Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Gaspar Noé's List of 10 Favorite Films Makes Perfect, Terrifying Sense Gaspar Noé's List of 10 Favorite Films Makes Perfect, Terrifying Sense Jon Hamm Wants You to Know There's Hope for Don Draper After 'Mad Men' Jon Hamm Wants You to Know There's Hope for Don Draper After 'Mad Men' Women Fight Back at Cannes, From Megan Ellison to Emily Blunt Women Fight Back at Cannes, From Megan Ellison to Emily Blunt Of Time & Life: How 'Mad Men' Remade Television Of Time & Life: How 'Mad Men' Remade Television Nikki Finke Returns Nikki Finke Returns Cannes Goes Crazy for Jeremy Saulnier's Gruesome Neo-Nazis vs. Punks Horror 'Green Room' Cannes Goes Crazy for Jeremy Saulnier's Gruesome Neo-Nazis vs. Punks Horror 'Green Room' Cannes Festival Is Dominated by Two Hollywood Masters Cannes Festival Is Dominated by Two Hollywood Masters Top Ten Takeaways: Sequels Rule as Women Boost 'Pitch Perfect 2,' 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Also Strong Top Ten Takeaways: Sequels Rule as Women Boost 'Pitch Perfect 2,' 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Also Strong Cannes: Directors from Fincher to Scorsese Revisit Truffaut's Famous Interview with Hitchcock Cannes: Directors from Fincher to Scorsese Revisit Truffaut's Famous Interview with Hitchcock 'Pitch Perfect 2' Outperforms 'Mad Max: Fury Road'; 'Ultron' Is Now Top 2015 Release 'Pitch Perfect 2' Outperforms 'Mad Max: Fury Road'; 'Ultron' Is Now Top 2015 Release Kristen Stewart Re-Teams with Her 'Sils Maria' Director for Ghost Story Set in Fashion World Kristen Stewart Re-Teams with Her 'Sils Maria' Director for Ghost Story Set in Fashion World Watch: Netflix's Ted Sarandos Heckled at Cannes, Gets Weinstein on His Feet During Heated Debate (VIDEO) Watch: Netflix's Ted Sarandos Heckled at Cannes, Gets Weinstein on His Feet During Heated Debate (VIDEO) George Miller and DP John Seale Go Inside 'Mad Max: Fury Road': "It Was Like Being in a Video Game" George Miller and DP John Seale Go Inside 'Mad Max: Fury Road': "It Was Like Being in a Video Game" Natalie Portman's Passion Project 'Tale of Love and Darkness' Splits Cannes Critics Natalie Portman's Passion Project 'Tale of Love and Darkness' Splits Cannes Critics Cannes: 'Dogtooth' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Scores with Surreal, Macabre 'The Lobster' (Review and Roundup) Cannes: 'Dogtooth' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Scores with Surreal, Macabre 'The Lobster' (Review and Roundup) Weinstein Co. Offers Strong Slate at Cannes Weinstein Co. Offers Strong Slate at Cannes 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Auteur George Miller Does It His Way, No Matter How Long It Takes 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Auteur George Miller Does It His Way, No Matter How Long It Takes The Top 20 Episodes of 'Mad Men' The Top 20 Episodes of 'Mad Men' How the 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Score Paid Homage to Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' How the 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Score Paid Homage to Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A)

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






Festivals on TOH