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

Photo of Rodrigo Perez By Rodrigo Perez | The Playlist September 9, 2012 at 9:00AM

Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” may have already thrilled lucky American audiences at sneak peak pop-up screenings all over the country and in Venice – where it won two of the three major awards including Best Director – but the hypnotic, opaque and much-discussed drama is still the talk of the Toronto International Film Festival.
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The Master Amy Adams
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.”

The Master, PSH, Amy Adams,
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.

This article is related to: The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson, Amy Adams, TIFF


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