Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Specialty Box Office: 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck' Primes HBO Pump, Russell Crowe's 'Water Diviner' Is Spotty Specialty Box Office: 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck' Primes HBO Pump, Russell Crowe's 'Water Diviner' Is Spotty Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

NYFF: Acting with Non-Actors is the Key to 'Nebraska,' Says Bruce Dern

Photo of John Anderson By John Anderson | Thompson on Hollywood October 8, 2013 at 6:49PM

It was the League of Extraordinarily Mature Gentlemen Day at the New York Film Festival, with two 77-year-old Oscar rivals holding forth in turn, first at the Tuesday morning press conference (Robert Redford for “All is Lost”) and later in the afternoon, with Bruce Dern –whose performance in Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” already won him a best actor prize at Cannes – taking the stage, and immediately trying to divert attention away from himself and onto his director.
0
"Nebraska"
"Nebraska"

It was the League of Extraordinarily Mature Gentlemen Day Tuesday the New York Film Festival, with two 77-year-old Oscar rivals holding forth in turn, first at the morning press conference (Robert Redford for “All is Lost”) and later in the afternoon, Bruce Dern –whose performance in Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” already won him a best actor prize at Cannes – taking the stage, and immediately trying to divert attention away from himself and onto his director.

“There isn’t an actor alive who doesn’t want to work with Alexander Payne,” said Dern, revealing not only respect but gratitude for Payne having cast him, in a role he and his director first talked about in 2004. “No one’s ever thought of me at that level before,” Dern said.  “But nine years later and here we are.”

Payne said it was as early as 2002 or 2003 that he first read the screenplay by Bob Nelson, about the Grant family of Billings, Montana, and their problematic pater familias: The raggedy Woody Grant (Dern) is suffering from a dementia that seems to ebb and flow, but which has left him convinced that a Publisher’s Clearinghouse-style come-on really means that he’s won a million dollars. And that he needs to go to Lincoln, Nebraska, to claim his money. So he starts walking -- only to be intercepted by his son David (“SNL” vet Will Forte) who has so little going on in his own life that he decides to take his daffy dad to Lincoln.

In addition to Dern, Forte, and a deliciously hilarious June Squibb (“About Schmidt”) as Woody’s sharp-tongued wife Kate, there are a number of real-life people – i.e. non-professional performers – playing locals in Woody and Kate’s old hometown of Hawthorne, Neb. Dern said they raised his game.

“He’s a guy who insists you work WITH him,” rather than for him, Dern said of Payne, “and then he puts in all these no-actors who are so goddamn honest you can’t possibly ACT around these people.”

“I’d like to stop being referred to as a non-actor,” Forte then said, to a roar of laughter from the NYFF press corps. 

Here's our review from Cannes and Dern and Payne's Q & A in Telluride

This article is related to: Bruce Dern, Nebraska, Will Forte, Alexander Payne, New York Film Festival , Festivals


E-Mail Updates