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didn't know R. Lee Ermey felt this negative about working with director David Fincher


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#1 of 15 OFFLINE   Matthew_V

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Posted May 06 2009 - 08:58 PM

The other day I was suddenly interested in looking online for some interviews with R. Lee Ermey. I stumbled upon this:

Quote:
UGO.com Feature - R. Lee Ermey Interview (Full Metal Jacket, Mail Call, Saving Silverman)

DE: What was your experience of working with David Fincher on Se7en?

RLE: I don't think David Fincher is any better of a director than anybody else in Hollywood. If anything, I think he's a little chicken shit. He's afraid to take chances. He's afraid to let anybody change one word in the script, and you know what? I don't have any respect for a director that does that. He wants puppets. He doesn't want actors that are creative. If you're not worth a shit at acting, and you're not creative, then I would recommend that you go work with David Fincher, because he won't let you act, even if you are a fucking good actor. In other words, David Fincher can kiss my ass. I don't think he's much of a director. After Se7en came out, everyone was ranting about David Fincher. Shit, I didn't see him do anything creative. All he did was set the shots up. Anybody else you want to slam?


#2 of 15 OFFLINE   Matthew_V

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Posted May 06 2009 - 09:00 PM

His comments (about the process of working with directors) in the latter half of this second interview might shed some light on why he said what he said in that preceeding quote.

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#3 of 15 OFFLINE   Andy Sheets

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Posted May 07 2009 - 02:00 AM

IIRC, Jake Gyllenhaal had similar issues with Fincher on Zodiac. Fincher's an excellent director but he's got that control freak reputation.

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted May 07 2009 - 02:29 AM

Works for me. I love Ermey. And I LOVE Fincher. Control freaks tend to make great or terrible films. Fincher's tend to be great.
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#5 of 15 OFFLINE   PaulDA

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Posted May 07 2009 - 04:43 AM

He must have HATED working with Kubrick, then. I know of no more fanatical "control freak" in cinema.
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#6 of 15 ONLINE   TravisR

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Posted May 07 2009 - 05:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Mayer
Works for me. I love Ermey. And I LOVE Fincher. Control freaks tend to make great or terrible films. Fincher's tend to be great.
That's my view on it too.

I can see that if you're an actor, you would want to 'explore' the character and maybe make some changes or try something different and I'd imagine it's frustrating when you can't but that's the breaks when you work with a guy like Fincher.

#7 of 15 OFFLINE   Josh Steinberg

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Posted May 07 2009 - 05:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulDA
He must have HATED working with Kubrick, then. I know of no more fanatical "control freak" in cinema.

I heard they got along great, actually. I remember reading that Ermey was the only one on the "Full Metal Jacket" set who was allowed to improvise or change his dialogue, and that he and Kubrick often spoke at length about Ermey's real life experiences, etc.

#8 of 15 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted May 07 2009 - 05:50 AM

Kubrick and Ermey got along incredibly well, because Kubrick asked him often to "play it up as if this were real" and Ermey chewed it up.

The thing with Fincher is that he's famous for being a true control freak, not just about dialog, etc. but about everything.. Jake Gyllenhaal was the one who went on and said something about doing multiple takes because he used a contraction instead of separated (can't instead of can not) and how anal and annoying he thought it was.

I get that. I like several of Fincher's films. But I can get how being a control freak like that could also be super annoying.

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#9 of 15 OFFLINE   photogray

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Posted May 07 2009 - 05:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew_V
The other day I was suddenly interested in looking online for some interviews with R. Lee Ermey. I stumbled upon this:Posted Image

Wow that is pretty harsh! lol

#10 of 15 OFFLINE   JonZ

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Posted May 07 2009 - 06:32 AM

"He must have HATED working with Kubrick, then. I know of no more fanatical "control freak" in cinema."

Thats what I was gonna say - though Keir Dullea and Gary Lcokwood had mentioned how Kubrick was very lenient with them, was always open to suggestions and allowed them alot of room to improvise or be creative.

"Jake Gyllenhaal was the one who went on and said something about doing multiple takes because he used a contraction instead of separated (can't instead of can not) and how anal and annoying he thought it was."

Didnt Kubrick ask Tom Cruise to walk through a door for like 50 takes because he was "waiting for something interesting to happen "? Posted Image

#11 of 15 OFFLINE   PaulDA

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Posted May 07 2009 - 06:56 AM

Ask Shelley Duvall about working with Kubrick on The Shining (better yet...don't. She might just kill you where you stand.)

As for Kubrick being freer with other actors, it's news to me, though I have no reason to think they'd lie about it. It's just surprising.
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#12 of 15 OFFLINE   Josh Steinberg

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Posted May 07 2009 - 08:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulDA
As for Kubrick being freer with other actors, it's news to me, though I have no reason to think they'd lie about it. It's just surprising.

It was rare, but it would happen if he trusted the actor and felt they really connected with the material, or thought they might go somewhere interesting if he let them run wild. See: Sellers, Peter.

#13 of 15 OFFLINE   Brian Borst

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Posted May 07 2009 - 08:55 AM

I think from the things I read about Kubrick that he wasn't as much as a control freak when it came to actors, but that he didn't knew what he wanted. He would just do a scene over and over again until he saw something good appearing in a scene. You can't explain or recreate it, but it's there. On The Shining, Jack Nicholson would to the first couple of takes in a regular way, then in a slightly more disturbing way, then crazy, and then after a while Nicholson couldn't think of another way to do it, and would just do the scene without thinking it. Of course, Kubrick wasn't very nice to Shelley Duvall, but he did it that way because he wanted a certain performance out of her. And it worked.
With Fincher, I think, it's more the case of literally sticking to the script, and I can't find anything wrong with that. Cameron does it, the Coen brothers always do it. It's nice that you can improvise, but sometimes sticking to the script can be better.
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#14 of 15 OFFLINE   Matthew_V

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Posted May 07 2009 - 02:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Borst
I think from the things I read about Kubrick that he wasn't as much as a control freak when it came to actors, but that he didn't knew what he wanted. He would just do a scene over and over again until he saw something good appearing in a scene. You can't explain or recreate it, but it's there. On The Shining, Jack Nicholson would to the first couple of takes in a regular way, then in a slightly more disturbing way, then crazy, and then after a while Nicholson couldn't think of another way to do it, and would just do the scene without thinking it. Of course, Kubrick wasn't very nice to Shelley Duvall, but he did it that way because he wanted a certain performance out of her. And it worked.
With Fincher, I think, it's more the case of literally sticking to the script, and I can't find anything wrong with that. Cameron does it, the Coen brothers always do it. It's nice that you can improvise, but sometimes sticking to the script can be better.
That's along the lines of what Martin Sheen said in one of the extras on the Wall Street DVD. I don't remember his exact words, but he wanted sometimes to improvise. Oliver Stone didn't want that because what was in the script was in a sense the finished product in that the script was 100% what Oliver Stone intended to put on the screen. At the end of this DVD extra, Martin Sheen was nice enough to add that later on he reflected on things and agreed that Stone's choice on not deviating from the dialogue in the script for Sheen's character worked out better for the character.

#15 of 15 OFFLINE   Jeff Adkins

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Posted May 08 2009 - 03:26 AM

Ermey also gave an interview a few years ago with Radar online where he claimed Kubrick felt that Cruise and Kidman ruined Eyes Wide Shut.

Quote:
"He called me about two weeks before he died, as a matter of fact. We had a long conversation about Eyes Wide Shut. He told me it was a piece of shit and that he was disgusted with it and that the critics were going to have him for lunch. He said Cruise and Kidman had their way with him -- exactly the words he used.

What did he mean?, asks Reed. "[Kubrick] was kind of a shy little timid guy. He wasn't real forceful. That's why he didn't appreciate working with big, high-powered actors. They would have their way with him, he would lose control, and his movie would turn to shit."

Todd Field claimed otherwise.

Quote:
Question: R. Lee Ermey recently made some comments about Eyes Wide Shut, that took me back to that film. He said that Kubrick, who of course is famously neurotic about his movies, didn't care for it, just before he died. And that Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman had their way with him. I wonder what your perspective would be on those comments?

Todd Field: The polite thing would to say No comment. But the truth is that... Let's put it this way, you've never seen two actors more completely subservient and prostrate themselves at the feet of a director. Stanley was absolutely thrilled with the film. He was still working on the film when he died. And he probably died because he finally relaxed. It was one of the happiest weekends of his life, right before he died, after he had shown the first cut to Terry, Tom and Nicole. He would have kept working on it, like he did on all of his films. But I know that from people around him personally, my partner who was his assistant for thirty years. And I thought about R. Lee Ermey for In the Bedroom. And I talked to Stanley a lot about that film, and all I can say is Stanley was adamant that I shouldn't work with him for all kinds of reasons that I won't get into because there is no reason to do that to anyone, even if they are saying slanderous things that I know are completely untrue.



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