“It is very much a boss-operative relationship,” Ridley Scott says of the camaraderie between Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio in his Body of Lies. But the director of almost two-dozen riveting Hollywood pictures could be talking about his method of filmmaking.
Of course, Scott would never go as far as Crowe’s Hoffman leans in Scott’s latest thriller. “Body of Lies is about seduction and betrayal. Where, if necessary, he (Hoffman) will betray his most valuable asset in the field for the reward that is a higher reward than losing his asset,” says Ridley Scott.
No where more does the heart of this film strike true than through Scott’s above statement.
“I think the CIA wishes it could be as adept as Ridley Scott,” adds Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan.
The director of films from Gladiator, Thelma and Louise, Black Hawk Down, Blade Runner, Alien, Legend, White Squall, GI Jane, Kingdom of Heaven, A Good Year, and American Gangster, has himself a huge hit in Body of Lies.
The film that re-teamed Scott with Russell Crowe and brought along Leonardo DiCaprio for a thrill ride finished its first week with $20 million in receipts accompanied by enormous critical praise — including this reviewer.
“I don’t know if fun was the operative word,” DiCaprio tells us when asked if filming Scott-style was enjoyable. “It was challenging, interesting, all those other things, but fun isn’t always the operative word.”
An actor’s action director
With his brother Tony Scott, they started Scott Free Productions. Ridley Scott’s casts have included a list of Hollywood royalty including Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Demi Moore, Denzel Washington and Sir Anthony Hopkins.
When the conversation turns to the film’s message, Scott shows his humorous side. “I think the film is a comment of cell phones,” he says with a laugh.
“But seriously. There’s Leo about to engage in the field and he gets a call from his lawyer saying his wife wants the house. So, for a moment, you have to go â€˜who wants the house?’ You realize he’s engaged in a private condition which is getting divorced back in Washington. I think that is what can happen today. The access to everything — instant information to everything has changed the world.”Mirroring the ideal of many filmmakers we’ve spoke to, Scott’s films are marked decisively by their landscapes.”I think location is the other character. I think it’s up to me to make a scene that’s so real that when the actor walks into that proscenium, he’s actually affected by it and takes it onboard,” Scott says.
Up next…Ridley Scott talks about his past films including the iconic Gladiator