“I Don’t Consider That We’re Dealing With A Cult” - Paul Thomas Anderson Talks About 'The Master' At TIFF

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by Rodrigo Perez
September 9, 2012 9:00 AM
4 Comments
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Anderson adores Turner Classic Movies and it’s a big part of his day to day.
Asked about other influences or inspirations in the film was the commerical-free classic cable television channel. “I just keep TCM on my house 24 hours a day like I'm sure a lot of us do,” he said. “I put it on in the kitchen and it's always on so even if I'm not watching anything, you just sort of let it just soak into your veins and hopefully wash over you and do something good.

When Amy Adams said her household was consumed by PBS KIDSSprout channel, Anderson quipped that everyone should be encouraged to watch Turner Classic Movies. “I force my children to watch TCM,” he joked. “I force their heads close to the TV set.”

While there are some of the best working actors in the world performing in “The Master,” no one is chewing scenery and all the actors had a generous give and take.
“They're both strong hitters, but they're also team players,” Anderson said of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix, using baseball metaphors. "Maybe the mistake of a young actor is to dominate something, but the sweet spot of a mature actor is one who really gives over and knows when to squeeze in and knows when to slow down. And that's more fun for everybody when you find a way to play together that services something else as opposed to, you know, a kind of dick measuring.”

Amy Adams added that said she adored and worshipped Philip Seymour Hoffman. “It was great to overpower Philip because that's the only time it's going to happen in my life.” Adams also said she thought that the filming experience was going to have a very serious endeavor, but she was surprised and happy to learn it wasn’t somber at all. “It was actually a lot of fun, we laughed a lot and there was a lot of exploration,” she said. “The freedom to experiment and fail was unexpected.”

Anderson wasn’t phased over the minor drama at the Venice Film Festival over who got what award.
While there was controversy in Venice this morning over who won what award – it was reported that the jury originally wanted to give "The Master" the Best Picture prize (known as the Golden Lion), but then had to renege when they realized rules stated that no film could win more than one major prize – PTA didn't seem to mind.

"I'm thrilled with what they wanted to hand over," Anderson said of the Silver Lion Best Directing prize that "The Master" was awarded on top of the Best Acting Prize that went to both Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. "I heard some of the scuttlebutt recently, but I'm thrilled. I think it's great."

“The Master” opens in New York and Los Angeles on September 14th. We have two reviews of the film you can read, one from a pop-up surprise screening in Chicago and one in Venice. “The Master” is currently playing at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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4 Comments

  • Sisco | September 17, 2012 4:49 AMReply

    The Film was excellently executed. If you want to see a film about scientology , go watch the free video they show on Times Square. This film, to me, is about the way that human's gravitate towards authority while at the same time, knowingly. go against their very nature as animals. The Film is about how desperate and turned on we are about the notion that there is some answer out there, some motive behind our apparent lack of empathy. Watch the Film.. Then watch it again. Dont be afraid to be smart.

  • jingmei | September 11, 2012 12:59 AMReply

    The press conference was kinda awesome actually. PTA rocks.

  • typos | September 9, 2012 11:08 AMReply

    My mom.

  • Yent | September 9, 2012 10:58 AMReply

    I have to disagree that Anderson seemed frustrated about the reporters question. Granted, I wasn't in the room but I did watch the live feed and Anderson actually handled it really well. I would toss the word "bored" around b/c that seems more accurate but in the end, I think Anderson knew people would be talking about this movie in connection with scientology... it's inevitable and he's not stupid- it's not going to go anywhere. It's foolish of him to think otherwise.

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