New York is in turmoil, the age of capitalism is drawing to a close end. Eric Packer,
a high finance golden boy, dives into a white limousine. while a visit from the
President of the united States paralyses Manhattan, Eric Packer has one obsession:
getting a haircut at his barber’s at the other end of the city. As the day goes by,
chaos sets in, and he watches helplessly as his empire collapses. Also he is sure that
someone is going to assassinate him. when? where? He is about to live the most
decisive 24 hours of his life.
what immediately strikes one when watching COSMOPOLIS is that David Cronenberg has once again taken up
the challenge of making the film of the impossible-to-adapt book, and in doing so expands and enhances a unique
body of work haunted by themes that were considered obsessive or marginal when he started out but «recount»
the world like no other directors’ movies.
After the feats that are his NAKED FEAST, inspired by william S. Burroughs, and CrASH, based on J.g. Ballard,
here is Cronenberg’s vision of Don DeLillo’s novel, «Cosmopolis» — its «externalization» in some way. DeLillo
said of this prophetic and hellish take on where the world is headed that he has concentrated on a literary sphere
all the voices heralding the catastrophe that was to come and is now upon us. Cronenberg echoes this approach
by creating a cinematic space that combines genres and literally bowls the audience over. You come out groggy,
unsure where you are. what you can be sure of is that Cronenberg has always been a visionary. Yes, the man
has always had within him «parasite murders» that gradually transform him into a mutant irredeemably gnawing
at society. wall Street’s golden boys are the latest result of this mutation, and they will finish off the disease-ridden
body of the «Cosmopolis». — François GueriF, Director of the rivages noir collection.
DiD you know Don Delillo’s novel?
No, I hadn’t read it. Paulo Branco and his son Juan Paulo came to suggest that I adapt it
for the screen, Paulo told me: «My son thinks you are the one who should make the film». I
knew other books by DeLillo, and I knew Paulo and the many great films he has produced,
so I thought: it’s worth taking a look. This is quite unusual for me, since I generally prefer
to come out with my own projects. But because of these two, I said OK and took the book.
Two days later, I had read it and I called Paulo to say: «All right, I’m in».
you wanteD to write the screenPlay yourself?
Definitely. And you know what? I did it in six days. That’s unprecedented. In fact, I started
typing down all the dialogues from the book on my computer, without changing or adding
anything. It took me 3 days. when I was done, I wondered: «Is there enough material for
a film? I think so». I spent the next three days filling up the gaps between dialogues and
just like that, I had a script. I sent it to Paulo, who first said: «You’re rushing it». But in the
end he liked the script and off we went.
what convinceD you that the novel coulD be turneD into a film,
anD that you wanteD to Direct it?
The amazing dialogues. DeLillo is famous for it, but the dialogues in Cosmopolis are
especially brilliant. Some dialogues are said to be «Pinteresque», a la Harold Pinter, but
I think we should also talk about «DeLillesque» dialogues. Except Pinter is a playwright,
his virtuosity as a dialogist is more obvious, but as far as novels are concerns, Don’s work
clearly shows exceptional expressive power.
what was your take on Don Delillo’s worlD?
I had read several of his books, «Libra», «underworld», «running Dog»… I really like his
work, even if it’s all-American. I am not American, I am Canadian. It is really different.
Americans and Europeans think of Canadians as better behaved and slightly more sophisti
cated versions of Americans, but it is far more complicated than that. In Canada, we didn’t
have a revolution, slavery, or a civil war, here only the police and the army carry guns, we
don’t share such civilian armed violence at all, and we have a deep sense of community,
and of the necessity to provide everyone with a minimum income. Americans regard us as
a socialist country! It is somewhat different with DeLillo’s books, because I can grasp his
vision of America, he makes it understandable and I can relate to it.
both the novel anD the film take Place in new york, but in slightly
Different ways. the book gives meticulous geograPhical Details,
while the film is more abstract.
In the novel, Eric Packer’s limousine crosses Manhattan from East to west along 47th Street.
Many places described in the book don’t exist anymore, this New York has become partly
imaginary. To me, even if the book is unquestionably set in New York, it is a very subjec
tive New York, we are actually in Eric Packer’s mind. His version of the city is mostly cut
off from the realities of the street, he doesn’t really understand the people or the city itself.
Therefore I thought it was legitimate to settle for a more abstract vision, even though it is
really New York that you can see unfolding behind the car’s windows.
a DecaDe has PasseD between the writing of the novel anD the
making of the film. DiD you think of it as a Problem?
I didn’t, because the novel is surprisingly prophetic. And while we were making the film,
things happened that were described in the novel, rupert Murdoch received a pie in the
face, and of course there has been the «Occupy wall Street» movement, after we finished
shooting. I had to change very few things to make the story contemporary, the only diffe
rence is we used the Yuan instead of the Yen. I don’t know if DeLillo has stock accounts but
he should: he has a remarkably perceptive vision of what is going on and how things are
going to turn out… The film is contemporary, while the book was prophetic.
you reaD a book Differently when you know that you might
turn it into a film.
Yes indeed. It had never happened to me, I don’t read books thinking: Could this make a
film? It is not what I usually look for, I just read a lot because I enjoy it. It would spoil the
fun. But this time, I found myself making two things at once, reading both as the reader of
a good novel and as a director wondering if there is enough material for a film. Of course,
afterwards, once there is an adaptation, you get a fusion between the sensibility of two
authors, in this case DeLillo and myself. It was the same thing with Ballard or Stephen King.
It is like making a child, you need two people, and the film turns out looking a little bit
like both of its «parents», or it is like Marxist dialectics. Indeed I couldn’t but think a little
about Marx while making the film, if only because you can hear the first sentence from the
«Communist Manifesto» in it, «a spectre is haunting the world»…
only now it’s not euroPe, it’s the worlD you’re talking about…
Sure. But here is an important topic, one that I had never really tackled before: money.
The power of money, the way it shapes the world. In order to deal with it, I didn’t need to
make thorough research into the world of finance. Its agents are everywhere to be seen.
They are on television, in documentaries, in the papers. They do and say what DeLillo
wrote, their behavioural patterns are just like Eric Packer’s. To me, the reference to Marx
isn’t trivial. In the «Communist Manifesto», Marx writes about modernism, about the time
when capitalism will have reached such a degree of expansion that society will go too fast
for the people, and when the impermanent and the unpredictable will rule. In 1848! And
this is exactly what you get to see in the film. I often wondered what Karl Marx would have
thought about the film, because it shows a lot of things he had foreseen.
what Do you mean by «filling uP the gaPs» between Dialogues?
After three days, my dialogues were «in limbo», I had to figure out how to make them
happen in the limousine. Therefore I had to describe the limo in detail: where does Eric sit?
where are the others? what is happening in the streets? In what kind of setting does the
cream pie attack occur? And so on. It is mostly practical stuff, like choosing settings and
props, but it does shape the film. I have never written a screenplay for another director, so
when I write, I always have the directing in my mind. To me, a script is also a plan for my
crew and the actors, and a production tool too. You have to think of all that at once, what
kind of information will the set designer, the prop designer or the costume designer need?
what are the financial consequences of such and such option? Etc.
among the changes you maDe, there is that scene at the enD of
the book when eric Packer finDs himself on a film set…
Yes, I soon as I read it, I thought: it’s not really happening, it is only in Packer’s mind. I don’t
believe it. And I couldn’t see myself filming dozens of naked bodies in a street of New York.
I am wary of films within films. It can be interesting, but only when it’s called for. It is one
of the main cuts I made from the book, together with the bags lady, the homeless woman
they find in the car when coming back from the rave party. I shot the scene, but afterwards
I thought the situation was unlikely, artificial, so I edited it out.
anD of course you also cut the chaPters in which benno levin
intervenes within the story, before the final meeting.
It wouldn’t have worked in the film. we would have needed a voice-over or one of these
devices which often generate poor results. I preferred to save it all for the meeting between
Packer and him, the final sequence, which is very long: 20 minutes. 20 minutes of dialo
gues! It is a choice, the kind of choices you have to make to turn a novel into a film. Then
again, when a script is over, I still don’t know what kind of film I am going to make. I am
often asked if the outcome is up to my expectations, but I have no expectations to begin
with. It would be absurd to devise a kind of blueprint or an ideal, and to try and match it
as closely as possible. Only the countless steps in the making of a film can make it what it
is in the end. And it’s all for the best. This is why I don’t make storyboards: everybody just
tries to recreate what was drawn. That is not my idea of cinema. I need to be surprised, by
myself and by the others. Starting with the actors, of course. But even with Peter Suschitzky,
the cinematographer I have been working with since 1987, we are always trying out new
things and trying to surprise each other. It’s more fun that way.
how DiD you choose the settings?
Strangely enough, 47th street in New York looks quite like some streets in Toronto. we
created the space of the film by putting together genuine elements from New York with
others from Toronto, where we were filming the interior shots. we couldn’t shoot the whole
film inside a real limo, we had to recreate some scenes in the studio so that we could move
the camera around. Therefore, what you see in the foreground behind the car’s windows
are mostly rear projections. The main thing is the limo itself, which is not so much a car as a
mental space: being inside the limo is being inside Eric Packer’s head. This is what matters.
insiDe the «ProusteD» limo. the worD Doesn’t aPPear in the french
really? It is in the novel, though, it is a neologism made up by DeLillo as a reference to
Proust, who had his room corklined. DeLillo invented the verb «to proust». I’m not sure
many people will understand the allusion, but I didn’t want to explain it, anyway I think the
word generates some questioning, a distortion. It’s just as well. we did some hard thinking
about the inner fittings of the car, which looks just like any other limo from the outside. The
kind of throne on which Packer sits isn’t really plausible, but it epitomizes the balance of
power, the predetermined relationship between the master of the place and his guests.
Many fittings come from the book, including the marble floor.
in the book, there are screens on which he sees himself in the
future… just like he sees his own Death in the glass of his watch
at the enD. you DiDn’t keeP this element.
I tried to, we shot scenes in which he sees himself a little bit further in time. But it looked
fake, to me it was just a trick. I thought that you either make a big deal of it, underlining
it more, or you just drop the whole thing. If Eric Packer sees the future, it becomes a main
feature of the character, and somehow I have already tackled this issue in DEAD ZONE.
we kept only one sentence from this whole idea of anticipation, «why do I see things that
haven’t happened yet?», because it has to do with the fact that he is a billionaire.
how was the casting Process?
Interestingly, as was already the case for A DANgErOuS METHOD, the actors weren’t
those I had in mind to begin with. Both times, it was part of the permanent reinvention of
the film. For COSMOPOLIS, at first Colin Farrell was to play the main part, and Marion
Cotillard was to play Elise, Eric Packer’s wife. Then, Farrell had a conflicting schedule and
Marion Cotillard was pregnant. So I changed the script, adjusting it to a younger actor,
which is more faithful to the book, and of course his wife also had to be younger. It’s much
better this way. The real problem is when you have made funding arrangement based on
the name of an actor and he walks away – it’s not an artistic problem, it’s a money problem.
But this wasn’t really an issue for us.
DiD you think of robert Pattinson right away?
Yes. His work in TwILIgHT is interesting, although of course it falls within a particular fra
mework. I also watched LITTLE ASHES and rEMEMBEr ME, and I was convinced he could
become Eric Packer. It is a heavy part, he appears on each and every shot, and I don’t
think I have ever made a film on which the same actor literally never leaves the frame. The
choice of an actor is a matter of intuition, there are no rules or instructions about it.
for this film, you’ve teameD uP again with most of the PeoPle you
usually work with, like Peter suschitzky, or comPoser howarD
shore, who has written music for all your films, starting with
the brooD, thirty-three years ago. DiD you have any sPecial requirements
for the music this time?
Howard Shore was one of the first persons I sent the script to. It had two characteristics.
First, it featured music, like songs from Sufi rapper Brutha Fez, or Erik Satie. Also, there was
a huge amount of dialogues, which is quite challenging for the score, especially when dia
logues are subtle and you just cannot put trumpets all over them. we needed a music that
was discreet but still capable of establishing certain tones. Howard worked with Canadian
band Metric, singer Emily Haines uses her voice like an instrument, in a subtle way that
perfectly met our needs.
you insisteD that your actors shoulD say their lines exactly as
they were written…
Yes I did. You can make a film in a way that allows the actors to improvise, great directors
have successfully done it, but I have a different perspective. I don’t think it is the actors’ job
to write dialogues. Especially for this film, since the dialogues, by Don DeLillo himself, were
the reason why I wanted to make it in the first place. That being said, the actors still had
broad leeway, tone and rhythm were entirely up to them. It was particularly interesting for
robert Pattinson, on whose limo various characters turn up, played by very different actors.
It brought him to act differently depending on which actor was opposite him.
DiD you try to shoot the film chronologically?
As much as possible. It was the case for almost all the scenes within the limo. Paul giamatti
came at the end, and the last scene we shot is the final scene in the film. Sometimes there
were practical impediments, but for the most part, I managed to respect chronology better
than on my previous films. given that the story unfolds in a single day, but following a
complex evolution, it was especially beneficial to work that way.
a DanGerous methoD (2011)
eastern promises (2007)
at the suiCiDe oF the last Jew in the worlD at the last Cinema in the worlD (2007)
a history oF ViolenCe (2005)
m. ButterFly (1993)
nakeD lunCh (1991)
DeaD rinGers (1988)
the Fly (1986)
the DeaD Zone (1983)
the BrooD (1979)
Fast Company (1979)
the italian maChine (1976)
Fort york (1972)
in the Dirt (1972)
sCarBorouGh BluFFs (1972)
winter GarDen (1972)
Don Valley (1972)
Jim ritChie sCulptor (1971)
letter From miChelanGelo (1971)
Crimes oF the Future (1970)
From the Drain (1967)
how DiD the Project to aDaPt cosmoPolis come about?
I wasn’t behind it. In 2007, Paulo Branco invited me to take part in the Estoril Film Festival,
which he coordinates in Portugal. He likes to have people from outside the cinema industry,
such as writers, painters or musicians, to sit in the jury, and it is indeed a very pleasant
experience to talk about films that way. On this occasion, he told me about the project;
actually, it was his son Juan Paulo’s idea in the first place. He had already optioned the
rights to the book. I knew his career as a producer, the impressive list of great filmmakers
he has worked with, so I said yes. Then the question of the director arose, and I think Juan
Paulo is again the one who suggested David Cronenberg. Next thing I knew, Cronenberg
was on board and it was a done deal, in the best possible way. It all happened very
DiD you reaD the scriPt?
Yes I did, and it was incredibly close to the book. Of course, Cronenberg cut out a few
scenes that couldn’t work out, but it is totally faithful to the spirit of the novel. Of course, I
had no intention to make comments when I read it, it had become a Cronenberg film. It is
my novel, but it is his film, there is no question about it. Then, last March, I saw the film in
New York once it was completed. I was really impressed. It is as uncompromising as it can
possibly be. I liked it from the very beginning, from the opening credits: what an amazing
idea to start with Jackson Pollock, and to finish with rothko, for that matter. And the final
scene, with robert Pattinson and Paul giamatti, is just mind-blowing!
what DiD you think about aDaPting this very novel for the
Throughout the years, there have been many proposals to adapt several of my books, but
they have never come through. I thought that adapting COSMOPOLIS would be particu
larly tricky, since most action is confined within a car, which doesn’t translate well to the
screen. But not only did Cronenberg respect that, he also shot in the limo some scenes that
originally happened elsewhere, like the sequence with Juliette Binoche, for instance.
there is a ParaDox about your books: although crammeD with
references to cinema, they seem imPossible to aDaPt to the screen.
You are right, but I just cannot explain it. I thought that «Libra» or «white Noise» could
easily be turned into films, but apparently it is very complicated. I don’t know why. Anyway,
don’t expect me to take care of it myself and write a screenplay.
cinema Plays a large Part in your books, but harDly ever by
means of a reference to a Particular film or filmmaker. it is more
the iDea of cinema than such or such moDel or Personality.
Indeed, what matters is more a cinematographic sensibility than some films in particular.
I grew up in the Bronx, we used to watch westerns, musicals, gangster flicks – at that
time I didn’t know what a film noir was. Then I moved in to Manhattan, and I discovered
Antonioni, godard, Truffaut, the great modern European directors, and also Japanese
directors, starting with Kurosawa. To me it was a revelation: the magnitude of such films
equalled that of the greatest novels! Many people think that in the 1960s I quit my job in
an advertising company to write my first novel. Not at all: I just quit so I could go to the
movies every afternoon. Only afterwards did I seriously take up writing.
then you wrote americana, the story of a man who haPPens to
quit his job in the meDia inDustry to Direct a film…
Exactly! (He laughs) And since then, as I live close to New York, I keep discovering many
new films that have become impossible to watch in a theatre anywhere else in the united
States. At some point in my life I lived in greece, for three years, and I was film-starved,
many good films weren’t shown there, I really missed it. Otherwise, I have kept a close
look on what has been happening in the cinema industry, and I think that lately THE TurIN
HOrSE by Bela Tarr, THE TrEE OF LIFE by Terrence Malick or MELANCHOLIA by Lars von
Trier have been real milestones.
in your novels, there aren’t only numerous references to cinema,
characters who want to make films, lost films or secret films,
etc. there is something quite cinematograPhic in the narration
itself, for instance the trajectory of the boy anD the baseball at
the beginning of unDerworlD is comPoseD as a film sequence.
It is because when I write, I need to see what is happening. Even when it is just two guys
talking in a room, writing dialogues is not enough. I need to visualize the scene, where
they are, how they sit, what they wear, etc. I had never given much thought about it, it
came naturally, but recently I became aware of that while working on my upcoming novel,
in which the character spends a lot of time watching file footage on a wide screen, images
of a disaster. I had no problem describing the process, that is to say to rely on a visualiza
tion process. I am not comfortable with abstract writing, stories that look like essays: you
have to see, I need to see.
you are italian-american. have you felt a Particular kinshiP
with the generation of great italian-american Directors that
maDe its breakthrough in the 1970s, anD with which you were
I really liked MEAN STrEETS. I grew up in the Bronx and Scorsese in Lower Manhattan, in
Little Italy, but we shared the same language, the same accents and the same behaviours.
Needless to say I was familiar with troublemakers like robert De Niro’s character, I even
knew some of them very well. But the most significant experience probably dates back
further. I was very young when I saw MArTY by Delbert Mann, which takes place where
I used to live, in the Italian part of the Bronx. The film was shown in Manhattan, so there
were eight of us guys, packed in a car to go and watch it. The opening scene takes place
in Arthur Avenue. It was our place! Seeing our street, the shops we patronized, there in a
movie theatre, that was amazing. It was as if our very existence was acknowledged. we
never would have thought that somebody would make a film in those streets.
how DiD you react when you hearD that DaviD cronenberg was
to aDaPt your novel?
I was delighted. I missed a few of his earliest films, but at least since DEAD rINgErS, I
have seen them all. I am particularly fond of CrASH and ExISTENZ, and of course A
HISTOrY OF VIOLENCE. At first I wondered if it was the kind of material he usually worked
with. I didn’t think so, but I thought it could be a good thing, an opportunity for him to
tackle the subject in an original way. Anyway I was sure he could make the content of the
book visually stunning, in a way that would surprise everybody, including myself. I had no
idea what he was up to, but I knew it wouldn’t be conventional.
haD you seen his version of nakeD lunch?
Yes, that’s impressive! Exactly the kind of surprise I was hoping for regarding COSMOPOLIS.
was it when you met with DaviD cronenberg?
Yes, he was in Estoril as well. But we didn’t talk much about the project to adapt the book,
I wanted to keep out of it. we talked a bit about the fact that it would be shot mainly in
Toronto, I could see that he knew what he was doing, and it was fine by me. we probably
talked about the leading actor, but this person finally couldn’t make it. Later on, when
Paulo told me about robert Pattinson, I thought that at last, my fourteen-year-old niece
would look up to me.
DiD you visit the set?
No. I was offered to, but I didn’t find it useful. I have already been on film sets, it’s really
boring. You spend most of your time waiting.
sPeaking of film location, new york is so imPortant in the novel,
weren’t you somewhat worrieD to know that most of the shooting
was to take Place elsewhere?
The important thing is that it happens inside a limousine. It is like a world itself, with several
intrusions of various kinds, visitors, or an angry mob. This is what really matters. Besides,
shooting elsewhere gives the film a more general dimension, of course it is New York, but
it is more the idea of “the great contemporary city” we are dealing with, which is perfectly
the book was PublisheD in 2003, the film will be releaseD in 2012,
weren’t you afraiD that this interval was going to be a Problem?
Interestingly enough, when the film was almost done, the «Occupy wall Street» movement
came out, somewhat striking a chord with what the film is about. I think it is only the begin
ning, there is going to be more of it. Vija Kinski, Eric Packer’s Chief of Theory (played
by Samantha Morton in the film), explains to her boss that those protesters are the direct
offspring of wall Street and capitalism, and that they contribute to refresh and readjust
the system. They help wall Street redefine itself in the face of a new context and a bigger
world. In my opinion, this is precisely what is happening: «Occupy wall Street» hasn’t
reduced the astronomical bonuses raked in by corporate executives.
what was your reaction when you first saw the film? DiD you
finD new elements that weren’t in the book?
I was thrilled. There are also very funny moments, and I was really impressed by the whole
ending, it takes the film to another level. what happens between Eric Packer and Benno
Levin, the character played by Paul giamatti, is marked by their mutual respect, something
that was in the book but which is more palpable in the film. Indeed, David made the right
decision in cutting two interventions by Benno Levin before they meet. Those two inserted
chapters fitted the novel, not the film.
the Dialogues are almost all yours. how Does it feel to hear them?
It is the strangest thing! These are my words, but they take on another life. I wrote this
conversation about art that Eric and the character played by Juliette Binoche have, but
somehow it felt like I was discovering it, or even understanding it for the first time.
one of the most imPortant asPects of the book is the way things,
anD the worDs assigneD to them, become outDateD anD are left
behinD, following a Process of accelerateD obsolescence. Packer
keePs saying «Does this thing still exist?», «how can we still use
such a worD?», «“comPuter“, it’s such a DateD worD», etc.
That’s true, and in the novel he has a particular perception of time which projects him
ahead, he sees what is going to happen next. This aspect has almost disappeared from the
film. For this book, I paid much attention to time, to the way money shapes our perception
of time. They say «time is money», but in this context, money is time. This idea is also in
the film, only in different ways.
your name aPPears in the closing creDits for a song in the movie.
Yes, I noticed that! It is because of the lyrics I wrote for the Sufi rapper in the book, which
were also used in the film. This launches the beginning of a new career for me as a rap
lyricist… I couldn’t be any prouder.
Don Delillo has established himself as a worldwide cult writer. he has received the most prestigious
literary awards, including the national Book award, the pen/Faulkner award for his body of work
and the Jerusalem prize.
Great Jones Street (2011)
Point Oméga (2010)
Falling Man (2008)
The Body Artist (2001)
White Noise (1999)
Mao II (1992)
The Names (1990)
were you familiar with Don Delillo’s novel?
No. But I had read some of his other novels. I first read the screenplay David Cronenberg
sent me, and then the novel. One is incredibly true to the other, it is faithful in a way that
seems impossible, for a novel that seemed impossible to adapt. But even before reading
the book, what impressed me the most about the script was the quick-paced rhythm and
the unrelenting tension.
what was it about this film that aPPealeD to you the most?
Cronenberg, obviously! I have played in only a few films, and none of them came close
to what I expected working with him would be like. I wasn’t disappointed… I knew he
would be very creative, and that it would be a real experience. And I was appealed by
the writing of the script, like a kind of long poem. And a mysterious poem too. usually
when you read a script, you quickly know what it is about, where it is going, how it will
end, even if there might be unexpected or sophisticated twists and turns in the plot. But this
time it was completely different, the further I read, the less I could figure out where it was
leading, and the more I wanted to be a part of it. It doesn’t fit any film genre whatsoever,
it is in a league of its own.
when you first reaD the scriPt, DiD you see yourself in the role,
coulD you imagine what it woulD look like visually?
Not at all. The first time I spoke to David, it is exactly what I told him, that I didn’t visualize
anything, and he thought it was a good thing. Besides, I think that at this point, he wasn’t
thinking much ahead, it all evolved in a progressive, organic way, starting from the text,
towards the many visual choices that shape the film. It is a living process. Even during
the first week of shooting, we were all still wondering what the film would look like once
finished. It was fascinating, I felt like the film was fashioning itself.
now that it’s Done, is the film much Different from the scriPt, or
on the contrary DiD you stick to what was written?
It is hard to say, because the film acts on different levels. I’ve seen it twice, the first time I
was amazed by its farcical side, which I knew was there during the shooting, but which
was unexpectedly apparent. The second time, the gravity of what was at stake prevailed.
Both times, there was an audience attending, but the reactions were wide-ranging, from
laughter to tension over the dark side Cosmopolis also has. Despite its complexity, I was
amazed by the way it reaches a wide range of emotions.
in your oPinion, who is eric Packer? how woulD you Describe
To me, Eric is someone who feels like he belongs to another reality, who lives as if he was
born on an other planet, and who tries to discover in which reality he should be living. In
fact, he doesn’t understand the world as it is.
yet he has enough unDerstanDing of the worlD to make a fortune
Sure, but in a very abstract way. Banking, broking or speculating are disconnected acti
vities, he has done well in them, not as a genuine specialist or a mastermind, but rather
thanks to a kind of instinct, something much more mysterious, with the help of algorithms
not unlike magical formulas. You can see in the film, as well as in the book, that his ap
proach of financial data tends to project him in the future, so much so that he doesn’t know
how to live in the present anymore. He probably grasps the workings of the real world
somehow, but only in peculiar and obscure ways.
DiD you talk about it with DaviD cronenberg?
A bit, yes, but he liked me to search for something unexplained and unexplainable. He
particularly liked it when I played without really knowing what I was doing, and as soon
as he felt that I was making up chains of cause and effect, or coming out with a logical
explanation for Eric’s behaviour, he would interrupt the take. It was a very odd kind of
directing, entirely based on feelings rather than ideas.
how DiD you PrePare for the Part?
David doesn’t like rehearsals. we didn’t talk much about the film before the shooting. And
I only met the other actors on set, during production. I discovered them as they appeared,
literally, on Eric Packer’s limousine. And it was quite pleasant. From the beginning of the
shooting, I sort of lived inside the film, and inside the car: I was always there, it was my
home, and I welcomed the other actors in my space, sitting tight on this kind of captain’s
chair, with everybody visiting me. Being used like that to this environment felt particularly
comfortable. Everyone else had to adapt to what was basically my world.
DiD you have an inPut about your character’s looks or warDrobe?
I did, but the thing is he had to have a neutral look, we tried to avoid the most obvious
or stereotyped features of rich businessmen or traders. The only discussion was about the
choice of the sunglasses at the beginning, I searched for the most indefinable pair, one that
wouldn’t say anything about the character.
what Difference Does it makes to shoot scenes as much as Possible
in scriPt orDer?
It is really important, it has a cumulative effect that shapes the film. At first, nobody really
knows what the tone of the whole film will be – well, maybe David (Cronenberg) does, but
he won’t let it show. For the crew, it is this cumulative effect, as the character reveals more
about himself, which slowly builds the identity of the film. It also allows the character to
loosen up while his life is falling apart.
one of the Particularities of the Part is that, one by one, you get
to meet many Different actors. how Does it feel?
when I agreed to make the film, the only actor already on board was Paul giamatti, which
I found was great. Then, it was both magical and slightly scary to see Juliette Binoche,
Samantha Morton, Mathieu Amalric… show up like that. Each of them brought a different
tone. It wasn’t easy for them either, all the more so as David expects the actors to transform
their acting, to let go of their habits. It was challenging for them, in such a short time. As
for me, I was sort of settled in this world, in tune with its rhythm, but the others had to get
used to it right away. Actually, some made up very creative things while we were shooting.
Notably Juliette Binoche, who came out with an unbelievable number of acting options.
woulD you say that there were various styles of acting, esPecially
Due to the Different nationalities involveD, or that everyboDy
enDeD uP fitting cronenberg’s moulD?
Oh no, there were different sensibilities, and I think that David was eager for that.
Paradoxically, this diversity is emphasized by all the characters being supposedly
American, except for Mathieu Amalric. Such diversity is congruent with New York, where
almost everybody seems to come from a different place, and where the mother tongue of
so many people isn’t English. Of course, the film doesn’t aim for realism, including about
the city of New York, it never insists on a precise location. But having actors with different
backgrounds mirrors New York, just as it contributes to the strangeness and abstraction of
as far as you are concerneD, DiD you have any references in minD,
maybe other actors to Draw insPiration from?
Quite the opposite, actually, I tried to steer clear of any possible reference. I especially
didn’t want to remind the audience of other films about wall Street, financers, rich bankers,
etc. It was more about finding the right a state of mind than relying on usual attitudes or
Do you remember cronenberg having any Particular DemanDs,
focusing on certain Points when working together?
He insisted that we had to say the dialogues exactly as they were written, to the letter. He
wouldn’t tolerate any variation. The screenplay depends to a large extent on rhythm, we
had to comply with that as far elocution was concerned. He was positive about that, so he
made very little takes, which I found quite scary. On Paul giamatti’s first day on set, Paul
delivered in one breath his character’s long monologue, certainly the longest line in the
whole film, and David shot it in a single take. It was done, we moved on. I was enthralled
with Paul’s performance, with David’s promptness, and with the way he looked so sure the
take was good.
DiD you like working this way, scruPulously Delivering Dialogues
as they were written?
It created something I wasn’t familiar with, which is precisely what motivated me the most
about making this film. I had never been asked anything like that, usually scripts aren’t
followed scrupulously, they are just a foundation and actors are supposed to make them
their own. In my previous films, dialogues were flexible. This time, it was like acting in a
play: when you play Shakespeare, you cannot rephrase the lines.
inciDentally, the limousine is a bit like a stage somehow.
Absolutely. And in such a setting, it is possible to shoot one scene or another, which means
you have to be ready to play several of them. I spent a lot of time learning all the lines, for
the first time since I started out as a stage actor, quite a long time ago now. It creates a
tension, you have to remain on the alert, which is for the best… Even though it forced me
to live the life of a recluse during the shooting: I had to know the part, remember dozens
of pages and stay focus. But actually it is quite a pleasant feeling. It’s better than on most
sets, where everything is fractioned.
what was the most Difficult thing for you about the shooting?
It was disturbing to play a character who doesn’t go through an obvious evolution or
follow a predictable path. Actually he does, it is even a hell of an evolution, although
not in the way we usually get to see characters change. But David completely controlled
this dimension. I have never worked with a director so much in control of his film, who
considers himself fully in charge of each and every aspect of it, knowing exactly what he
wants, every step of the way. At first I found it unsettling, but gradually I felt more and more
confident and relaxed.
the twiliGht saGa: BreakinG Dawn – part 2 by Bill Condon (2012/post-production)
Cosmopolis by David Cronenberg (2012)
Bel ami by Declan Donnellan & nick ormerod (2012)
the twiliGht saGa: BreakinG Dawn – part 1 by Bill Condon (2011)
water For elephants by Francis lawrence (2011)
the twiliGht saGa: eClipse by David slade (2010)
rememBer me by allen Coulter (2010)
the twiliGht saGa: new moon by Chris weitz (2009)
twiliGht by Catherine hardwicke (2008)
little ashes by paul morrison (2008)
how to Be by oliver irving (2008)
the haunteD airman by Chris Durlacher (2006/tV movie)
harry potter anD the GoBlet oF Fire by mike newell (2005)
l’anneau saCrÉ by uli edel (2004/tV movie)
working as a producer since 1979, with more than 250 films to his credit, paulo Branco has established
himself as a major figure in the european independent cinema industry.
For more than 30 years, paulo Branco has worked with such talented and exceptional directors as manoel
de oliveira, João César monteiro, pedro Costa, alain tanner, wim wenders, Jerzy skolimowski, andrzej
Zulawski, sharunas Bartas, raùl ruiz, Christophe honoré, Cédric kahn, olivier assayas, philippe Garrel,
laurence Ferreira Barbosa, lucas Belvaux, Chantal akerman and Jacques rozier, to name a few.
Cosmopolis by David Cronenberg is the 53rd film he brings to Cannes, where 27 films he produced have
already been shown as part of the official selection: 11 films in Competition, 7 out of Competition and 9 in
the un Certain regard section.
paulo Branco is also an international distributor and seller in France and portugal, where he is one of the
main distributors. since 2008, he has been coordinating the lisbon & estoril Film Festival.
BaseD on a noVel By
musiC Byline proDuCer
in CoproDuCtion with
in assoCiation with
with the partiCipation oF
Peter suschitzky asc
ronalD sanDers cce ace
DeirDre bowen cDc
Pierre-ange le Pogam
kinologic films (Dc)
france 2 cinema
ontario meDia DeveloPment corPoration
astral meDia the harolD greenberg funD
france - canaDa
© 2012 – Cosmopolis proDuCtions inC. / alFama Films proDuCtion / FranCe 2 Cinema
interviews for the press book by Jean-michel Frodon.
65 Cannes film festival
(C) MBN 2012
LAWLESS PRODUCTION NOTES
· Front Credits – page 2
· Synopsis – page 5
· About the Production – page 7
· Cast Biographies – page 20
· Crew Biographies – page 27
· End credits – page 33
THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY/YUK FILMS AND BENAROYA PICTURES PRESENTS
AN ANNAPURNA PICTURES PRODUCTION
A DOUGLAS WICK/LUCY FISHER PRODUCTION
A BLUMHANSONALLEN FILMS
Based on the book
“The Wettest County In The World”
by Matt Bondurant
Douglas Wick, p.g.a.
Lucy Fisher, p.g.a.
Robert Ogden Barnum
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Benoit Delhomme, AFC
Dylan Tichenor, ACE
Francine Maisler C.S.A.
CO -EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
‘We control the fear, you understand? Without the fear, we are all good as dead.’
Acclaimed director John Hillcoat (THE ROAD, THE PROPOSITION) delivers a thrillingly vivid slice
of American outlaw history in his epic gangster tale, LAWLESS. LAWLESS is the true story of the
infamous Bondurant Brothers: three bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in
Prohibition-era Virginia. Based on author Matt Bondurant’s fictionalized account of his family, “The
Wettest County in the World,” the film gathers an ensemble of gifted, dynamic new-generation stars –
Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Mia Wasikowska, Dane DeHaan – alongside
two of the finest actors of their generations, Guy Pearce and Gary Oldman. A riveting, intense story of
crime and corruption, loyalty and love, brutality and tenderness, LAWLESS is a rich addition to the
American gangster canon.
In the mountains of Franklin County, Virginia, the Bondurant brothers are the stuff of legend. The
eldest, Howard (Jason Clarke), managed to survive the carnage of the Great War, but he returned home
unmoored by what he had seen and done. His brother Forrest (Tom Hardy) nearly died from the
Spanish Flu that took his parents. He beat back death with a quiet strength and ferocious, visceral
invincibility that came to define him. Jack (Shia LaBeouf) is the youngest sibling, impressionable,
sensitive, smart. Times are tough and jobs are scarce, but the Bondurants are entrepreneurs and have
built a thriving local business by concocting an intense and popular brand of moonshine. But Franklin
County’s bootlegging days are about to end with the arrival of Special Deputy Charlie Rakes (Guy
Pearce) from Chicago. The new “law” Rakes brings is lethal and corrupt and will challenge everything
the brothers have built and represent. But while the rest of the county gives in to Rakes’ ruthless
crackdown, the Bondurants will bow to no one.
As the family rallies to fight Rakes, the fraternal dynamic shifts. Jack’s ambitions and enterprises alter
the balance of power between the brothers as he careens into manhood. Dreaming of expensive suits,
fast cars and beautiful women, Jack starts his own bootlegging operation, with his friend Cricket (Dane
DeHaan) helping him to soup up cars and build stills – even against Forrest’s wishes. Jack starts to
prosper, even selling his moonshine to Floyd Banner (Gary Oldman), the big city gangster he idolizes.
The lives of the Bondurants are soon complicated by the appearance of two beautiful women: the exotic,
steadfast Maggie (Jessica Chastain), who brings a secret past with her and catches the eye of the guarded
Forrest -and the quiet, pious Bertha (Mia Wasikowska), who slowly warms to Jack’s charms and
channels her own rebellious streak.
Jack’s confidence however soon trumps his good sense, and the consequences will test the brothers’
loyalty and endangers them all. Determined to do whatever is necessary to fight for what is theirs, the
Bondurants take up arms and confront the corrupt forces of the law in a faceoff to determine who
controls the wettest county in the world.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
The notorious gangster Al Capone observed that “Prohibition has made nothing but trouble,” and
“I am like any other man. All I do is supply a demand.” While his bailiwick was Chicago by way of
Canada, the Bondurant brothers in Virginia would have heartily agreed. Brazen rebels, the Bondurant
boys – Howard, Forrest and Jack – ran a flourishing family bootleg business in Franklin County,
Virginia, where the hills glowed orange from the light of countless illegal stills.
“The Wettest County in the World” began when Matt Bondurant decided to write a fictional
account of the very picaresque exploits of his paternal grandfather Jack and grand-uncles Forrest and
Howard. Though his novel is inspired by true events, it isn’t entirely factual. As he writes in the
author’s note, “The basics of this story are drawn from various family stories and anecdotes, newspaper
headlines and articles and court transcripts … However, this historical information does not help us fully
understand the central players in this story, at least in terms of their situation or what their thoughts
were; all involved are now deceased and little record exists. There are no letters, and my grandfather and
his brothers did not keep diaries. My task in writing this book was to fill in the blank spaces of known
record. There are family stories … and these memories and stories are vague, and often specious at best,
mixed with several decades of rumor, gossip and myth … My intention was to reach the truth that lies
beyond the poorly recorded and understood world of actualities.”
The book, published in 2008, garnered rhapsodic reviews and won two early, ardent fans in Red
Wagon producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher. Says Wick, “The book was overflowing with
moments of hard men and their softness; fierce, violent behavior intertwined with silent moments of
desire and longing; vivid flesh-and-blood pain mixed with legends of indestructibly. You could not read
the book without imagining performances.” Rachel Shane, executive vice-president at Red Wagon
Entertainment alerted her bosses to the book prior to its publication, and Red Wagon quickly secured the
movie rights to the novel. Bondurant was thrilled; his tale was already a “dramatic reimagining” and the
notion of a filmmaker and screenwriter further exploring the material excited him.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of information available to me to write a non-fiction piece so I took
several of the principal events that are verified as happening and strung them together like a
constellation, using some things I knew about the brothers, along with pictures and documents, to create
lives for them. I knew my grandfather when I was a young man but I certainly didn’t know him as an
18-year-old, so there’s a lot of artistic license that I took. I knew the movie would take that one step
further and that seemed natural,” Bondurant says.
Meanwhile, Red Wagon executive Shane approached director John Hillcoat. Says Shane, “John’s
previous work on THE PROPOSITION was incredibly visceral and dramatized violence in a way I had
never really seen before. You could also see the care he takes with his actors through the specificity of
their performances, and how he loves creating worlds that are similar to ours, but also very alien. I knew
John would bring everything we needed to take this book to film and it would be a very happy
Hillcoat realized “The Wettest County in the World” offered an opportunity to tackle two of his
favorite genres in an intrepid and innovative way.
“I loved the world of the novel. I love westerns, but I was actually looking for a gangster movie.
I had really struggled with that over the years because there are so many fantastic gangster movies, I was
hard pressed to find one with anything new to say. And this was new. It was like a western as well as a
gangster film. I hadn’t seen a gangster film in the rural landscape since BONNIE AND CLYDE. And
moonshine has mostly been treated in comedies like SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT. This was based
on a true story, which was incredible. It felt vivid and alive and unique. So that was really it for me,”
Hillcoat enlisted his old friend and frequent collaborator since art school, Nick Cave, to write the
screenplay and the music, as he did on THE PROPOSITION. On a Hillcoat/Cave project, the script and
the music are always intertwined at the project’s inception and evolve together. Because LAWLESS is
set in the backwoods of Virginia, the main characters’ speech has a special, almost musical cadence,
which Cave incorporated into the dialogue, as if it were a musical score.
“Nick’s songs are really narrative-driven, which of course lends itself to screenplays but more
than that, I think all films have a musicality to them,” says Hillcoat. “There’s a rhythm to the way Nick
writes, to the dialogue, the way scenes unfold. It’s subtle thing but it’s definitely there. With
LAWLESS, we talked about adapting the novel -it’s the first time he has adapted a book -but we also
talked about the score, what sort of music it would be. When Nick writes the material and the music,
it’s a very organic process. The music comes first, and then the script, and then the music again.”
Bondurant was especially pleased that John Hillcoat and Nick Cave would bring his book to the
screen. “I am John Hillcoat fan; I loved THE PROPOSITION and THE ROAD. And I’m a fan of Nick
Cave’s music and writing, so I was super-excited when I heard he was writing the script. He did some
really amazing work with the adaptation, and I’m flattered that he retained quite a bit of my language. I
was incredibly honored to have John and Nick adapt my work,” Bondurant says.
Shia LaBeouf joined the team soon after Hillcoat and Cave, taking on the role of the youngest
Bondurant -smart, sensitive, forward-thinking Jack. The next two years would prove a rollercoaster
ride of near-starts and disappointing setbacks, but LaBeouf never wavered in his commitment to
LAWLESS, even as his star rose further with the TRANSFORMERS franchise.
LaBeouf was drawn to the project for myriad reasons, not the least of which was John Hillcoat.
“I’m a fan, I would show up to do anything with John,” the actor enthuses. “John’s films are all very
visceral and honest. He is a truth-seeker, incredibly intelligent and has a great visual style. He lets shots
breathe; it’s old-school, John Ford vista-type stuff. He knows how to tell the story in one frame and he
lets that frame do the work. It’s a style of working I hadn’t experienced before, and I was very excited
LaBeouf was also captivated by Bondurant’s novel and the seminal period of American history it
explored. He delved into the history of bootlegging, its specific relationship in Virginia to the legacy of
coal mining, the socioeconomics of the region, particularly the religious and racial schisms. Above all,
the role of Jack intrigued LaBeouf. Jack, enterprising and eager, has to find his way, not only as
resourceful young bootlegger but also within the Bondurant clan, as the power dynamic between the
three brothers begins to shift. Jack experiences a spectrum of emotions throughout the course of the film
as, essentially, he grows up.
“I had never played a part like this before. This is a boy becoming a man in many ways. He has
his first drink of moonshine, his first kiss,” LaBeouf observes. ”The film is also about a family going
through combustion. They’re dealing with many problems all at once; meanwhile, the power balance is
shifting from Forrest and Howard to Jack. When you first meet Jack, he’s full of empathy; he lives on a
farm and he can’t watch his brothers kill a pig. That empathy is hindering his criminal career, and this is
a family of criminals. During that time, bootlegging was the only avenue available to many poor and
disenfranchised people. All they had was their skills. For the Bondurant family, their talent was for
He adds that Jack has a fascination for the bootleggers, specifically the Chicago-style gangsters
and that admiration informs much of the character’s drive and ambition. “Jack comes from a new
generation. He was seeing these Robin Hood-type characters fighting against the government,
specifically Prohibition, and succeeding. These were the new Americans. Guys who came from the
bottom of the barrel and were able to muscle their way into some kind of foundation where they could
not only support their families but their entire communities. This family was spearheading this
revolution at the time. The bootlegger was the superhero of that period, especially to someone in his
twenties, like Jack,” LaBeouf notes.
LaBeouf was not yet a major international star when Hillcoat caught the young actor’s
performing in the 2006 independent drama A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS.
Remembers the director, “I thought, who the hell is that kid? Then I saw him in DISTURBIA and again
I thought his performance was amazing. Then came TRANSFORMERS, and even as he was
surrounded by special effects and robots, Shia managed to create a compelling, three-dimensional
character. So I thought he was really interesting and it would be great to see him do something more
unexpected. Shia had the range to play Jack, who experiences every single emotion, from rage and
despair to total joy and happiness. And I could easily see him as a young man in the Prohibition era. He
was very interested, he was very passionate when I met him and continued to be throughout, so I knew
this was the guy. And I am pretty particular about casting.”
Meanwhile, LaBeouf had been looking for opportunities to work with acclaimed English actor
Tom Hardy. The two had struck up a friendship after LaBeouf sent Hardy a fan email about his
arresting performance in the crime biopic BRONSON, and had begun forwarding scripts back and forth
to one another. LaBeouf sent Bondurant’s novel to Hardy, followed by Cave’s screenplay. Hardy loved
them both, and proved to be ideal casting for the role of quiet, fearless and fearsome Forrest Bondurant.
Hillcoat was also keen to work with Hardy, whose reputation as an exceptional talent preceded
him. “I kept hearing about this incredible guy called Tom Hardy. I started watching his work, and I was
awestruck -he was amazing. I could also see Tom and Shia as brothers. And Tom’s take on the
character was quite audacious -he saw Forrest as the matriarch and the patriarch of the family, in the
wake of their parents’ deaths. He wanted to explore Forrest’s softer side and play him in a quiet,
contained way. By taking on the roles of the mother and the father of this family, he was really
responsible and very caring, especially towards his brothers. But because of the time and the culture, he
is unable to articulate it. Tom’s approach was very much about the different emotional textures there
were to Forrest and how distilled and controlled he was. It was a unique and fascinating attitude towards
the character,” Hillcoat notes.
With LaBeouf and Hardy in place, the casting process steamed forward. Attracting financing,
however, was proving to be a struggle, says producer Lucy Fisher “Our material was intrinsically
original and idiosyncratic. It was a portrait of three brothers, violent outlaws with fierce family ties; at
the same time, it was lyrical and romantic. It didn’t fall into any easy category.”
In the end, it take two years of dedicated work before Red Wagon found the creative,
enthusiastic production support they were looking for. In 2011, Annapurna Pictures, a new production
company headed by Megan Ellison, and Benaroya Pictures, headed by Michael Benaroya, signed on to
finance LAWLESS and produce with Wick and Fisher.
Finding the right combination of actors had been a complicated and lengthy process, but
Hillcoat, Fisher, and Wick agree that each of the actors who would ultimately bring the Bondurant tale
to life was the perfect artist for the job.
“It’s a weird thing about films; it’s almost like alchemy,” Hillcoat muses. “You’re playing
around with all these ingredients and sometimes there’s this combination that finally comes together
that’s the perfect one. There were earlier combinations that would have made a different film and would
have been amazing and special too, I’m sure. But I do feel like we found the ideal group in the end. It’s
tricky with an ensemble because it’s a real balancing act so as soon as one person drops out, it may not
be just a matter of replacing them. It’s the combination of people, how they work against the different
energies and qualities that they have.”
Australian actor Jason Clarke completes the sibling trio as Howard, the eldest Bondurant. Often
drunk and woefully unreliable, Howard is outsized in every way, perhaps a reaction to an inner turmoil
he is ill-equipped to handle.
“In terms of the violence in him, everything with Howard was projected outward, kind of like a
tsunami; whereas with Forrest it was completely controlled and internal. They were polar opposites as a
force and Jason completely identified all of that within his character. At one point, the script had
changed the eldest brother from Howard to Forrest, and Jason put forward a strong case for Howard as
the firstborn. And it had to do with Howard’s sense of guilt and shame. Because in those times and in
that world, the eldest brother would become the patriarch of the family after the father passed away. But
Howard was kind of a fuck-up, this messed up guy that couldn’t really occupy that position. It’s
agonizing for him, the fact that he’s not there for his brothers. And these brothers really love each other
and would do anything for each other. We wanted to explore those dynamics and we changed the script
for Jason and cast him because of his argument,” Hillcoat explains.
As an Australian, Clarke was deeply familiar with both Hillcoat and Cave’s work, and was eager
to work with them. One of several Australians in front of and behind the camera, he did not know
Hillcoat or Cave prior to joining the movie but of course was a big fan and student of both.
“It was just a great script. And also being Australian, I am of course a longtime Nick Cave fan
and I knew of John’s work -‘The Proposition’ and ‘Ghosts of the Civil Dead’ -and even his original
projects from his film school days. He was always a guy who I thought had a unique, visual voice.
After I read the script, I thought, yep, these guys are going to do this well. It’s a dense, fascinating piece
of storytelling and these are the right guys to make it. And then when I found out the caliber of the other
people involved -it was a no brainer,” Clarke says.
Clarke’s expectation of Hillcoat’s process and style happily proved to be true. And Clarke had a
personal connection to the filmmakers and the material.
“His visual sense is really particular and he is a gentle open man who is constantly looking and
thinking in a unique way. Plus they shot ‘The Proposition’ in a place called Winton where I was born.
Not many people have been there, let alone shot there,” he says. In fact, Clarke drew on his life in
Winton to inform his character.
“Jason came from the country. He grew up in the outback and was used to rural violence, which
he drew on and worked out in so many ways … like he had leg weights on to help give Howard this heft
as he walked. He explored moonshine -as they all did except for Tom. Tom is more controlled than that,
true to his character,” Hillcoat notes.
Clarke believes that Howard considers his relationship with his brothers to be the only thing of
value in his life; for this haunted man, his love for his brothers is his only redeeming quality. He credits
his onscreen ‘brothers” LaBeouf and Hardy, for helping him make the fraternal bonds real.
“Howard has a story and a conflict that can only be answered in the film, not off screen, not by
some big event but by what’s going on with him and his brothers,” Clarke explains. “And my
relationship with Shia and Tom, on and off-camera, was great from day zip. We are the type of actors
who develop character through our interactions. As soon as I was onboard, Shia sent out some texts and
pictures and it was just a let’s get stuck in it attitude, which is how I like to work. Tom is a very
ferocious actor, in terms of his pursuit of character and truth and the choices that he makes. Both of
them give you so much to work with that it makes your job easier.”
Romantic love is also key to the story of LAWLESS, which lyrically depicts the longing and
tenderness that is a much a part of the brothers’ world as violence and ferocity. Jessica Chastain plays
the enigmatic Maggie, who breezes into the Bondurants’ world like an exotic bird assured of finding her
place. But Maggie is fleeing her own troubled past, which ultimately will crash into her new life.
Maggie was a tricky role to cast; like Forrest, she is keenly observant and chooses when and
what she will reveal. Hillcoat describes what he was looking for: “We needed to find a Maggie that had
a real maturity, who was a real woman and complicated. Because she has a history that we don’t really
know about -she comes from Chicago, she’s damaged in a way that Forrest is also damaged and that’s
why they gravitate to one another. So we needed to find someone who had that emotional depth to
convey that connection without too much being said. She also needed incredible strength because in fact
she is the strongest character in the film -she’s stronger than all the brothers. So we needed someone
who had real gravitas, who could stand up to all these alpha males but who is also appealing and has this
warmth.” Benoit Delhomme, Hillcoat’s cinematographer, suggested that he meet with Jessica Chastain,
at the time mostly known for her stage work. A single meeting was all it took to convince the director
he had found his Maggie. After watching some of her film work, he knew he had struck gold.
Chastain was already a Hillcoat admirer and she was immediately hooked by LAWLESS. “I
thought the script was dynamic and shocking and great,” she remarks. “What really drew me to the
character was the love story between Maggie and Forrest. I liked the idea that they were two damaged
people who have one shot at happiness. That was very moving. ”Having won the role, Chastain
immersed herself in research, with topics ranging from Chicago gun molls to the Depression and
Chastain shared most of her screen time with the three brothers and enjoyed them immensely.
“The casting is amazing. The three of them look like brothers to me and even act like them. They play-
fought and joked -really stupid ‘guy’ jokes -and it was wonderful to see their dynamic together. Shia
was so prepared all the time, such a professional, it was really exciting to see him in this role. I worked
with Jason before and he is fantastic as Howard. It’s such a huge metamorphosis, I’ve never seen him do
anything like this. And Tom, who I have most of my scenes with, for me, it was just another level of
Mia Wasikowska plays Bertha, a member of the Dunkards, a conservative Christian sect, who
nonetheless attracts Jack Bondurant’s attention and affection. She eventually responds in kind, in
complete defiance of her family and clan.
“I liked Bertha because she was a really independent spirit and I admired the journey that she
went on. And the creative team was so incredible, from John to the cast and crew. John is a great actors’
director. He is so collaborative and trusting and so open to hearing all of your ideas and everything you
have to offer,” Wasikowska says. Besides researching the Dunkard and Mennonite religious sects, the
actress took mandolin lessons to prepare for her role.
Hillcoat had met Wasikowska years before through mutual friends and had long been impressed
by her talent and uncanny maturity. Like her onscreen romantic interest, she possessed both the talent
and look necessary for the role. “Mia had the perfect face and bearing for someone in that religious sect.
She had studied ballet for a long time so she had that elegant, strict posture; She is a really skilled
actress with a immense range.,” Hillcoat says.
The influence of these two female characters, Maggie and Bertha, and their relationships with the
Bondurants, was pronounced in Bondurant’s novel and became a critical theme in LAWLESS. “I like
the contrast of having strong women in a gangster movie; that’s not very common in contemporary
cinema,” Hillcoat observes.. “The relationships in the story were very special and fresh. The
relationship of the three brothers, the relationship between Forrest and Maggie was very complicated,
unusual and very modern. Whereas Jack and Bertha were timeless, all about youth and innocence. And
there was the fact of Bertha, a girl from a strict, closed religious community, getting involved with wild
bootleggers – it was fascinating.” Hillcoat explains.
As Jack seeks to prove himself in the moonshine racket, he relies on the mechanical ingenuity of
his childhood friend Cricket. Played by rising young star Dane DeHaan, Cricket is gentle soul who is
effectively Bondurant brother number four. Like his friend Jack, Cricket has an entrepreneurial spirit
and a progressive attitude about the moonshine trade. His drive and ingenuity is even more impressive
because he has suffered permanent disfigurement from a childhood case of rickets. To get a feel for the
kind of pain and obstacles Cricket must experience every day, DeHaan spoke to a doctor about rickets
and decided to literally walk in Cricket’s shoes. “I felt I needed shoes that would make it look like my
feet were flush on the floor even though my legs were bent. So we had a lot of costume fittings to craft
these boots and make them accurate. When I wore them, my feet on the inside were on an angle but
when you see them on screen, it will look like my feet are flat on the ground. Consequently, when I
walked around all day wearing the boots, my feet were at an angle. When I was doing my scenes, they
were completely crooked and I was putting my weight on the wrong parts of my feet. At the end of a
work day, I was in a lot of pain -I was definitely feeling Cricket’s pain.”
Hillcoat credits his longtime and “fantastic casting director” Francine Maisler with introducing
him to DeHaan -and praises DeHaan for elevating the character beyond a mere caricature. “Dane’s
completely nailed the part in his audition tape. It was just like, ‘oh, there’s Cricket.’ He had a very hard
role to pull off. The hillbilly character is so entrenched in popular culture that there is real baggage to it
and Dane had the brunt of it. There was the fact that his character had rickets; the fact that he had this
huge spirit and was actually extremely bright. I remember someone talking about Appalachia, which
has a long history of incredible poverty and is very isolated from the rest of the world and yet there are
people there who with the right education and opportunities, they could have done extraordinary things they
DID extraordinary things within that world. And Cricket is one of those people; he basically
invents Nascar. Nascar actually came out of the running of the moonshine and outrunning the law.
One might think at first glance Cricket was insubstantial and dumb, but Dane beautifully conveyed
Cricket’s heart and his intelligence,” Hillcoat says.
LAWLESS marks the third collaboration between Hillcoat, Cave and their fellow Australian,
Guy Pearce, following THE PROPOSITION and THE ROAD. Pearce was delighted to rejoin his
colleagues, particularly with a role as juicy as Charlie Rakes, the corrupt, sadistic Chicago lawman who
is determined to break the Bondurant clan.
The actor appreciated Cave’s stylistic flair in creating Rakes. “In typical Nick Cave fashion,
Rakes was a character with very specific quirks and details. He’s very particular in his judgment of
people, which shows when he first arrives in the town. His disdain for people like the Bondurant boys
was a wonderful thing to play. I think he oozes utter contempt for them and their mere existence,”
Rakes is a fastidious, narcissistic fellow and his very particular look reflects it. It included
pristine attire, a massive part separating shiny, slicked-back ebony hair, and a distinct and disturbing
lack of eyebrows. This bold appearance also exemplifies the working relationship between Hillcoat and
Pearce. “I did have quite a hand in the look of Rakes,” Pearce allows. “Obviously, it was a collaborative
process. John is very interested in making characters memorable and he has a wonderful imagination, so
it was satisfying working with him on this character. I feel the haircut, the shaved eyebrows and the
dying of the hair were all great ways to express the vanity of the man. Rakes also has a disdain for all
things grubby and dirty in a physical sense, and yet is so disgusting as a personality.”
Both Hillcoat and Pearce relished the notion of Pearce playing such a nefarious, complicated
character. “I loved the idea of Guy playing a villain and I knew he was capable of it -at this stage in his
career, he is capable of playing anything.”
Somewhere in the zone between good guy and bad guy lies Chicago gangster Floyd Banner, who
is both a foe and a friend to the Bondurants. Given that Floyd Banner is a fleeting presence in the film,
Hillcoat required an actor who could convey the charisma and bravado that would impress a young
bootlegger like Jack – and he counted himself lucky when Gary Oldman signed on for the role.
“Gary Oldman is one of the great actors of his generation. He’s incredibly precise actor and yet
he also has this undeniable power. I was trying to think of a Chicago gangster who would have this as
well as have a real pizzazz, which Gary certainly possesses. I hadn’t seen him do a character quite like
that before, and I like to try to find people who nail the character but also bring something fresh to it.
Gary lived up to every bit and we were all very excited to have him,” Hillcoat says.
Fans of Hillcoat and Cave will notice Floyd’s lieutenant Gummy Walsh, played by Noah Taylor,
who last worked with the filmmakers on THE PROPOSITION. Cave himself makes an appearance in
LAWLESS as a gangster. Unfortunately his bootlegging days -and scenes in the movie -are numbered
LAWLESS shot for 43 days around Peachtree City, Georgia, a suburb outside of Atlanta. The
location proved to be a boon for the production for many reasons, including a broad spectrum of
buildings dating back to the Prohibition era or earlier. Notes executive producer Dany Wolf, “Sadly,
there has never been a huge economic rebound in most of the small towns in Georgia, so it was fairly
easy for us to find buildings that existed from the late 20s, 30s. A lot of them were in good condition
and a lot of them had been abandoned. We really had our choice of different properties.” The Cotton
Pickin’ Fairgrounds, a rarely used facility in Gay, Georgia, became a kind of backlot for the production,
offering a wealth of unrenovated period buildings.
Another notable location included the Red Oak Creek Bridge, the longest covered bridge in
Georgia. Built in the 1840s by freed slave Horace King, it is still in use today and provided a stark
backdrop for an operatic shoot out in the movie. The historic town of Haralson, Georgia became Rocky
Mountain, Virginia, where an awestruck Jack first glimpses his idol Floyd Banner. Cricket’s Aunt
Winnie’s home was an actual rickety wooden cabin that was so period-correct that it also contained a
cache of clothing from the 1920s and 1930s. Costume designer Margot Wilson salvaged the garments
and used them as wardrobe for some of the extras.
Production designer Chris Kennedy built the main set, Blackwater Station, a rambling wooden
building where the Bondurants’ live and conduct business, legal and otherwise. He based his design on
a photograph taken in the Virginia Mountains, showing an old barn that had been turned into a gas
station. “I was quite taken by the notion of the transition from the old world to the new,” Kennedy
explains. He imagined how the developments of the 19th and 20th Centuries would have changed the
way Blackwater Station was used. “My idea was that this family has been living here for over 100
years, and initially the area was very remote. Then the road got put through, with some passing traffic,
so they started a blacksmith shop and then it became an overnight inn. Then as automobiles became
more common, it became a gas station and a general store. Of course the Bondurants run a moonshine
operation, so it’s a front for all of that.”
Kennedy’s main color palette was muted earth tones, punctuated with occasional with pops of
color. The goal was be true to the period as well as the story. “It’s all natural timber and earth tones;
newspapers, which the Bondurants use as wallpaper, brings a little color. The idea was that we’re in a
world that is really hand-made, from timber and found materials sourced from the location. The strong
primary colors we see, whether in the form of a gas pump, a red sign or colored magazine pages stuck
on a wall, those represent the civilized world on the outside,” Kennedy says.
Photography was key inspiration when it came to the look of the film. Given the film’s setting
during the Great Depression, the photography of the WPA (Works Progress Administration) was a
natural resource. But it wasn’t the well-known black and white images by Walker Evans, Dorothea
Lange that most influenced the filmmakers, says Hillcoat. “The real turning point for us came when we
discovered a book called ‘Bound for Glory: America in Color,’ which features color photography from
the Great Depression. Another key reference was the great Southern photographer William Eggleston
and the organic types of colors he used -he is a master of color photography. Overall, the look of the
film owes much more to photography than film.”
They hewed closely to the colors that were prevalent at the time, whether in clothing, advertising
or exterior paint. “It was a more limited palette simply because the manufacturing capacity didn’t
exist,” Hillcoat explains. “So in advertising, there’s a technical reason that certain colors became more
familiar, the same with the color of clothes. It was a more limited palette because of what they could
print or dye,” Hillcoat notes.
Much of the color in several scenes, in fact, comes from Jessica Chastain’s Maggie. In vibrant
crimsons, purples and turquoises, with her porcelain skin and red hair, she is an exotic bird who flies
into the Bondurants’ lives. Says costume designer Margot Wilson, “Maggie was the flower who comes
into the story, who introduces another world into the brothers’ lives. Jessica’s costumes were informed
by her beautiful red hair, and we picked strong colors that were completely different than the boys’
colors. She was a wonderful canvas.”
Wilson created distinct looks for each of the brothers. “I wanted to set the Bondurant boys in a
world of their own, as opposed to the gangsters or other bootleggers. So their colors were very earthy,
quiet colors that worked with the landscape and the sets. I set their wardrobe in the late 1920s even
though the film is set in the 1930s because they live in the country and they’re not the kind to follow
fashion. Jack starts out in the backwoods but he is on a mission to make more money and improve
himself. So his clothes change as he becomes closer to the gangsters of the time. Howard’s just
Howard; He’s drunk and pretty much stays the same. I put Forrest in a cardigan; it has a quietness and
an old feel about it that reflected Forrest’s stillness quite well.”
In his sharply tailored suits and ever-present gloves, Pearce’s villainous Rakes stands out like
the intruder he is. Says Wilson, “Rakes is very self-conscious about what he wears and what he looks
like. I wanted a very angular silhouette for Rakes, to make the separation clear. He is not from this
world and he has come to destroy it.”
As Bertha, Wasikowska was costumed in the nondescript dresses, bonnets and aprons worn by
the Dunkards. That finally changes when LaBeouf’s Jack gives her a yellow dress.
Remarks the actress, “Margot’s amazing. I always say the costumes are the last piece of the
puzzle to figure out who your character is and it really gave me an idea of who the Dunkards are, how
they lived. And the yellow dress was beautiful -I loved it. I would wear that dress myself in life.”
Hillcoat and his cinematographer Benoit Delhomme shot the film digitally, with the Alexa
camera -a first for both of them. “Benoit and I jumped off a cliff together on this which is shooting
with the Arri Alexa. There’s been this quick kind of shift and we had a choice of being one of the last to
shoot on film or one of the first to shoot this new camera,” says Hillcoat. “The big turning point was
that we had a lot of night scenes and a very tight schedule. We didn’t want to light it at night; we
wanted to see the detail in the woods. The amazing thing about the Alexa -we did side by side tests -is
that you have this incredible latitude between stops and you can film beyond what even our eyes can
see. Plus it had a softer quality than the other digital cameras.”
Although the film is set in the 1930s, Hillcoat sees parallels between that era and this one,
particularly in the Bondurants’ fierce independence and their distrust of the government, personified by
the new “law,” Deputy Rakes. “There are many parallels -it was a time of immense unrest. There’s the
economic Great Depression and whatever we have now. There were environmental upheavals; there
were devastating dust storms, which we reference in the film. There was an incredible imbalance
between the rich and the poor. I’d say the corruption and the helplessness of people trying to do the
right thing and getting stomped on by greater, more powerful, cynical forces is even more pronounced
now. The introduction of modern technology; now it’s the digital and Internet age but then it was the
machine gun, the fast car. It was the beginning of the modern media, with the influence of the radio.
Then, there was this crazy law called Prohibition, which is not unlike the insane situation with Mexico
and the cartels -in terms of who is benefiting by outlawing certain substances, who is controlling it and
who is making the money,” Hillcoat says.
One of the ways Hillcoat and Cave underscore the similarities between then and now is through
the music. They mash-up genres and artists and periods and create a signature sound for film.
“The hills of Virginia were full of poor white AND black people. Which is why I think the music from
that era is so rich -there’s this interesting cross-pollination between the blues and gospel of the African
American people with the country music of that area, which was Scots Irish,” remarks Hillcoat. “So we
have Ralph Stanley, a country bluegrass singer, singing ‘White Light, White Heat’ by the Velvet
Underground, which is about drugs. We sort of looked at moonshine like meth is right now. We have
Emmylou Harris sing ‘The Snake Song’ by Townes Van Zandt, which I thought was Forrest’s song.
He’s kind of like a snake but it’s a love song -he’s got that contrast. We deliberately took musicians like
Ralph Stanley and Emmylou Harris to sing songs that aren’t standards from that era but have qualities
that are reminiscent. It’s a dynamic, eclectic mix -old Nashville people combined with old punks. It’s
got a raw, kinetic energy. Not unlike the Bondurants.”
ABOUT THE CAST
Shia LaBeouf (Jack)
Shia LaBeouf has quickly become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actors. His natural talent and
raw energy have secured his place as one of Hollywood’s leading men.
LaBeouf starred in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON, which marked his third turn as the
enterprising and heroic Sam Witwicky audiences have come to know and love. From the original
TRANSFORMERS, released in 2007 (which earned over $700 around the world in theatrical release
and became the highest grossing DVD of the year); to the second installment in 2009,
TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, (which garnered global receipts upwards of $836
million,) Sam continuously finds himself in the middle of a life and death struggle between warring
robot legions on earth.
LaBeouf recently completed production on the political thriller THE COMPANY YOU KEEP, opposite
Robert Redford, who also directs. The thriller is centered on a former Weather Underground activist
who goes on the run from a journalist who has discovered his identity. LaBeouf is currently in Romania
shooting THE NECESSARY DEATH OF CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN, opposite Evan Rachel Wood.
LaBeouf starred opposite Michael Douglas in the WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS.
Directed by Oliver Stone, LaBeouf played a young investment banker who forges an alliance with the
infamous 80s trader Gordon Gekko, in order to stop a hostile takeover. In 2008, he starred in the highly
anticipated fourth installment of Steven Spielberg’s INDIANA JONES series, INDIANA JONES AND
THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL, opposite Harrison Ford; teamed with director D.J.
Caruso’s for a second time on the thriller EAGLE EYE, co-starring Michelle Monaghan, Rosario
Dawson and Michael Chiklis; and appeared with Julie Christie and John Hurt in the Anthony Minghellascripted
segment of NEW YORK I LOVE YOU, a romantic anthology.
Additional film credits include the popular thriller DISTURBIA; the Oscar® nominated animated film
SURF’S UP; A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS, which won Best Ensemble Cast at the
Sundance Film Festival; Emilio Estevez’s acclaimed drama BOBBY; THE GREATEST GAME EVER
PLAYED; I, ROBOT; CONSTANTINE; CHARLIE’S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE; and HBO’s
“Project Greenlight” feature THE BATTLE OF SHAKER HEIGHTS, produced by Matt Damon and
Ben Affleck. In 2003 he made his feature film debut in the comedy HOLES, based on the best-selling
book by Louis Sacher.
In 2007, he was named the Star of Tomorrow by the ShoWest convention of the National Association of
Theater Owners, and in February 2008, he was awarded the BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award, which
was voted for by the British general public. In addition, he was nominated for four Teen Choice Awards
for TRANSFORMERS, winning the Breakout Male Award, the Teen Choice Award for Movie Actor in
a Horror/Thriller for his performance in DISTURBIA, as well as a Scream Award. In 2004, he was
nominated for the Young Artists Award for Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film and the
Breakthrough Male Performance at the MTV Movie Awards for his performance in HOLES.
On television, LaBeouf garnered much praise from critics everywhere for his portrayal of Louis Stevens
on the Disney Channel’s original series “Even Stevens.” In 2003, he earned a Daytime Emmy award for
Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series for his work on the highly rated family show.
Tom Hardy (Forrest)
Tom Hardy has quickly become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actors. He most recently
appeared in Christopher Nolan’s critically hailed INCEPTION, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph
Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Ken Watanabe, Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard and
Ellen Page. The film centers on a corporate espionage thief who secretly extracts valuable information
from the unconscious mind of his targets while they are dreaming. The film was released in July 2010
and became the 24th highest grossing film of all time.
Hardy rejoined Nolan on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. He plays the villain role of Bane opposite
Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Gary Oldman.
Other films include WARRIOR, opposite Joel Edgerton, the story of two estranged brothers facing the
fight of a lifetime, an inspirational action drama from director Gavin O’Connor (MIRACLE); also THIS
MEANS WAR, directed by McG. The story centers on two CIA agents and best friends (Hardy and
Chris Pine) who fight over the affections of Reese Witherspoon’s character. In addition, Hardy stars in
the Cold War thriller, TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY with Colin Firth and Gary Oldman.
In 2009, Hardy won a British Independent Film Award for Best Actor for his work in the title role of the
2008 thriller BRONSON. His film credits also include Guy Ritchie’s action comedy ROCKNROLLA,
with Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, Idris Elba, Mark Strong and Tom Wilkinson; Sofia Coppola’s
MARIE ANTOINETTE; and the crime thriller LAYER CAKE, with Daniel Craig.
Hardy hails from England and began his screen career when he was plucked straight from London’s
Drama Centre for a role in HBO’s award-winning World War II miniseries “Band of Brothers,”
executive produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. He went on to appear in the features BLACK
HAWK DOWN, directed by Ridley Scott; STAR TREK: NEMESIS; Paul McGuigan’s THE
RECKONING, alongside Willem Dafoe and Paul Bettany; and DOT THE I, from first time
writer/director Matthew Parkhill.
On television, Hardy earned a BAFTA TV nomination for Best Actor for his performance in the HBO
movie “Stuart: A Life Backwards.” He also portrayed Heathcliff in the 2009 ITV production of
“Wuthering Heights.” Additional credits include the telefilms OLIVER TWIST, A FOR
ANDROMEDA, SWEENEY TODD, GIDEON’S DAUGHTER and COLDITZ, as well as the BBC
miniseries “The Virgin Queen,” in which he starred as Queen Elizabeth’s lover Robert Dudley.
Hardy has also starred in numerous plays in London’s West End, including “Blood” and “In Arabia
We’d All Be Kings,” winning the Outstanding Newcomer Award at the 2003 Evening Standard Theatre
Awards for his work in both productions. For the latter play, he was also nominated for a 2004 Olivier
Award. In 2005, Hardy starred in the London premiere of Brett C. Leonard’s “Roger and Vanessa,”
under the direction of Robert Delamere. He and Delamere also run a theater workshop/gym called
Shotgun at London’s Theatre 503.
Jason Clarke (Howard)
Jason Clarke has emerged in the U.S. with a slate of performances in both television and film, having
most recently been cast in a coveted role in Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of THE GREAT GATSBY.
Clarke will star opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, and Isla Fisher as
George Wilson, the cuckolded husband of Myrtle (Fisher) and the man who brings the story to its
climax. The film is set to be released by Warner Bros. in November 2012.
Clarke can also be seen in TEXAS KILLING FIELDS in September when the film premieres at the
Venice Film Festival, followed by a release in October.
Clarke first came to America’s attention in the critically acclaimed dramatic Showtime series,
“Brotherhood” where he played Tommy Caffee, an ambitious Rhode Island politician who navigates the
treacherous worlds of local politics and organized crime. He most recently starred in Shawn Ryan’s
(“The Shield”) acclaimed crime-drama, “The Chicago Code” on FOX. Clarke starred as Veteran
Chicago Police Detective Jarek Wysocki who leads the special unit fighting against the corruption.
Previously, Clarke also starred in several high profile films including Michael Mann’s PUBLIC
ENEMIES opposite Johnny Depp; Oliver Stone’s WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS,
opposite Shia Labeouf and Michael Douglas; and Paul W.S. Anderson’s DEATH RACE.
In the world of independent films, Clarke also starred in Jada Pinkett Smith's directorial debut, THE
HUMAN CONTRACT; David Schwimmer’s TRUST, opposite Clive Owen and Catherine Keener;
YELLING TO THE SKY, directed by Victoria Mahoney; and SWERVE, directed by Craig Lahiff.
In his native Australia, Clarke starred in Phillip Noyce's RABBIT PROOF FENCE, as well as BETTER
THAN SEX and PARK STREET. In television, Clarke worked opposite Geoffrey Rush in the series
Clarke graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne and also has extensive credits in
theater, both as an actor and a director.
Jessica Chastain (Maggie)
Jessica Chastain has emerged as one of Hollywood’s most sought after actors of her generation.
Born and raised in Northern California, Chastain attended the Juilliard School in New York City. While
there she starred in “Romeo and Juliet” and went on to receive glowing reviews for her performances in
“The Cherry Orchard,” opposite Michelle Williams at Williamstown; and Richard Nelson’s “Rodney’s
Wife,” opposite David Strathairn off-Broadway at Playwright’s Horizons.
This year she is a lending her voice to DreamWorks Animation’s MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE’S
MOST WANTED, releasing on June 12th. Chastain will voice the character of Gia the Jaguar.
Chastain starred opposite Brad Pitt and Sean Penn in the drama TREE OF LIFE, written and directed by
Terrence Malick for River Road Productions. The story concerns the loss of innocence as seen through
the eyes of the son of the characters played by Chastain and Pitt. The film was shot in Texas in early
2008 and released in May 2011.
Chastain also starred as the female lead in Miramax’s THE DEBT, alongside Helen Mirren and Sam
Worthington. Chastain is an Israeli Mossad agent sent on a mission to apprehend the WWII Nazi
surgeon from the concentration camp who tortured Jewish prisoners. Production took place in Budapest
and Tel Aviv.
Chastain can be seen in Ami Mann’s feature film, TEXAS KILLING FIELDS. This psychological
thriller is based on true events that took place in a small Pennsylvania town in 1973. In this project
Jessica stars alongside Sam Worthington and Chloe Moretz.
Chastain is best known for her role as Celia Foote, an insecure Southern lady constantly trying to fit in
with the high society women who reject her on Dreamworks’ THE HELP, adapted from the best-selling
Kathryn Stockett novel. The story centers on black maids working in white households in the early
1960s in Jackson, Miss. Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard and Octavia Spencer are
among the cast. The film released in August 2011. Chastain can also be seen playing the character
Virgilia in CORIOLANUS, a film adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy. The film, shot in Belgrade,
Serbia in 2010, also stars Gerard Butler and Ralph Fiennes.
In 2009, Chastain played the role of Desmonda in the classic play “Othello,” opposite Phillip Seymour
Hoffman. Directed by Peter Sellars, the project ran beginning in Vienna, then Germany and finishing in
At the senior class Juilliard showcase, Chastain landed a coveted talent deal with Emmy award winning
executive producer and writer John Wells, the show runner of “E.R.” and “The West Wing” and
producer of WHITE OLEANDER. After completing a pilot for John Wells and director PJ Hogan (MY
BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING), Chastain returned to the stage in the Los Angeles Wadsworth Theatre
production of “Salome,” where Academy Award winners Estelle Parsons (director) and Al Pacino handpicked
her to play the title role opposite Pacino Continuing the collaboration, producer Barry Navidi
commenced the film version, WILD SALOME, directed by Pacino, where they filmed behind the scenes
and portions of the play’s production.
Chastain’s stage work in “Salome” received enormous critical attention and led to her landing the
dynamic title role in Dan Ireland’s JOLENE, opposite Rupert Friend, Frances Fisher, Dermot Mulroney
and Michael Vartan. This adaptation of the E.L. Doctorow (“Ragtime”) short story “Jolene” depicts a
young woman’s odyssey of relationships over the course of ten years. Chastain won the Best Actress
Award at the 2008 Seattle Film Festival for this role.
In 2011, Chastain received several nominations and awards for her work in THE HELP, TAKE
SHELTER, TREE OF LIFE, THE DEBT, CORIOLANUS and TEXAS KILLING FIELDS. Her
nominations include the LA Film Critics, BAFTA, Critics Choice, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild
as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for THE HELP.
Chastain currently lives in California.
Mia Wasikowska (Bertha)
In a short amount of time, Mia Wasikowska has established herself as a rising star of the big screen. A
trained ballerina turned actress, Wasikowska has been challenging herself as a performer since the age
Wasikowska made her debut to US audiences as the tormented and suicidal teen Sophie in HBO’s series
“In Treatment.” Directed by Rodrigo Garcia, “In Treatment” focused on the relationship between a
therapist (Gabriel Byrne) and his patients. In recognition of her performance, Wasikowska was honored
by the Los Angeles based organization Australians in Film (whose Host Committee includes Cate
Blanchett, Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, among others) with the Breakthrough
Actress Award. The series was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Drama Series.
In January 2009, Wasikowska was seen in a supporting role in the film DEFIANCE. Based on a true
story, three Jewish brothers (Daniel Craig, Liev Schrieber and Jamie Bell) escape from Nazi-occupied
Poland into the Belarusan forest where they encounter a village of Russian resistance fighters.
Wasikowska plays Chaya, a young villager who builds a relationship with one of the brothers. The war
film, directed by Ed Zwick was distributed by Paramount Vantage.
In October 2009, Wasikowska appeared in a supporting role in Fox Searchlight’s film, AMELIA,
starring Hilary Swank and Richard Gere for director Mira Nair. Wasikowska portrayed Elinor, a young
fan of Earhart whose motivations for building a relationship with Earhart are questioned by her reliable
friend George (Gere). During the same month, Wasikowska shared the screen with Hal Holbrook in the
independent picture THAT EVENING SUN, directed by Scott Teems. Wasikowska earned an
Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as a naïve
In 2010, Wasikowska starred as the title character in ALICE IN WONDERLAND, Tim Burton’s
retelling of the Lewis Carroll classic. The Disney live and 3-D animated film co-starred Johnny Depp,
Anne Hathaway, Michael Sheen and Alan Rickman. The same summer, Wasikowska co-starred in the
Academy Award-nominated film THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT with Annette Bening, Julianne Moore
and Mark Ruffalo. The Lisa Cholodenko film was also recognized with an Independent Spirit Award
and Golden Globe Award for Best Film. In the Focus Features film, Wasikowska portrayed the teenage
daughter of lesbian parents who sets out to find her sperm donor father.
In September 2011, Wasikowska tackled the lead role in JANE EYRE, director Cary Fukunaga’s screen
adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel. The film released to worldwide critical acclaim, praising
the performances of Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender (as Rochester).
In May 2011, Wasikowska starred in another lead role in the Gus Van San-directed film RESTLESS
alongside Henry Hopper. Produced by Imagine Entertainment with Bryce Dallas Howard, Wasikowska
is Annabel, a terminally ill girl who falls in love with a death-obsessed teenage boy. The script was
penned by first-time screenwriter Jason Lew. An official selection of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival,
RESTLESS was released by Sony Classics.
Wasikowska ended the year co-starring opposite Glenn Close and Janet McTeer in the Roadside
Attractions drama ALBERT NOBBS. The period drama gave Wasikowska the opportunity to re-team
with her “In Treatment” director Rodrigo Garcia.
Guy Pearce (Charlie Rakes)
From an early age, Guy Pearce was drawn to acting. He first learned his craft as a member of various
theatrical groups in his hometown of Geelong, Victoria in Australia. Within days of graduating high
school, he landed his first professional acting job on the popular Australian TV show “Neighbours.”
More theatre and television roles followed but it wasn’t until his remarkable performance in Stephan
Elliott’s international cult hit THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT, that
his talents were truly recognized.
Since then, Pearce has emerged as one of the cinema’s most versatile and respected talents. He stars in
Ridley Scott’s upcoming epic sci-fi thriller PROMETHEUS, with Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron
and Noomi Rapace. He has starred in such films as the Oscar-winning L.A. CONFIDENTIAL,
MEMENTO, THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, THE TIME MACHINE, TRAITOR, THE
PROPOSITION, FIRST SNOW and FACTORY GIRL.
More recently, he appeared in the Oscar-winners THE HURT LOCKER and THE KING’S SPEECH, as
well as DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, LOCKOUT, and the Australian crime thriller ANIMAL
KINGDOM. In 2011 Pearce won and Emmy® award for his portrayal of Monte Beragon in Todd
Haynes’ adaptation of "Mildred Pierce" for HBO. He has twice worked with John Hillcoat, on THE
PROPOSITION and THE ROAD. Additional film credits include BEDTIME STORIES, with Adam
Sandler; DEATH DEFYING ACTS, with Catherine Zeta Jones; SEEKING JUSTICE, with Nicholas
Cage; 33 POSTCARDS; and IN HER SKIN, alongside Sam Neill and Miranda Otto. He recently
completed writer/director Drake Doremus’ next untitled feature, opposite Amy Ryan and Felicity Jones.
Gary Oldman (Floyd Banner)
A worldwide presence in major motion pictures for twenty years, Gary Oldman is known to millions as
Sirius Black (Harry Potter’s Godfather), Commissioner Jim Gordon (Batman’s crime-fighting partner),
Dracula, Beethoven, Lee Harvey Oswald, Joe Orton, Sid Vicious, and also the terrorist who hijacked
Harrison Ford’s AIR FORCE ONE. He also starred in Luc Besson’s THE PROFESSIONAL and THE
FIFTH ELEMENT; in THE BOOK OF ELI; and also as Dr. Zachary Smith in LOST IN SPACE.
Highly regarded as one of foremost actors of his generation, and an internationally known, iconic figure,
he has the distinction of appearing in more successful films than any other artist spanning the past
eighteen years, and additionally has appeared in more than one of the top ten highest grossing films in
history including, not one, but BOTH of the most successful film franchises in history. Oldman is the
recipient of the 2011 Empire Icon Award, awarded for a lifetime of outstanding achievement.
He has appeared in the following HARRY POTTER films: HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER
OF AZKABAN, HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, HARRY POTTER AND THE
ORDER OF THE PHOENIX and HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART II. He
also appeared in the Christopher Nolan’s BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT, and stars in
the upcoming THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.
As master spy George Smiley, Oldman creates yet another acclaimed iconic character in the film version
of John Le Carre’s TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY, a performance which earned him an Oscar
nomination as Best Actor, and also a British Academy Award nomination as Best Actor.
Oldman began his acting career in 1979, appearing in a number of plays and working from 1985 through
1989 at London’s Royal Court. His early BBC films were Mike Leigh’s MEANTIME and THE FIRM,
by the late Alan Clarke. Feature films were Alex Cox’s SID AND NANCY; Stephen Frears’s PRICK
UP YOUR EARS; Tom Stoppard’s ROSENCRANTZ AND GILDENSTERN ARE DEAD; STATE OF
GRACE; Oliver Stone’s JFK; Francis Ford Coppola’s BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA; ROMEO IS
BLEEDING; Tony Scott’s TRUE ROMANCE; MURDER IN THE FIRST; IMMORTAL BELOVED;
and Roland Joffe’s THE SCARLET LETTER..
In 1995, Oldman and manager/producing partner Douglas Urbanski formed a production company,
which produced Oldman’s directorial debut, the highly acclaimed NIL BY MOUTH. The film won nine
of seventeen major awards for which it was nominated. It was selected to open the main competition for
the 1997 50th Anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival, where co-star Kathy Burke won the award for
Best Actress. The same year Oldman won the prestigious Channel Four Director’s Prize at the
Edinburgh Film Festival, in addition to winning the British Academy Award (shared with Douglas
Urbanski) for Best Film and the BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay.
In 2000, Oldman and Urbanski produced THE CONTENDER; Oldman co-starred alongside Joan
Allen, Jeff Bridges, Christian Slater and Sam Elliott; the film received several Academy Award
nominations. During the past eighteen years, Oldman has appeared in ten films that have opened in the
number one box office position; the films in which he has appeared have a cumulative gross in the
billions and billions of dollars.
Dane DeHaan (Cricket)
In just three years, Dane DeHaan has made a formidable impression on film audiences and is currently
one of the industry’s most sought after actors of his generation. DeHaan recently starred in 20th Century
Fox’s box office hit, CHRONICLE, about three teenagers who develop superpowers and chronicle their
experience on video.
DeHaan recently completed filming independent film, KILL YOUR DARLINGS, directed by John
Krokidas and loosely based on the life of poet Allen Ginsberg. DeHaan portrays Ginsberg’s friend,
Lucien Carr, who documented their years together at school. The film tells the story of the 1944 murder
that brought together a young Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs, played by Daniel
Radcliffe, Ben Foster and Jack Huston, respectively. In 2011, Last DeHaan completed the Derek
Cianfrance’s THE PLACE BEHIND THE PINES, opposite Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva
DeHaan is best known for his portrayal of Jesse on HBO’s critically acclaimed drama series “In
Treatment,” and he starred in the third season of the series alongside Gabriel Byrne. His performance
was lauded as a “revelatory breakthrough” by Variety and “brilliant” by the Chicago Sun Times.
In 2010, DeHaan received an Obie Award for his performance the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway
production of “The Aliens,” directed by Annie Baker. A Rattlestick Theatre production, “The Aliens”
was given the prestigious honor of Play of the Year by The New York Times. DeHaan made his
Broadway debut in 2008 with “American Buffalo.”
DeHaan began his film career under the direction of two-time Oscar nominee John Sayles and opposite
Chris Cooper in AMIGO, released by Variance films in 2011. A graduate of the University of North
Carolina School of the Arts, he currently resides in Los Angeles.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
John Hillcoat (Director)
John Hillcoat grew up in America, Canada and Britain. A career in Fine Arts led to enrollment at
Swinburne Film School in Australia, where he produced celebrated shorts. He went on to a successful
career directing and editing music videos for such artists as Nick Cave, INXS, Crowded House, Depeche
Mode, Robert Plant, and Muse, for which he won several international awards and an Australian
Recording Industry Award for Best Director. John’s first commercial (Levi’s “To Work”) won two
AICP awards and four Cannes Lions including best director.
After three years researching maximum security prisons in America and Australia, Hillcoat co-wrote
and directed his first feature film, GHOSTS OF THE CIVIL DEAD. The film was nominated for nine
Australian Film Institute Awards. His follow up film, released in 1998, TO HAVE & TO HOLD, is set
in the jungle of Papua New Guinea and starred Tcheky Karyo and Rachel Griffiths.
Hillcoat’s next feature film, THE PROPOSITION, starred Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston,
John Hurt and Emily Watson. The film is an Australian Western set in remote outback Australia and
was released in 2006. It was nominated for twelve Australian Film Institute Awards and won four. It
was also nominated for nine IF Awards (The People’s Choice Awards) and won four including Best
Film. The movie went on to win numerous other international awards.
His next film was THE ROAD, based on Cormac McCarthy’s best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning
novel. It starred Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce and newcomer Kodi
Smit McPhee in a post-apocalyptic adventure in which people are pushed to the worst and the best that
they are capable of -a future in which a father and his son are sustained by love. Hillcoat received a
Golden Lion nomination for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival for his work on THE ROAD.
Nick Cave (Screenwriter/Composer)
Nick Cave is a highly regarded, innovative musician, rock star, composer and screenwriter. A longtime
friend and creative collaborator of John Hillcoat, he wrote the script for the Hillcoat-directed film
THE PROPOSITION (2005). He is the front man for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Grinderman,
and his songs have been used in the SCREAM movies, SHREK 2, HARRY POTTER AND THE
DEATHLY HALLOWS and many others.
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (Composers)
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have been playing together for more than seventeen years, with The Bad
Seeds, Grinderman and Dirty Three. More recently they have been collaborating on soundtracks for
films such as THE PROPOSITION (2005), THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE
COWARD ROBERT FORD (2007), THE ENGLISH SURGEON (2007), THE GIRLS OF PHNOM
PENH (2009), THE ROAD (2009), DIAS DE GRACIA (2011), and WEST OF MEMPHIS (2012); as
well as Gísli Örn Gardarsson’s acrobatic theatrical productions of “Woyzeck” (2005), “Metamorphosis”
(2006) and “Faust” (2009).
LAWLESS (2012) marks their third collaboration with John Hillcoat.
Lucy Fisher (Producer)
Lucy Fisher, the former vice chairman of the Columbia Tri-Star Motion Picture Group, is an award-
winning motion picture producer and co-head of Red Wagon Entertainment. Fisher and her Red Wagon
partner Douglas Wick are renowned for their classy commercial fare and for working with some of the
most accomplished filmmakers in the world. Next up for Fisher and Wick in fall 2011 is the much
anticipated Baz Luhrman-directed THE GREAT GATSBY, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey
Maguire, Carey Mulligan. Joel Edgerton Jason Clarke, and Isla Fisher.
During Fisher’s tenure as vice chairman at Sony, the studio broke all-time industry records for biggest
domestic and worldwide grosses with films she supervised, which included MEN IN BLACK, MY
BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING, AIR FORCE ONE, JERRY MAGUIRE, AS GOOD AS IT GETS, and
STUART LITTLE. After leaving the executive suite, Fisher partnered with Oscar®-winning producer
Douglas Wick (GLADIATOR, WORKING GIRL), and together they produced a wide range of movies:
from MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA to STUART LITTLE 2.
Before moving to Sony, Fisher served for 14 years as executive vice president of worldwide production
at Warner Bros., where she developed and supervised a diverse range of commercially successful,
critically acclaimed films, including THE FUGITIVE, THE COLOR PURPLE, GREMLINS, THE
GOONIES, MALCOLM X, THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, SPACE JAM, EMPIRE OF
THE SUN, THE OUTSIDERS, and THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK. She served as vice-president of
production at Twentieth Century Fox, before being named head of worldwide production for Francis
Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios.
In addition to her creative achievements, Fisher is considered a pioneer for women and working mothers
in the entertainment industry. She was the driving force behind the on-site Warner Bros. Studio
Children’s Center, which opened its doors in 1992, and has since provided care for over 2000 children
and served as a prototype for day care centers at other studios.
Fisher’s many awards include the Producer’s Guild of America’s, David O. Selznick Achievement
Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures, The Hollywood Film Festival “Producer of the Year” award, the
Hollywood Award for Outstanding Achievement in Producing, the Crystal Award from Women in Film,
Premiere Magazine’s Icon Award, the Jewish Image Awards’ Industry Leadership Award, and Friends
of Cancer Research Advocacy’s “Lifetime Achievement Award.” She has also been listed as one of
Fortune magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business.
A cum laude graduate of Harvard, Fisher currently serves a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers
and is also an advisor to the Harvard Office of the Arts. In addition Fisher founded the Peter Ivers’
Artist-in-Residency Program at her alma mater, which annually brings cutting edge artists to the
After their youngest daughter was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, Fisher and Wick co-founded
“CuresNow,” an organization which promotes regenerative medicine and stem cell research and was
critical in bringing the issue of stem cell research to national attention. She served as co-chairman of
The California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative (Prop 71), which was passed in the November
2004 election, and is now responsible for awarding $3 billion to stem cell research in the state of
Douglas Wick (Producer)
Douglas Wick and his Red Wagon Entertainment, known for its classy commercial fare, have earned
more than $2 billion at the box office as well as 20 Oscar nominations. Wick’s GLADIATOR, directed
by Ridley Scott, won 5 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture for Wick, a Golden Globe for Best
Picture, AFI’s Movie of the Year, the MTV Movie Award for Best Movie, the Producers Guild’s
Motion Picture of the Year Award, and BAFTA’s Best Picture.
In 2001, Wick teamed with Lucy Fisher, former vice chairman of Sony’s Columbia Tri-Star Motion
Picture Group to join him as co-head of Red Wagon. Next up for Fisher and Wick in fall 2012 is Baz
Luhrman’s much-anticipated THE GREAT GATSBY, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire,
Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, and Isla Fisher; it will be released by Warner Bros.
Wick garnered a Golden Globe for Best Picture and an Academy Award nomination for his first
producing effort, WORKING GIRL, directed by Mike Nichols. The many other films Wick produced
include STUART LITTLE, GIRL INTERRUPTED, (which won Angelina Jolie both an Academy
Award and a Golden Globe for her breakthrough performance); the espionage thriller SPY GAME,
pairing Robert Redford and Brad Pitt; the original teen witch sensation THE CRAFT; Paul Verhoeven’s
HOLLOW MAN; and WOLF, directed by Mike Nichols, starring Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Together Wick and Fisher have produced a range of acclaimed movies including STUART LITTLE 2,
JARHEAD, PETER PAN, and MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA.
After graduating cum laude from Yale University, Wick began his career as a production assistant for
filmmaker Alan Pakula. He earned his first credit as associate producer on Pakula’s STARTING
Wick’s many awards include the NATO ShoWest Producer of the Year, Hollywood Film Festival’s
Producer of the Year, the PGA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Motion Pictures Award, Hollywood
Film Festival’s Outstanding Achievement in Producing Award, George Pal Memorial Award, PGA
Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award, Saturn Award, Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s
Producer of the Year, and the Los Angeles Father of the Year Award.
In addition to his work in the entertainment industry, Wick is the co-founder of “CuresNow,” an
organization that promotes regenerative medicine and stem cell research. He co-chaired Prop 71, the
successful initiative which now generates 3 billion for Stem Cell research in the state of California. He
has served on the Board of Trustees for the Center for Early Education in Los Angeles, as well as on the
Board of Directors for the Producers Guild of America.
Cassian Elwes (Producer)
Wikipedia calls Cassian Elwes (Producer) one of the most important figures in independent cinema.
Elwes began his producing career with 1983's OXFORD BLUES, starring Rob Lowe and Ally Sheedy,
and quickly went on to make another 29 films, including MEN AT WORK, with Emilio Estevez and
Charlie Sheen; and THE CHASE, with Sheen.
In 1995, Elwes joined William Morris and headed William Morris Independent for 14 years. His first
effort was the long stalled project THE ENGLISH PATIENT, which won best picture that year. He
quickly followed up with such indie hits as SLINGBLADE and THE APOSTLE, both of which were
nominated for multiple Oscars, and MONSTER'S BALL, which won the Oscar for Halle Berry.
The Hollywood Reporter recently said that Elwes was "involved in a virtual who's who of every great
independent film of the last ten years" with such films as THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, HALF
NELSON, and FROZEN RIVER, the last two of which garnered Oscar nominations for Ryan Gosling
and Melissa Leo, respectively.
Elwes is considered an expert in the field of arranging financing and distribution for independent films
having done so for 283 films during his tenure at William Morris Independent. Since leaving William
Morris two years ago, Elwes has been involved in arranging financing and distribution of fifteen films
including Derek Cianfrance's BLUE VALENTINE, with Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams; last
year’s hit financial thriller MARGIN CALL; and such upcoming releases as THE WORDS, starring
Bradley Cooper, and THE PAPERBOY, directed by Lee Daniels, starring Matthew McConaughey,
Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron. Elwes also runs a very successful domestic sales operation handling
such films as Sony Classics’ soon to be released Victorian comedy HYSTERIA, starring Maggie
Megan Ellison (Producer)
Since 2010, Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, has successfully maintained their vision, to produce
critically and commercially conscious films. Differentiating both Ellison and the company are their
championship of director-driven projects, like Paul Thomas Anderson’s THE MASTER, Wong Kar
Wai’s THE GRANDMASTERS, Kathryn Bigelow’s ZERO DARK THIRTY, Spike Jonze's HER, and
Andrew Dominik’s KILLING THEM SOFTLY.
Recently, Ellison acquired the rights to the latest TERMINATOR incarnation, with the aim of rebooting
the iconic franchise into what it once was. Along with that she has a number of high quality projects in
development with the likes of Paul Thomas Anderson, Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman , Bennett
Miller, David O. Russell, and Chris Milk.
Along with her love for high-quality pictures, she aims to excite a growing and diverse audience, by
making films of all genres and budgets but maintaining to keep their originality. This style of
filmmaking is quickly turning Ellison into one of the top producers for the new wave of Hollywood
auteurs and elite storytellers.
Benoit Delhomme (Cinematographer)
LAWLESS marks Benoit Delhomme’s second film with John Hillcoat; his first was THE
PROPOSITION, for which he won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Cinematography, as
well as the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award and IF Award. Other film credits include THE
MERCHANT OF VENICE, starring Al Pacino, Ralph Fiennes and Jeremy Irons; the horror film 1408;
and the acclaimed feature THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS. In addition to THE MERCHANT
OF VENICE, Delhomme has collaborated with Al Pacino on WILD SALOME, Pacino’s interpretation
Oscar Wilde’s famed play, which Pacino directed and in which he stars with Jessica Chastain; and the
upcoming film version of KING LEAR, directed by Michael Radford, starring Pacino.
Margot Wilson (Costume Designer)
Margot Wilson has worked with John Hillcoat previously on THE ROAD and THE PROPOSITION. A
costume designer on over 20 feature films and mini-series, some of her credits include JAPANESE
STORY, GHOST SHIP and Terrence Malick’s THE THIN RED LINE. She received an Australian
Film Institute Award for Best Costume Design for Ray Lawrence’s LANTANA and in 2005, she won
the award for her work on THE PROPOSITION. She began her career in 1996, when she designed the
costumes for the Sydney Theatre Company’s production “A Fabulous Night at the Trocadero.”
Chris Kennedy (Production Designer)
LAWLESS is Chris Kennedy’s fourth film with director John Hillcoat. He previously collaborated with
Hillcoat on the seminal Australian film GHOSTS OF THE CIVIL DEAD, which won him his first
Australian Film Institute (AFI) Award for Best Production Design in 1989. Since then, Kennedy has
worked with a range of filmmakers, exploring a diversity of styles and subjects in films such as COSI
and ANGEL BABY. He won another three AFI Awards for SPOTSWOOD, DIRTY DEEDS and
Hillcoat’s THE PROPOSITION (for which he also won an IF Award); and has been nominated for a
further five (DEAD LETTER OFFICE, TO HAVE AND TO HOLD, THAT EYE THE SKY, GINO and
SAY A LITTLE PRAYER.)
In 2005, he was awarded the coveted AFI Byron Kennedy Award, given each hear to someone whose
“work is marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence.”
Kennedy’s passion for filmmaking and visual design took root at Swinburne College, Melbourne, where
he graduated from the Film and Television course in 1982. He subsequently art directed films, music
videos, commercials and short films.
Dylan Tichenor (Editor)
Dylan Tichenor received an Oscar and Eddie Award nomination from the American Cinema Editors for
Best Achievement in Film Editing for his work on Paul Thomas Anderson’s THERE WILL BE
BLOOD. For his editing on Wes Anderson's THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, Tichenor also received an
A.C.E. nomination; and in 2008, he shared an Eddie nomination with Geraldine Peroni for his work on
Ang Lee’s BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. He recently served as editor on Ben Affleck’s THE TOWN;
Drew Barrymore’s WHIP IT (on which he also was the 2nd unit director); John Patrick Shanley’s
DOUBT; and Adnrew Dominik’s THE ASSASINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD
ROBERT FORD. He is currently cutting Kathryn Bigelow’s thriller ZERO DARK THIRTY, starring
Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Joel Edgerton, Scott Adkins, Chris Pratt, Jennifer Ehle, Kyle Chandler
and Jason Clarke, about Navy Seal Team Six’s tracking and killing of Osama Bin Laden.
Geraldine Peroni and Robert Altman gave Tichenor his start in the business, as apprentice editor on
THE PLAYER. Continuing those collaborations, Tichenor became assistant editor on SHORT CUTS,
PRÊT-Ã –PORTER and Alan Rudolph's MRS. PARKER AND THE VICIOUS CIRCLE; technical
coordinator on KANSAS CITY; and editor on the documentary JAZZ '34, for which he received an
Emmy Award nomination.
He subsequently worked on four films with Paul Thomas Anderson, beginning as post-production
supervisor on HARD EIGHT, and then editing the award-winning BOOGIE NIGHTS, MAGNOLIA
and THERE WILL BE BLOOD.
Tichenor's other credits as film editor include Brad Silberling's Academy Award-winning LEMONY
SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, Mike Figgis' COLD CREEK MANOR, M.
Night Shyamalan's UNBREAKABLE, and Anthony Drazan's HURLYBURLY.
Unit Production Manager Dany Wolf
First Assistant Director Walter Gasparovic
Second Assistant Director Justin Ritson
Jack Bondurant Shia LaBeouf
Forrest Bondurant Tom Hardy
Howard Bondurant Jason Clarke
Charley Rakes Guy Pearce
Maggie Beauford Jessica Chastain
Bertha Minnix Mia Wasikowska
Cricket Pate Dane DeHaan
Danny Chris McGarry
Mason Wardell Tim Tolin
Floyd Banner Gary Oldman
Deputy Henry Abshire Lew Temple
Deputy Jeff Richards Marcus Hester
Sheriff Hodges Bill Camp
Tizwell Minnix Alex Van
Gummy Walsh Noah Taylor
Hophead #1 Mark Ashworth
Hophead #2 Tom Proctor
Jimmy Turner Bruce McKinnon
Spoons Rivard Erin Mendenhall
Ida Belle Toni Byrd
Young Jack Robert T. Smith
Young Forrest Jake Nash
Young Howard William Harrison
Aunt Winnie Joyce Baxter
Doctor Jeff Braun
Young Black Girl Malinda Baker
Goon #1 Tom Turbiville
Mugger #1 Chad Randall
Mugger #2 Terry Keasler
Junior Duncan Nicholson
Bootlegger Ron Clinton Smith
Old Mountain Woman Anna House
Bootlegger #2 Ricky Muse
Stogie Pete Peter Krulewitch
Stunt Coordinator Mickey Giacomazzi
Jack Stunt Double Brent Bernhard
Forrest Stunt Double Kurt Hockenberry
Howard Stunt Double William Wagner
Rakes Stunt Double Lee Smith
Danny Stunt Double Dale Cannon
ATU Officer Stunts David Reinhart
Stunt Utility John Cypert
Stunt Driver Sean Graham
Pilot Paul Barth
Production Supervisor Regina Robb
Art Director Gershon Ginsburg
Set Designer Sharon Davis
Set Decorator Maria Nay
Lead Man Bob Smith
Buyer Joel Klaff
Gang Boss Justin Pelissero
On Set Dresser Kip Bartlett
Set Dressers Joshua Noorullah
Script Supervisor Rebecca Robertson
A Camera Operator Benoit Delhomme
First Assistant A Camera Glenn Kaplan
Second Assistant A Camera Ross Davis
B Camera Operator Manuel Billeter
First Assistant B Camera Scott Ronnow
Second Assistant B Camera Matt McGinn
Steadicam Operator Dave Thompson
DIT Ted Viola
Digital Utility Jeremy Cannon
Video Assist Greg Morse
Assistant Costume Designer Suzy Freeman
Key Set costumer Keith Wegner
Set Costumer Melanie Mascioli
Costumer Kate Watson
Head Tailor (Male Roles) Jeff Gillies
Head Tailor (Female Roles) April McCoy
Tailors Randy Edwards
Seamstress Judi Chang
Head Ager/Dyer Esther Marquis
Agers/Dyers Dallah Cesen
Make-Up Department Head Ken Diaz
Key Make-Up Luis Garcia
Make-Up Artists Sabine Roller Taylor
Prosthetic Make-Up Lab AFX Studios
Prosthetic Sculpture Glen Eisner
Prosthetic Lab Tech J.D. Bowers
Hair Department Head Kelvin Trahan
Key Hair Stylists Catherine Marcotte
Chief Lighting Technician Len Levine
Assistant Chief Lighting Technician Chad Schroeder
Electricians Brian Evans
Rigger Gaffer Stephen Crowley
Rigging Electric Best Boy Steve Sudge
Rigging Electricians Keith Cutler
Schenley Sar Gusingh Jr.
Basecamp Gaffer Ray Myers
Key Grip Steve “Gooch” Iriguchi
Best Boy Grip Ty Suehiro
A Dolly Grip Jeff Cutler
B Dolly Grip John Barber
Grips Adam “Donny” Cardenas
Rigging Key Grip Peter Chrimes
Rigging Grip Best Boys Wayne Parker
Rigging Grips Christian Burdette
Production Sound Mixer Lisa Pinero
Boom Operator Anthony Ortiz
Sound Utility Tony McCovey
Music Playback Operator Jim Hawkins
Special Effects Coordinator David Fletcher
SPFX General Foreman Tom Kittle
SPFX Set Foreman Brendan McHale
SPFX Shop Foreman Tim Walkey
Pyrotechnic Foreman Morgan Guynes
SPFX Techs Scanlon Backus
Matthew “Skip” Scurry
Location Manager Andrew Ullman
Assistant Location Manager Kai Thorup
Production Coordinator Kerri Smeltzer
Assistant Production Coordinator Brian Gonsalves
Travel Coordinator Syndey V. Huynh
Production Secretary Dawn Vigil
Office Production Assistants Tina Sauls
Production Accountant Robert Lane
1st Asst Accountant Barbara Lane
2nd Asst Accountant Johnnie Richey
Payroll Accountant Gai Loper
Accounting Clerks Brenda R. Cross
Construction Coordinator Scott Pina
General Foreman Eugene Pope
Construction Foreman Chris Ferris
Welding Foreman Jeremy Farlow
On Set Carpenters Tommy Pittman
Carpenters Henry “Hank” Atterbury
Henry A. Cofer Sr.
Patrick S. Oldknow
William T. Reynolds
Construction Utility Steven Smith
Head Paint Foreman Anne Hyvarinen
Paint Foreman Faith Farrell
Gang Boss John “Peabo” DePabon
On Set Painter Mary Shea Soutar
Scenic Artists Sarah Regan
Set Painters Rose Armstrong
Paint Utility Jeremy Frick
Lead Greensman Don Holloway
First Greensman Ryan Robinson
Greensmen Cary Goen
Aaron M. Nash
Andrew W. Wexler
Property Master Blanche Sindelar
Assistant Propmasters Steve Whiteside
On Set Picture Vehicles Brian P. Todd
Art Department Coordinator Kelly Richardson
Art Department PA’s Omar Foster
Storyboards Erik Sedwick
Unit Publicist Rachel Aberly
Still Photographer Richard Foreman
Special Still Photographer Polly Borland
2nd Second Assistant Director Cody Williams
Assistant to Mr. Wolf Yun Li
Assistant to Mr. Hillcoat (Georgia) Jimmy Shaw
Assistant to Mr. Hillcoat (Los Angeles) Brett Rowe
Assistants to Mr. Wick Josh Phillips
Assistant to Ms. Fisher Bryan Clavenna
Assistants to Ms. Shane Benjamin Hasskamp
Assistants to Mr. Benaroya Biagio Desimone
Assistant to Ms. Ellison Andrew Harvey
Assistant to Ms. Borland Jonathan Owens
Luke Crawford Drew Grant
Ginna Grant Jennifer Hackney
John Henderson Katarzyna Malec
Joe Marzullo Josh Mumford
Sarah Myers Jonathan Parrott
Alex Sablow Daniel Short
Adrianne Skrzypek Stephen Stumberg
Leia Verner Jennifer Wang
Set Medics Jason Abercrombie
Construction Medic Joe O’Shea
Georgia Principal & Extras Casting Lori Eastside
Georgia Casting Associate Robert Oppel
Los Angeles Casting Assistant Elizabeth Chodar
Stand Ins Ronnie Kantorik
John Wayne Hayne
Transportation Coordinator Keith Collis
Transportation Captains Dennis Carter
Picture Car Captain Gary Duncan
Picture Car Mechanic Robert Brubaker
Dispatcher Renee Hinson
Van Anderson Connie Biles
William W. Brown III Tim Collis
Ricky Cox David Firth
Wayne “Cowboy” Fountain Todd Fuller
Tony Fuller Russell Hanson
Brad Howard Randy Johnson
Yetta Johnson Danny LaFave
Dan Latham Clifton McSwain
Pamela Plummer Michael Purvis
John Schisler Brenda Stephens
Hector Tapia Heulon “Bubba” Thrift
David C. White Noah Wuellner
Catering Cinema Catering
Catering Chef Phillippe Gallichet
1st Asst Chef Gary Naumann
2nd Asst Chef Nick Raynor
3rd Asst Chef Charles Long
Craft Service Provided by Goldbug Craft Service
Head Craft Service John D. Bert
Craft Service Assistant Miles Logan
Craft Service Assistant Blake Hughes
Alexa Camera and Lenses Cine PhotoTech
Dailies Colorist Swan Wang
Animals Provided by Atlanta Dogworks Animal Talent
Animal Wranglers Greg Tresan
Clearances Coordinator Karen Neasi
Stock Footage Clearances Mike Davis
Rights & Clearances Entertainment Clearances, Inc.
Cassandra Barbour, Laura Sevier
Insurances Services AON/Albert G. Ruben
Randy Manis, of Randy Manis Law Office
Stephanie Sanet, Esq. of Dembitzer & Dembitzer LLP
Indira Guha, of Legal Indie
Vanessa Fung, Annapurna Pictures
Assistant to Mr. Manis Ricky Tollman
Payroll Service Cast & Crew Entertainment Services
Second Unit Director Dany Wolf
Second Unit Director of Photography Manuel Billeter
Second Unit First Assistant Director Justin Ritson
Post Production Supervisor Robert Hackl
Post Production SupervisorJames Masi
1st Assistant Editor Chris Patterson
2nd Assistant Editor Banner Gwin
Editorial PA Peter Dudgeon
Editorial PA (Atlanta) John Henderson
Post Production Sound Services by Wildfire Studios
Supervising Sound Editors Christopher Eakins
Robert C. Jackson
Sound Designer Leslie Shatz
Re-recording Mixers Chris David
Sound FX Editor David Esparza
Foley Editor Brian Dunlop
Assistant Sound Editor Callie Thurman
Foley Artist Ellen Heuer AMPAS, MPSE
Foley Mixer Tor Kingdon
Mix Recordist Timothy Limer
ADR Mixer Travis Mackay
ADR Recordist Wade Barnett
ADR Mixer/Monkeyland Doug Latislaw
ADR Mixer/Todd AO Dean St. John
Voice Casting by Barbara Harris
Avid Support by Pivotal Post
Visual Effects Supervisor Bill Taylor ASC
Visual Effects Producer Robert Hackl
Visual Effects Editor Chris Patterson
Visual Effects by Zoic Studios
Visual Effects Supervisor Mark Stetson
Environment Supervisor Syd Dutton
Visual Effects Producer Kristen Leigh Branan
Visual Effects Coordinators
Digital Effects Supervisor
Raoul Yorke Bolognini
Jeffrey Edward Baksinski
Visual Effects by Invisible Effects
Visual Effects Supervisor for Invisible Effects Dick Edwards
Visual Effects by Talking Bird Pictures
VFX Supervisor for DIVE
VFX Executive Producer
Additional Visual Effects
Additional Matte Artist
Digital Intermediate Provided by
Supervising Digital Colorist
Second Digital Colorist
Digital Intermediate Producer
Digital Intermediate Editor
Visual Effects Compositor
Film Color Timer
Main Titles Designer
End Credits by
Credit Layout Artists
Post Production Accounting
Post Production Accountant
Post Production Accounting Assistant
Post Production Assistant
Visual Effects by DIVE
Mark O. Forker
Everette Jbob Webber
Trevanna Post, Inc.
Score Produced by
Score Recorded by
Score Recording Assistant
Score Mixed by
Songs Recorded by
Joel C. High
Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, David Sardy and Hal Willner
Nick Cave, Warren Ellis and Jim Schultz
Greg Gordon and Jim Schultz
Pablo Clements, James Griffith and Joel Cadbury
“Fire and Brimstone”
Written by Fred Lincoln Wray, Jr.
Performed by The Bootleggers
Featuring Mark Lanegan
Mark Lanegan appears courtesy of 4 AD Ltd.
“He is All”
Written and performed by David Sardy and
Words and music by Marc Copely, James Bernard Dolan
& Adam Stuart Levy
Performed by John Wesley Ryles
Produced by Buddy Cannon
Licensed courtesy of The Weinstein Company, LLC
Music by Bradshaw
Lyrics by Philip Doddridge
Performed by Western Massachusetts
Sacred Harp Convention
Written and Performed by Blake Mills
Courtesy of Record Collection
Written by Bernard Besman and John Lee Hooker
Performed by The Bootleggers
Featuring Nick Cave
“White Light/White Heat”
Written by Lou Reed
Performed by The Bootleggers
Featuring Mark Lanegan
Mark Lanegan appears courtesy of 4 AD Ltd.
Written by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
Performed by The Bootleggers
Featuring Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris appears courtesy of Nonesuch Records
“Fire In The Blood”
Written by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
Performed by The Bootleggers
Featuring Ralph Stanley
“Night of Canakkale”
Written and Performed by David Sardy and
Featuring Wayne Bergeron
“The Cuckoo Bird”
Arranged and Performed by Clarence Ashley
Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
“Fire In The Blood”
Written by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
Performed by The Bootleggers
Featuring Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris appears courtesy of Nonesuch Records
Written and Performed by David Sardy
“So You’ll Aim Toward the Sky”
Written by Jason Lytle
Performed by The Bootleggers
Featuring Leila Moss and Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris appears courtesy of Nonesuch Records
Liela Moss appears courtesy of The Duke Spirit/Fiction
Records/Shangri La Music
“The Morning After” Performed by The Bootleggers
Written by David Sardy Featuring Liela Moss
Performed by David Sardy
Featuring Wayne Bergeron “White Light/White Heat”
Written by Lou Reed
Performed by Ralph Stanley
“The Snake Song”
Written by Townes Van Zandt “Midnight Run”
Performed by The Bootleggers Words and music by Marc Copely, James Bernard Dolan
Featuring Emmylou Harris & Adam Stuart Levy
Emmylou Harris appears courtesy of Nonesuch Records Performed by Willie Nelson
Produced by Buddy Cannon
“The Telephone Girl” Licensed courtesy of The Weinstein Company, LLC
Written by Orville Reed Willie Nelson appears courtesy of Sony Music
Performed by Frank Fairfield Entertainment
Written by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
The Bootleggers are Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey, George Vjestica & David Sard
Footage Provided by Thought Equity Motion
Special Thanks to
Terrence Malick and Sarah Green
Louie Hillcoat & Polly Borland
Earl & Arthur & Susie Cave
Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office
Donald & Cheryl Brandenberg
The People of Coweta County, Georgia
The People of Meriwether County, Georgia
The People of Clayton, Georgia
The Cotton Pickin Fair – Meriwether County, Georgia
Tim Stout – MOAB Fighting Concepts
A Douglas Wick/Lucy Fisher Production
A Benaroya Pictures Production
An Annapurna Pictures Production
A Pie Films Production
MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
Filmed with Arriflex
Cameras & Lenses
AMERICAN HUMANE ASSOCIATION monitored this production.
THIS FILM IS BASED ON ACTUAL EVENTS. DIALOGUE AND CERTAIN EVENTS AND CHARACTERS
CONTAINED IN THE FILM WERE CREATED FOR THE PURPOSE OF DRAMATIZATION
THIS MOTION PICTURE IS PROTECTED UNDER LAWS
OF THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER COUNTRIES.
UNAUTHORIZED DUPLICATION, DISTRIBUTION OR
EXHIBITION MAY RESULT IN CIVIL LIABILITY
AND CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.
Copyright ÓMMXI by BOOTLEG MOVIE LLC
All Rights Reserved