The Bourne Legacy’s Edward Norton on Filming action scenes: “I see it as more of an endurance challenge rather than anything to do with acting”
Edward Norton has to admit he likes playing the bad guy role. Except he’s not quite ready to say his character, Colonel Eric Byer, is the villain in the latest entry in the Bourne series.
“I’m not sure my guy is the bad guy,” he told The Independent. “He thinks there is a practical necessity to his actions which fulfill a nobler ambition.”
Despite his role in The Bourne Legacy, Norton confesses, “The truth about making an action film is that it can be fun, but it can also be really tiresome. It might make a very exciting scene as a whole but the doing of it can be very technical and fragmented as a process. I see it as more of an endurance challenge rather than anything to do with acting.” Read more
Edward Norton has acted in such films as Gregory Hoblit’s Primal Fear, Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You, Milos Forman’s The People vs. Larry Flynt, Tony Kaye’s American History X, John Dahl’s Rounders, David Fincher’s Fight Club, Frank Oz’s TheScore, Danny De Vito’s Death to Smoochy, Julie Taymor’s Frida, Brett Ratner’s Red Dragon, Spike Lee’s 25th Hour, F. Gary Gray’s The Italian Job, David Jacobson’s Down in the Valley, Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, Neil Burger’s The Illusionist, John Curran’s The Painted Veil and Stone, Louis Leterrier’s The Incredible Hulk, Gavin O’Connor’s Pride & Glory, Tim Blake Nelson’s Leaves of Grass, and Tony Gilroy’s upcoming The Bourne Legacy.
He has been nominated for two Academy Awards, for Primal Fear and American History X; and won a Golden Globe Award for the former, along with numerous other awards for his performances.
Mr. Norton produced and directed the feature film Keeping the Faith. He founded and runs Class 5 Films, in partnership with Academy Award nominated screenwriter Stuart Blumberg and producer Bill Migliore. Class 5’s first two features, David Jacobson’s Down in theValley and John Curran’s The Painted Veil, were released in 2006.Class 5 more recently produced Leaves of Grass, written and directed by Tim Blake Nelson; and Mr. Blumberg’s directorial debut, Thanks for Sharing. The company is developing adaptations of Dan O’Brien’s Buffalo for the Broken Heart and Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn, for which Mr. Norton is writing the screenplay. Read more
Trailer: ‘The Bourne Legacy’ starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Albert Finney, Joan Allen, Scott Glenn & Stacy Keach
The Bourne Legacy: The narrative architect behind the Bourne film series, Tony Gilroy, takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise that has earned almost $1 billion at the global box office: The Bourne Legacy. The writer/director expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero (Jeremy Renner) whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films.
Director: Tony Gilroy
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Albert Finney, Joan Allen, Scott Glenn, Stacy Keach, Oscar Isaac
Writers: Tony Gilroy, Dan Gilroy
In theaters: August 3rd Read more
Edward Norton on Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’: “The bigger challenge for the actor in Wes’s films is to strike the balance between whimsy and melancholy”
Edward Norton is such a great fit for Wes Anderson‘s trademark style that while watching a screening of Moonrise Kingdom I was surprised that it had taken Norton and Anderson so long to work together.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Norton talks about departing from his typical roles and what it was like working with Wes Anderson.
Norton’s role as Scout Master Ward in Moonrise Kingdom is a whimsical departure for the actor, who has had a tendency to play characters with duality, such as in Fight Club, The Illusionist or American History X, and even The Incredible Hulk. But Norton doesn’t view duality as a story element, explaining, “Duality is not a story. Duality is just a complexity. I tend to relate to a character in terms of the arc: what’s interesting is where he starts versus where he ends up. The fun of it is getting from point A to point B.” Read more
Bill Murray Tours the Set of ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ While Drinking Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum: “I had to work with a bunch of scouts and kids. No money can make that right, can it?”
I just came back from a screening of Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson‘s newest film that stars Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand, saw this video and thought it was hilarious.
The film is tells the story of two twelve-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness of a small island off the coast of New England.
I’m embargoed – I hate being embargoed – from talking about the film, but if you like Anderson, you definitely won’t be disappointed.
Here’s a video of Bill Murray on the set talking about the film all while being a bit sauced on some good ole’ Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum. “I have a little bit of rum in me. I had to work with a bunch of scouts and kids. No money can make that right, can it?” he says. And yes, I can definitely agree with him.
Here’s another great line he says towards the end of the video: “Here I am in a cardigan sweater sittin’ here in Newport, Rhode Island livin’ la vida loca.”
Check it out below! Read more
The Bourne Legacy: The narrative architect behind the Bourne film series, Tony Gilroy, takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise that has earned almost $1 billion at the global box office: The Bourne Legacy. The writer/director expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero (Jeremy Renner) whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films. For The Bourne Legacy, Renner joins fellow series newcomers Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach and Oscar Isaac, while franchise veterans Albert Finney, Joan Allen, David Strathairn and Scott Glenn reprise their roles.
Director: Tony Gilroy
Writers: Tony Gilroy, Dan Gilroy
In theaters: August 3rd, 2012 Read more
Trailer: Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ starring Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman
Moonrise Kingdom: Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, MOONRISE KINGDOM tells the story of two twelve-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore — and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in more ways than anyone can handle. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl’s parents. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as the boy and girl.
Director: Wes Anderson
Writers: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
In theaters: May 25th, 2012
Edward Norton playing twins in a movie that’s directed by Tim Blake Nelson? How could that not be great?
And guess what? Leaves Of Grass is great! Edward Norton plays twins Brady and Bill. Brady is a small-time pot grower and Bill is an Ivy league professor. Tim Blake Nelson who also wrote the film plays Brady’s redneck friend Bolger.
I saw the premiere at SXSW and the movie is funny, violent and at times, you have no idea where the story is going to take you, which for me, makes the film.
This was another roundtable interview (my question is here) and the interview ran longer than most, so I’ve cut it down a bit. If you want the whole interview, you can listen/download the whole conversation above or click here for iTunes.
On a side note: I’ve been interviewing people for a while now and I have to say, Tim Blake Nelson is truly one of the nicest guys around. The day after this interview, I was in the hotel lobby when Tim and I saw each other. He said, “Hi” and we started to have this 5 minute long conversation. It wasn’t anything about his movie… just a normal conversation… about BBQ. You gotta love SXSW.
Tim, I was wondering as actor and as a filmmaker do you involve yourself with films that act as a corrective and not go straight towards the stereotypical easy laugh?
Tim Blake Nelson: Yeah, I certainly do. I do grow tired of intelligence having such a limited manifestation in movies. And so when I wrote this I knew immediately that the wisest and smartest characters, two characters in the movie in this movie would be the ones who either remained in Oklahoma or returned there. So, the smartest guy in the movie is Brady. I think that’s evident and it’s also stated by the mother. And the wisest character is Keri Russell’s character, and she’s chosen to return and write in Oklahoma, and I think she gives the Bill character the wisdom that allows him to begin to move forward in his life as it’s collapsing around him. So, in answer to your question, I was eager to debunk certain stereotypes about Southern characters in this movie.
This question is for both of you and it has to do with that obviously to believe in the duality of it you have to have this suspension of disbelief, and I’d like to hear from you how you achieved it through filmmaking and how you achieved it through your acting.
Tim: Yeah, suspension of disbelief in a story like this is pretty essential, although that said, I think you have to be responsible to your story as a storyteller. To make it feasible enough, and I hope that this story is feasible enough. There are details peppered throughout that I didn’t want to bang the audience over the head with it. I mean, an obvious question would be well, hang on, wouldn’t folks know they were twins, but they didn’t grow up in Ida Belle, in the Ida Belle, Broken Bow area. They grew up in another town, Hugo. And Brady is moved to Ida Belle. But these stories are all far-fetched, but the antecedent material for the movie, like in Menander and Plautus and Shakespeare, you know, it’s a retelling of a twins genre. And the main character in the movie is a classicist, and so that’s all very intentional. It’s meant to reflect on those earlier works. The character, Bill, has done a translation of Plautus’ play The Menaechmi, which is a Roman twins play. And so suspension of disbelief and that whole question is part of the fun of the movie. Alright and now he’s going got say thanks for referencing Menander (laughter).
Edward Norton: Well, no, actually I was going to say that any questions I had about whether a redneck from Oklahoma could actually go and become a Brown classical philosophy professor were ended when I met Tim because I think as you can see one conversation with Tim and you kind of realize, ‘Oh, Bill is a believable character.’
In five days, I saw 10 movies and interviewed 19 actors and directors.
And now, I’m exhausted!
Edward Norton and Tim Blake Nelson for their fun and incredibly entertaining film, Leaves Of Grass.