With Sundance and Slamdance in full swing in Park City, I got to sit down with Peter Dinklage and writer-director Alexandre Rockwell for their new movie Pete Smalls is Dead. If you saw the trailer, you know it’s got an all star cast featuring Dinklage, Mark Boone Junior, Tim Roth, Michael Lerner, Seymour Cassel, Theresa Wayman, and Rosie Perez. In the film, Dinklage plays a former screenwriter turned downtrodden East Coast Laundromat owner who finds himself back in Los Angeles after his dog is kidnapped by loan sharks. He begrudgingly comes to L.A. as he’s been promised the money to get his dog back, but his friend has an ulterior motive.
Pete Smalls is a noir that’s loaded with “strange situations and crazy characters. From dealings with idiot producers (Buscemi, Lerner) and the Armenian mob (headed by Cassel), to romancing with a beautiful French editor (Wayman) and conducting a lab heist—in pizza-delivery panda costumes.” While I wasn’t sure what to expect, Dinklage is fantastic and I really enjoyed the movie. Anyway, during the interview, Dinklage and Rockwell explained what the film is about, how they got the great cast, the pros and cons of the Festival, the collaborations between actors and directors, and so much more. Hit the jump to watch:
For more on Pete Smalls is Dead, here’s the Slamdance page.
Peter Dinklage and Alexandre Rockwell
- 0:20 – Provide background on the movie. What it’s about, the tone of the film, Dinklage’s character, etc.
- 2:30 – Discuss what seems like an homage to Chinatown and how the film fits into the film noir genre
- 6:00 – Talk about the collaboration between actor and director. Rockwell brings up working with Steve Buscemi on In the Soup.
- 9:20 – How does the camera placement affect the performance
- 11:45 – Discuss scheduling than working with the impressive cast
- 14:10 – Talk about the pros and cons of the festival experience
- 15:20 – What are they working on next? Dinklage mentions Game of Thrones.