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Roger Corman Praises 'Gravity,' 'Captain Phillips' & 'Nebraska' In Interview With Jonathan Demme

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by Ben Brock
May 6, 2014 11:04 AM
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Two of the most remarkable careers in today's Hollywood belong to Roger Corman and Jonathan Demme: the former the unimaginably influential director of over 50 films and driving force behind going on 400, most of them brilliant B-movies; the latter the difficult-to-pin-down helmer behind “Silence of the Lambs,” “Philadelphia” and “Stop Making Sense.” Corman is a Hollywood institution, still producing aged 88 (his next project is “Sharktopus vs Mermantula”), while Demme, startlingly, turned 70 this year, though he still works like a much younger, more contemporary man.

Good for Interview magazine, then, for getting them together, in the form of Demme interviewing Corman. In fact, the two also have a history: Corman's producing role made possible Demme's first film, the semi-satirical, much-maligned “Caged Heat” (which, now that we think about it, feels a lot more like a Corman picture than a Demme picture). So when Demme phoned up Corman to talk old times, the movie business and more, they got on excellently, touching on, the possibility of Corman returning to directing (“Every now and then I think that I would do it again.”), the widespread but incorrect belief that Corman made a movie called “Sharknado” — “I made a picture with an equally insane title called 'Sharktopus' ” — and recent movie hits:

CORMAN:...I've seen three pictures recently I liked very much. I liked 'Gravity,' which starred Sandra Bullock, who actually did one of her first pictures with me. I thought 'Gravity' was very good. I saw the Tom Hanks picture, 'Captain Phillips.' I've had the pleasure of working with Tom as an actor as well. Recently Jack Nicholson had a screening of Alexander Payne's picture 'Nebraska,' which stars Bruce Dern, and I also liked that picture very much, particularly because of Bruce. It was an interesting screening because Jack invited all of the old guys. Jack was there, Bruce was there, Peter Fonda, and we were like, "It's like the '60s—we're all back together again!"

Best of all, they discussed the (apparently now defunct?) possibility of a Corman biopic starring Colin Firth:

CORMAN: His first choice was Colin Firth, which I thought was a great choice, and Colin seemed to be interested, but after he won the Academy Award, his price probably went up. I don't know who he's going to go with now.

DEMME: My hope for this film would be that it contains a good degree of sex, some violence, a bit of nudity, and perhaps a subtle social statement.

CORMAN: I have never objected to that formula.

Much more at Interview, so be sure to check it out.


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