Antonio Banderas Talks Terrence Malick’s Process; Says He Thinks He Made the Cut and Reveals All the Footage Edited Together Could Be a Week Long

by     Posted 196 days ago

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Terrence Malick might just be the most elusive filmmaker working today.  He hasn’t given a proper interview in years, and hasn’t been officially photographed in even longer.  Despite all of this, though, he’s become impossibly prolific.  There was a 20-year gap between Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line, but in the past decade he has shot five full features.  After completing production on 2012’s To the Wonder, Malick began back-to-back shoots on two upcoming films—one untitled, and one called Knight of Cups.  A massive amount of actors shot scenes for both movies, but since Malick’s process involves filming days of footage and then shaping the film in the editing room, there’s no telling which actors will make the final cut.

One such actor who worked on Malick’s Knight of Cups is Antonio Banderas, and when we recently spoke with Banderas in anticipation of the action sequel The Expendables 3, he provided some fascinating insight into Malick’s filming process, going on to reveal that he thinks he’s made the final cut of Knight of Cups.  Hit the jump to read on.

antonio-banderas-knight-of-cups-Terrence-MalickWhen we asked Banderas about the experience of working with Malick, he described his first day on set as liberating:

“I remember when I got to the set in the morning, he called me and said, ‘Antonio, I’m sorry I didn’t send you the script.  You know why I didn’t send you the script?’  I said, ‘No.’  He said, ‘Well, there is no script. We are just working as we go.  I am creating the movie as I go.  I have a central character and I have certain ideas, and I put him in different situations of life.  The guy just tries to be a sponge and suck up everything he sees because he’s an artist.  So, I’m shooting a lot of things, and I don’t know what I’m gonna edit because I have a movie where, if I put together the whole entire thing, it might be as long as a week.  But, I invite you to play.  Feel free.  You have this monologue.  You can start the monologue in the middle, if you want.  I’m going to shoot it in different locations, in this party that we have over here.  We’re gonna shoot it in the pool, in the hall, in this dancing scene, in the garden.  So, you just relax and enjoy acting.  If you even have any idea, please just throw it out.’”

Banderas also recalled how Malick told him he would be sending him “torpedoes” in the middle of scenes:

“And I said, ‘What is that?’  He said, ‘People will interrupt you while you are talking, and they may just do actions to you.  There may be a very young girl, it may be an old lady, it may be a group of people.  You may know them or not know them.  Just improvise with them.  That’s what’s gonna happen.’ So, in the middle of the monologue, someone would come and do something to me, I’d react.  So it was really an exercise of freedom that I have never experienced before.  I don’t know the result of it.”

terrence-malick-knight-of-cupsThe actor said he’s been asked to approve images from Knight of Cups, which he thinks means he’s made the final cut of the movie:

“The other day, they sent me some pictures for my approval, and I didn’t even remember.  I looked at the pictures and thought, ‘Oh, yeah, I remember that.  I shot that.  But I don’t remember this.  What was that?’  It was so intense.  It was 12-14 hours of absolute madness and, at the same time, of incredible findings.  So, I don’t know.  I have no idea what is going to come out of that participation.  I think I am in the movie because somebody called me about the use of my name, and if they used my name, it’s because I am there.”

We’ve been hearing murmurs that one or both of Malick’s new films might see release sometime this year, and Banderas’ comments seem to suggest that at least Knight of Cups might be coming soon.

Read Banderas’ full comments below, and look for the entire interview on Collider soon.  And if you missed what he said about Puss in Boots 2, click here.

BANDERAS:  It’s very difficult to describe my participation in that movie.  First of all, he gave me a monologue of nine pages, that was just talking about the micro and macro world of everything.  But I have never experienced such a sensation or feeling of absolute freedom, not because of what I did, but because of the way that he was directing.  It was extraordinary.  To tell you the truth, I didn’t even know if I was going to make it to the screen, but that’s the way that it goes, you know?  I remember when I got to the set in the morning, he called me and said, “Antonio, I’m sorry I didn’t send you the script.  You know why I didn’t send you the script?”  I said, “No.”  He said, “Well, there is no script. We are just working as we go.  I am creating the movie as I go.  I have a central character and I have certain ideas, and I put him in different situations of life.  The guy just tries to be a sponge and suck up everything he sees because he’s an artist. 

So, I’m shooting a lot of things, and I don’t know what I’m gonna edit because I have a movie where, if I put together the whole entire thing, it might be as long as a week.  But, I invite you to play.  Feel free.  You have this monologue.  You can start the monologue in the middle, if you want.  I’m going to shoot it in different locations, in this party that we have over here.  We’re gonna shoot it in the pool, in the hall, in this dancing scene, in the garden.  So, you just relax and enjoy acting.  If you even have any idea, please just throw it out.  I’m going to be sending you what I call torpedoes.” 

antonio-banderas-knight-of-cups-Terrence-MalickAnd I said, “What is that?”  He said, “People will interrupt you while you are talking, and they may just do actions to you.  There may be a very young girl, it may be an old lady, it may be a group of people.  You may know them or not know them.  Just improvise with them.  That’s what’s gonna happen.”  So, in the middle of the monologue, someone would come and do something to me, I’d react.  So it was really an exercise of freedom that I have never experienced before.  I don’t know the result of it.  The other day, they sent me some pictures for my approval, and I didn’t even remember.  I looked at the pictures and thought, “Oh, yeah, I remember that.  I shot that.  But I don’t remember this.  What was that?”  It was so intense.  It was 12-14 hours of absolute madness and, at the same time, of incredible findings.  So, I don’t know.  I have no idea what is going to come out of that participation. 

I think I am in the movie because somebody called me about the use of my name, and if they used my name, it’s because I am there.  But it was a pleasure to work with a man that I admire from a long, long time ago, that actually took the Palm d’Or in the Festival of Cannes when I was competing also, with Pedro Almodóvar.  And the movie Tree of Life is one of my favorite movies of the last ten years, so he’s a man that I admire enormously, and just to have the possibility to spend one day with him was enough for me.

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  • Jimbo

    I swore the main photo at the top was Mandy Patinkin at first.

    • obitwan

      ^^LOL I thought the same thing.^^

    • The Exploiter

      Came here to say this. Haha

    • Reina

      yup

  • Stefan Bonomo

    Malick truly is insane. And I’m still not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.

    • lordjim

      well nobody else does movies like him so it´s a good thing.even when he gets lost (to the wonder) it´s still more interesting than watching movies that play by the same rules like most stuff that comees out of hollywood.besides, i truly feel sorry for everyone who did not enjoy the tree of life, that was an experience!

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