Roundtable Interview With Nick Cave On Lawless

After finding much success with his 2005 film The Proposition, musician, songwriter, screenwriter, novelist and actor Nick Cave is teaming up once again with director John Hillcoat to bring us Lawless.

The film, which stars Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain, opened this week and to stir up some buzz, Cave has been making the press rounds. Recently, we spoke with him at the film’s LA press day, where he discussed working with Hillcoat again, how he became attached to the project and more.

Check out what he had to say below.

We Got This Covered: Can you talk a little about the collaboration between you and John Hillcoat?

Nick Cave: Well, it’s been going since he came out of art school at 19 or 20. We’ve been friends in Melbourne for a long time and have been working on different things since then, rock videos and stuff and some of the films that he made before The Proposition, where I was brought in to write the script.

That film basically came about from a frustration that John was having trying to get an Australian western together. He kept getting these scripts written and they were American westerns arbitrarily dumped in Australia. I would say “These are (expletive), man. They’re not Australian westerns at all. They’re American westerns.” So he said “Well, you write it.” and I wroteThe Proposition script for him.

We Got This Covered: Had you written a screenplay before?

Nick Cave: No, I had no idea how to do that and I think that was primarily why it was quite good. I didn’t know my stuff. Since then, we’ve been trying to write good stuff together.

We Got This Covered: How’d you get attached toLawless?

Nick Cave: Someone had seen The Proposition. They liked what me and John had done together. Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher found this particular book and brought it to us on the strength of that.

At the time, I had no interest in doing someone else’s story, but Matt Bondurant’s book was stunning. It had, very much, the kind of elements that bound me and John together, which was a kind of lyricism and a love of a kind of brute violence. That was very much in that book.

We Got This Covered: With so many characters, was there ever any thought to turn this into a mini-series?

Nick Cave: No, but it’s a good idea, though (laughs). Actually, I’m very interested in doing a TV series and I’m working on getting something off the ground at the moment. I would love to do a ten-parter or something like that, only because what you can do on TV, you simply can’t do in movies anymore. You can go to places that you can’t go in film.

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