The Counselor is, on paper at least, one heck of a mighty beast. A desert oriented crime thriller penned by Cormac McCarthy and starring (among others) Penelope Cruz, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem and Cameron Diaz with none other than the maestro that is Ridley Scott in the director’s chair. It’s a prospect to salivate over.
The film follows the titular Counselor (played by Fassbender), whose consistent drive for ever-furthering his material wealth leads to a calamitous series of events. Whilst the Counselor is the lead in name, each of the supporting characters holds their own sway and the tale is as much a take on the ensemble’s greed as it is a documentation of one man’s tragic descent.
Recently, we were lucky enough to attend a press conference for the film which took place at The Dorchester in London, England a couple of weeks back. Penelope Cruz, Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem and Sir Ridley Scott were all there and they took a bit of time to speak with journalists about their new film.
Check out what they had to say below!
When asked what it was that they most admired about Ridley Scott:
Michael Fassbender: Watching him work with each individual department is very impressive. He’s got an exuberance and his energy levels are incredible. (His productions are) a very tight-run machine. In terms of actors I find him mischievous, he’s kind of got a childlike sort of energy, he’s very inspiring.
Penelope Cruz: I’ve always been a big fan of him as a director and as a man, Ridley’s very funny. He has a very dry, ironic sense of humour that I really love and that he really uses in his work. I would go earlier to the set just to see him set up, it’s like watching a choreographer, he has a hundred eyes when he looks at the room. It was like a cinema lesson every day to be there and see how easy it is for him. It’s really beautiful to watch.
Speaking on working with such an out-there script:
Michael Fassbender: I spent alot of time with the script. When I first read it I was really riveted from the beginning, the structure was very different from what I usually come across. Scripts have become very formulaic over the last 20 years, or however long I’ve been reading them anyway. It seems like cinema is such a young art form, it’s only just over 100 years old but we seem to have developed this formula in the way of making films and the way of writing scripts. Usually by page 10 I can see what’s going to transpire for each of the characters, how they’re going to be involved, what the arc is blah blah blah. It becomes pretty boring.
With this script I just didn’t know what was going to happen. These people I was being introduced to, I was really interested in them. The way they spoke, the amount of information that Cormac gives, the amount of information he retains, it just didn’t stop. And I thought “Okay, it’s going to fall apart at page 30 or it’ll lose this magnetism,” but it just didn’t.
Penelope Cruz: I remember the feeling of the first time I opened the script. I remember the feeling of the first scene, because it kept going. There was absolutely no formula and every scene was just like that, 10 or 15 pages of brilliant dialogue and, as an actor to be able to go through a transition, to live things, it’s very rare. It’s almost more like a play, it’s one of the best scripts that I have read.