Interview: THE WRESTLER's Darren Aronovsky

Filed in Gather News Channel by on February 9, 2009 0 Comments

This year’s Oscar nominees for Best Picture include two ‘little engines that could’. Slumdog Millionaire is one. A small film about a poor Indian boy winning a TV game show and getting the girl. There is a transcription of an interview with Best Director nominee Danny Boyle in Posts. The other film is The Wrestler. The very smallness of Darren Aronvosky’s indie harkens back to the more personal cinema last seen in the 70s. The back story of a once promising young actor undone by bad decision making then coming back with a tour de force performance in the autumn of his life has plenty of hack writers in ink toner bliss. In an attempt to get beyond the hype, Hollywood Breakdown’s Garen Daly talked with the director. You can hear a complete audio  at our sister site, Frugal Yankee.

Garen Daly: WhatÂ’s the skinny on The Wrestler?
Darren Aronovsky: Mickey Rourke plays an aging wrestler named Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson. We’re talking about pro-wrestling, Hulk Hogan wrestling. It’s an exploration of that world (one) we’ve never seen.

GD: The film reminded me a lot of John HustonÂ’s 70s cult classic Fat City.
DA: Yeah, yeah Fat City was definitely a big influence on us. It has great atmosphere, a great feeling.

GD: You did a lot of behind the back walking shot. Why was that?
DA: The film has a documentary feel to it. Also we wanted to use those shots. You know, Mickey is such an amazing actor. HeÂ’s so expressive. It creates great mystery that even a behind his back weÂ’re wondering what his face is saying.

GD: You also did it with Marisa Tomei a couple of times.
DA: Yeah, it became part of the visual language with all the actors. We even did it with Rachel Evan Wood. I was hoping to draw the audience in and make them curious.

GD: YouÂ’ve have done films about dreams, the past and illusion. I am wondering, is that part of a Darren Aronovsk-ian universe?
DA: (laugh) Well, I was interested in how could easily film take you into a dream world. How reality can be manipulated through film. But, you know, I wanted to say something completely different. This film is objective. This is Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei acting their hearts out. This is an examination of that.

You can hear  or download the Darren Aronovsky interview in its entirety at The Academy Awards are February 22. The favorite for winning Best Actor is Mickey Rourke.

Garen has been in the dark for years. He has been a film exhibitor, booking consultant and reviewer. These days he can be seen on NE Cable News, heard on NH Public Radio’s Word of Mouth and pops into interesting places now and then. His two loves are films and frugality. Find out his other side at

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