Mar 16, 2006|
HK: You can’t help but notice that Rupert Holmes wrote your latest. He also had a top-10 pop hit with “The Pina Colada Song.” That’s quite a career switch.
Egoyan: Well, he is a very witty writer. His book is so entertaining. Besides being a pop star in the late 70s, he’s also the only person who has won a triple Tony for his musical “The Mystery Of Edin Brood” (for book, lyrics and music). What was amazing is that he knows the world of popular entertainment. He knows how these people live. That’s why it was so much fun to read that book and be let in on this secret world.
HK: Some people are saying "Truth" is your most mainstream film. What do you have to say about that?
Egoyan: Well, the world it shows is definitely more mainstream. It had to be. It’s about popular entertainers. It needed to have a different rhythm than my other movies. You needed to buy that world or else it wouldn’t work at all. Most of it’s being told from Lanny Morris’ voiceover, so the film had to look like how he would have wanted his life to be represented. To do that, he wouldn’t have hired Atom Egoyan, he would have hired Stanley Donen or one of the classic Hollywood directors. So to do that, I had to assume this other personality and I enjoyed doing that in terms of art direction and camera movements and all that stuff. It feels more mainstream because it’s dealing with characters who are mainstream entertainers. That’s part of the project.
HK: I found Alison Lohman quite annoying at times and attractive at others. Was that the intention?
Egoyan: She’s annoying because she’s lying and she’s insinuating herself into these people’s lives under false pretenses. But she’s a rare person because she’s 26 and seems so much younger. I really had this whole idea that she would play the same role as a 12-year-old and I was really caught up in that. I’m kind of perverse. I kind of like those situations where you’re drawn in and out. People either love her or hate her. It’s kind of amazing.
HK: Did you feel the sex scenes were integral to the film?
Egoyan: Yes, because it’s about these characters who are creating this world where they can do anything they want, have anything they want. The fact that they would create this image of themselves as being like dogs in order to cover up the fact that one person would have this effect on them. It actually behooves their story to give the impression that she was just one of many women that they discarded. The more they could present their sexuality as being kind of voracious and absolutely untethered, the more they can hide the story from the one person who did actually affect them.
HK: Do you think you’ve gotten better as the years have gone by?
Egoyan: I’m really proud of my old films because they had a strong sense of why and how they were being made. I also understand that they had much smaller audiences, but I’m really proud of them. The dilemma now is yes, it’s great to have these budgets where you can paint these bigger pictures, but what has to excite you is what is happening artistically and whether you’re exploring new territory and whether or not you are passionate about what you are doing. Just the idea of doing a Hollywood film is not interesting unless I’m exploring something that I haven’t seen before. The thing with film is that you can’t dream of doing a project like this unless you have the resources to do it properly.