I just sat through interviews with the cast and director of The Brothers Bloom and couldn't help thinking of the novelist Truman Capote.
Capote made himself persona non grata in certain circles by insisting on a late-night talk show that all actors were dumb. He would not have known how to handle Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo. These stars demonstrated real depth in conversations with journalists who weren't always asking great questions.
All charm and vivacity, Weisz, among other things gave a cogent analysis of how fear fuels a performance.
Brody, though he took a while to rev up, finally got animated while talking about how playing a con man who has to keep to the con's script was not really like being an actor at all.
"I have myself to go back to," he said. "Bloom (his character) doesn't have a life. I do."
His comments about how earning an Oscar can make an actor intimidated about taking risks also showed some self-awareness.
Ruffalo surprised everybody when he talked about his next project. He'll be directing a movie about a paraplegic who has healing powers but can't heal himself, and then proceeded to go into a totally informed reverie about how pop culture creates celebrity.
Director Rian Johnson was disarming in his own way, claiming his con artist film was inspired by Fanny And Alexander and 8 1/2 and that his character's names (Bloom and Penelope) were inspired by James Joyce and Homer. But hey, we kinda expect that from geeky directors.
The whole experience made me wish I 'd liked the film more. That's why studios do junkets. Apart from bringing media in to one place to pump a movie, they're hoping we'll all be so overwhelmed by the star power that we'll be super nice to the film.
Sorry. These are great actors in a so-so movie. See my review here.
The Brothers Bloom screens Tuesday (September 9) and September 11 at noon at Ryerson.