Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
New Images Of Kristen Stewart In Stoner Comedy 'American Ultra' And Sci-Fi 'Equals' New Images Of Kristen Stewart In Stoner Comedy 'American Ultra' And Sci-Fi 'Equals' ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Unused Scenes From 'There Will Be Blood' Reworked For 'The Master' & More From Paul Thomas Anderson About The Film

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist August 20, 2012 at 1:50PM

While for most prestigious movies, audiences have to wait until after their high-falutin' red carpet festival premieres before they can see it for themselves, with "The Master," Paul Thomas Anderson is changing the game. The film had its first surprise public screening Santa Monica at the beginning of the month, had a last minute fundraising showing in Chicago last week (see our review here), and over the weekend, had two more unannounced unveilings in New York City. But even so, the curtain has been somewhat closed on the movie from the filmmaker himself, but in his first interview about the film, Paul Thomas Anderson shares his inspirations and frustrations about getting the movie out there.
13
Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master

While for most prestigious movies, audiences have to wait until after their high-falutin' red carpet festival premieres before they can see it for themselves, with "The Master," Paul Thomas Anderson is changing the game. The film had its first surprise public screening Santa Monica at the beginning of the month, had a last minute fundraising showing in Chicago last week (see our review here), and over the weekend, had two more unannounced unveilings in New York City. But even so, the curtain has been somewhat closed on the movie from the filmmaker himself, but in his first interview about the film, Paul Thomas Anderson shares his inspirations and frustrations about getting the movie out there.

“I was naive. I should have known that’s what people would latch onto,” Anderson tells David Ansen of Newsweek about early word leaking that the lead character of Lancaster Dodd, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, would be inspired by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. But as those who have seen the film can attest, there are larger, weighter issues the movie is grappling with, and perhaps surprisingly, Anderson isn't ready to throw the celebrity fueled religion under the bus. "[I'm] much more defensive and protective of [Scientology] than I would have thought.”

And indeed, Ansen notes that Hubbard was only one ingredient in a fascinating stew of resources and inspiration that Anderson used to pull the movie together including "scenes he’d written early on for 'There Will Be Blood' he’d never used. There were stories Jason Robards had told him on the set of 'Magnolia' about his drinking days in the Navy during the war. Chunks of Freddie’s experiences as a migrant field worker and wanderer were lifted from John Steinbeck’s life story."
 
Yet somehow, all these various materials still combined into a film that explores the usual themes fractured families and flawed fatalistic antiheroes, something Anderson acknowledges. “I know, it’s the same thing again. No matter how hard I try to set out to do something different,” he said. “I wish I would have more diversity as a filmmaker.” 
 
And powering all these disparate elements is Joaquin Phoenix, whose performance is already garnering Oscar buzz, and who Anderson has nothing but praise for. “At a certain point, Joaquin is just incapable of faking it. He’s like Daniel [Day-Lewis], his level of concentration. He just got in character and stayed there—for three months he didn’t stop," he said. "Joaquin is very unpredictable. A lot of the time I didn’t know what he was going to do.” 
 
But that unpredictability is an element Amy Adams felt from the director as well. Talking to Vulture she recalls his unique approach that he demanded of the actors on the film, where "even for scenes in which she was not scheduled to appear, she was instructed to show up, just to make her presence felt." Keeping the cast off balance, Anderson asked Adams at one point to read a page of Victorian pornography directly to the camera, but if you're looking for complaints, you won't find any from the actress.
 
"...I do kind of worship Paul. He’s magnificent,” she said.
 
"The Master" opens on September 14th.

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


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates