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Brian De Palma Q & A: 'Passion,' McAdams vs. Rapace, Sex Tools UPDATED (New Trailer)

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 30, 2013 at 9:36AM

Brian De Palma's "Passion," which played the 2012 fall festival circuit and stars Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace caught up in psychosexual mind games, hits theaters August 30. Our TOH! interview with De Palma is below, along with the newly released trailer for the film.
Brian De Palma
Brian De Palma

Audience question: "I always hear from Woody Allen sets that he writes and then doesn't direct very much. What's your approach to directing with actors? Are you commenting all the time, or do you just cast the people?"

BDP: No, no, casting is so important. If we have a long casting process, the actors usually play the part backwards and forwards hundreds of times. When you're dealing with movie stars where you're not actually reading them before they get there, you hold your breath and hope that your instinct is right. And normally it is, if you cast correctly. The worst thing that could happen is when you're a young filmmaker, and I've made that mistake myself, is to miscast a leading role. Because there's no way to overcome it.

Audience question: "What are your thoughts on the "Carrie" remake currently shooting in Toronto?"

BDP: I have many good thoughts on that. I know Kimberly Peirce, I met her I think around 2000, when she was in Paris with "Boys Don't Cry." She also lived in New York years ago and we went to the theater together a lot. She called me up when she was going to do it, and we discussed some of her ideas, some casting ideas, and I gave her my blessing.

Audience question: "What's the one thing that you know now, that you wished you knew when you were starting?"

BDP: Oh boy. Well, to be an emerging filmmaker you have to be completely determined to be able to deal with all the rejection you're going to get. But never give up hope. If you've got an idea, and you want to get it across, just keep at it and you will succeed or not, depending on how hard you work at it. 

Audience question: "Can you talk about the importance of improvisation?"

BDP: Well, it's very important that once the actors have acted the scene from your material, to see what new thing they bring to it. And in this picture, because it's all about women, for women, I would let the ladies take the scene wherever they wanted to take it. I mean that Mafia kiss that Noomi gives Rachel when she says, "Let's kiss and make up," is right out of the soul of Noomi Rapace. And you go, "Whoa!" And then what does Rachel do, when she's sees she's being observed by Dani? She kisses her back harder, and then she makes that wonderful sound afterward, she goes, "Mmm!" 

This article is related to: Interviews, Interviews, Interviews , Toronto International Film Festival, Passion, Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.