have been great friend for many years but we never worked together. I’ve met lots of interesting actors. And it was fantastic to be there because that was place where I was when I was a little kid and I was 8 years old when I started, making movies. And it was great to track down Hungarian streets again. It was wonderful feeling when I left and I felt like I got my own Oscar. And working in America is a different thing because sensibilities are different. In America is the movie business. In England everything is bit different. And everything has to be commercial. If you haven’t made a hundred million dollars than you don’t exist. It’s hard to cope. And think it’s more difficult if you ask But more movies you make, more difficult it gets. It was very easy making a first, second and third, but and than you are entering in a kind of madness of the film. And Altman is a genius and years ago he said to me. You got to produce your own movie because there’s no other way. They will never leave you alone. And he really kind of pulls it off and just for the record, to make films and be like a 2-year-old baby. He’s just genius, a wonderful man.”

“About shooting films?”
Emily Watson: “ I live in London and that’s just a way that it happen’. I made most of the film mostly in Europe. I made 3 movies in America. One in New York and in Los Angeles, and only one of those must have been a really big studio pictures. Which really was like being in a sausage machine. I mean it was great. I had really good time and I was told that there would be Michael Jackson visiting. Which is really is the full experience. And I’m glad I did it. But the other film I made in Hollywood, with Paul Samson we couldn’t get less. And that was like being on European movie. I felt much more at home than London. I think that depends of the movie and I thought we land on moon first few days. And I made film in New York and that was very much independent. I wouldn’t call myself an actress of the Hollywood. I haven’t really done that many. I think its much easer for actor than for director to come and go. I know lots of actors who are trying to miss the match, trying to make film one for them one for the bank Catharine was very close friend of mine. She always turned down the chance to go to Hollywood. When “No men land” won the Oscar, she was offered the chance to go Hollywood to get promoted. She said no. “Not me I’m not going to go” she said. She would get script. She would read all the scripts and she would get on the phone, say ok we going to do this. She went all over Europe. She was really extraordinary on that way and I really respect that but I will never be quite never that brave. “

“-What kind of movies you like to make?”
Peter Medak: ” I always wanted to make relationship movies about life, kind of personal movies. And I’ve been working on one script after many many years. And it’s going to be love story. And it doesn’t pretentiously touch people. Not giving any kind of pretentious message about life. Just when you come out of the movie you may feel as you may see something, more about what makes people happy or sad. And I always wanted to make people stop for a second and think about it. And do whatever they tell, it’s impossible. To be able to do it once of year… it simply doesn’t work like that. As long as I make movie once in ten years, I can look myself in the mirror in the morning when I shave and say: ok that’s ok. It was worth last ten years isn’t it? It means lots to us to express, to desire, and there’s something inside of all of us, which has to be let out. But there’s emotion and I always think if I like it what it is I like it for. Must be something inside, if it is inside you. And that is what it makes us choose, that’s why we like this. “

“How did you cast actors for The Krays? “.
Peter Medak: “For the Krays? There was another director before me, and film didn’t happened for a year and a half. He cast boys in it. And when I came back to London, I started working on it. I looked at everybody else and I realized they were perfect choices. Because they were twin brothers and it was very difficult to separate them, and they looked little bit, like real Krays and I was very nervous because they haven’t been acting except when they were in school. And that was their experience and they had to be in their movie and so and I didn’t realize that they said yes to the film, because producer didn’t tell me. Than I started looking for the wives and boyfriends for the film, started testing them, because I wasn’t sure what boys could do. In a second I realized it was good choice. It was great experience. It was wonderful to come back to England having kind-a stuck myself in Los Angeles, for years emotionally. It was great to shoot in the East End, because it was all changed. In that period in 60s unfortunately, I could see what London was at that time. Which is all change now, so you just got to connect 2 and 2 together and … but it was a wonderful script. I had to do it!”

-“Would you shoot SF films?”
Peter Medak: “I did one and I wasn’t proud of it. And I did it because I wanted to learn about special effects. Not that I don’t have desire to make those movies but in every film there is always one scene where you have to do something that is totally impossible. And it’s great to know how to do it. It was a great lesson for me and I enjoy it because its great fun. Because you do the most insane scenes, somebody blows a head off; a camera goes in the circle…but what you can do. So its different kind of problems you have. It was great to do it once but I never want to do it again.”

“-What about your theatre career?”
Emily Watson: “I always think that this is such a hard question because most British actors always goes for theatre theatre theatre. Theatre has more integrity. But I actually prefer film. With film I feel more at home. That’s where I am aware when I become actor. Otherwise I feel like I’m pretending.”

“-How do you chose parts? “
Emily Watson “Yes I mean if I have a vision of tiny little flat in London, my little desk with just piles of scripts like that. I don’t know, what I do? I mean I was very lucky because I was 28 and I kind-a think that my life is getting sorted out and I was married and I think that happens to you when you are very young. Its really hard, sanity. I was lucky that I was just a little bit older. But it is crazy and you have to have good people around. Luckily I had a good instinct to find good director and good work. I don’t know why I made that choice but I know I made it.”

“Do you have an agent?”
Emily Watson: “I have an agent in LA and agent in London. And I have occasional PR that helps. But that’s that. “

Radmila Djurica


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