So, Why Does Bill Nye Play Upton Sinclair in Mank?

Nate Jones
December 16, 2020
Vulture

One of the big surprises of David Fincher’s Mank is that it turns out to be just as much about Upton Sinclair as it is about Herman Mankiewicz. In this version of Hollywood history, Mankiewicz was spurred to write Citizen Kane due to his guilt over the Hollywood dirty-tricks campaign that sank Sinclair’s 1934 campaign for governor of California. The Jungle author makes a brief appearance at a rally in Mank, at which point we get another of the film’s big surprises: Sinclair is played by none other than Bill Nye. Yes, the Science Guy. It’s unconventional casting, but it works. Stripped of his lab coat and bow tie, Nye is a little hard to place. He comes off as an avuncular, trustworthy orator; it’s only afterward when you realize, Wait, was that Bill Nye?

We naturally had some questions about how the whole thing came out. Luckily, Nye was happy to jump on a Zoom call and discuss the story behind his cameo.

Read the full interview

Mank: Interviews. Ferdinand Kingsley

Ferdinand Kingsley plays film producer Irving Thalberg in Mank.

Sam Cook In An Interview With | Ferdinand Kingsley (Mank)

Sam Cook (YouTube)
October 21, 2020

Ferdinand Kingsley “An Actor Despairs” Interview

Ryan Perez
November 30, 2020
An Actor Despairs (YouTube)

Ferdinand Kingsley on David Fincher’s Mank with Gary Oldman

Stefan Pape
November 30, 2020
HeyUGuys (YouTube)

DAVID FINCHER’S MANK | Ferdinand Kingsley lives the dream in Netflix Original Mank (2020)

Film Forums (YouTube)
December 3, 2020

Mank Star Ferdinand Kingsley Talks Netflix Film, Love Of Aston Villa & Passion Of Black & White Film

Switchbox TV (YouTube)
December 4, 2020

MANK Interview: Ferdinand Kingsley On Working With David Fincher

FilmSpeak (YouTube)
December 7, 2020

Ferdinand Kingsley: Up Close and Personal About His Family and Fame

The Katz Walk with Joseph Katz (Evergreen Podcasts)
January 14, 2021

Mank: Interviews. Tom Pelphrey

Tom Pelphrey plays screenwriter Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Herman’s younger brother, in Mank.

Tom Pelphrey: intervista ai protagonisti di Mank di David Fincher

Cinefilos_it (YouTube)
November 28, 2020

Tom Pelphrey MANK Interview | Netflix

kinowetter (YouTube)
December 2, 2020

Tom Pelphrey Talks “Mank” (& “Ozark”)

Sarina Bellissimo (YouTube)
December 3, 2020

MANK | Entrevista a Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins y Tom Pelphrey

SensaCine (YouTube)
December 2, 2020

‘Mank’ Interviews with Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Tom Pelphrey

CinemaBlend (YouTube)
December 2, 2020

Cinema | Mank: il nostro incontro con Amanda Seyfried e Tom Pelphrey

BadTaste.it (YouTube)
December 3, 2020

Mank Actor Tom Pelphrey on His 90-Minute Zoom Audition with David Fincher

Collider Interviews (YouTube)
December 9, 2020

Amanda Seyfried and Lily Collins On Going Old-School in Mank (plus Tom Pelphrey)

John Fardy
November 27, 2020
Screentime (Newstalk Podcast)

‘Mank’ Star Tom Pelphrey on Saying One of Cinema’s Most Famous Words

Brian Davids
December 2, 2020
The Hollywood Reporter

Mank: Interviews. Amanda Seyfried

Amanda Seyfried plays actress Marion Davies, life partner of William Randolph Hearst, in Mank.

Amanda Seyfried, Mank, Best party, Dad’s response, fame & motherhood

Margaret Gardiner (YouTube)
October 31, 2020

Breaking Entertainment News: Amanda Seyfried on MANK

Golden Globes (YouTube)
November 13, 2020

Amanda Seyfried Talks MANK, Playing Marion Davies, Filming Multiple Takes with David Fincher

Jake’s Takes (YouTube)
November 19, 2020

Interview: Amanda Seyfried – Mank

CineXpress (YouTube)
November 23, 2020

Amanda Seyfried über “Mank”

CINEMA-Magazin (YouTube)
November 25, 2020

Amanda Seyfried: intervista ai protagonisti di Mank di David Fincher

Cinefilos_it (YouTube)
November 28, 2020

Could Amanda Seyfried bag an Oscar for Netflix movie Mank?

On Demand Entertainment (YouTube)
November 29, 2020

Amanda Seyfried On Netflix’s ‘Mank’: ‘It Just Couldn’t Get Any More Beautiful’

CBS Los Angeles (YouTube)
November 30, 2020

Nelson Aspen chats with Amanda Seyfried & Lily Collins about “Mank”

NelsonAspen (YouTube)
November 30, 2020

Amanda Seyfried Mank Interview

DE PELICULA (YouTube)
December 1, 2020

Amanda Seyfried MANK Interview | Netflix

kinowetter (YouTube)
December 2, 2020

Interview: Amanda Seyfried on working with David Fincher on Mank

Próxima Tanda (YouTube)
December 2, 2020

Amanda Seyfried Interview – “Mank”

Paul’s Trip to the Movies (YouTube)
December 2, 2020

MANK – AMANDA SEYFRIED INTERVIEW (2020)

Bonnie Laufer Krebs (YouTube)
December 2, 2020

Conversations: Amanda Seyfried

FilmGordon (YouTube)
December 2, 2020

Amanda Seyfried On The Dream She Never Thought She Had

Sarina Bellissimo (YouTube)
December 3, 2020

Interview: Amanda Seyfried star of ‘Mank’ (Netflix)

AwardsWatch (YouTube)
December 3, 2020

Amanda Seyfried on Oscar Buzz, Her Birthday & Scaring Her Husband

Jimmy Kimmel Live (YouTube)
December 3, 2020

Amanda Seyfried talks about jumping into history, Black & White cinema and working with Gary Oldman.

Review Nation (YouTube)
December 4, 2020

Amanda Seyfried discusses her character Marion Davie on Netflix’s MANK

Jana On Camera (YouTube)
December 4, 2020

Amanda Seyfried talks about playing Marion Davies In David Fincher’s Mank

blackfilmandtv (YouTube)
December 4, 2020

MANK: Hablamos con Amanda Seyfried

La Cosa Cine (YouTube)
December 4, 2020

Amanda Seyfried on Mank I Netflix Interview

Brief Take (YouTube)
December 4, 2020

Amanda Seyfried on The Graham Norton Show (2020)

The Graham Norton Show (YouTube)
December 4, 2020

MANK | AMANDA SEYFRIED REVELA CÓMO FUE HACER UNA PELÍCULA COMO SI HUBIERAN FILMADO EN LOS 1930’S.

Movies Con Jovanny (YouTube)
December 6, 2020

Amanda Seyfried Takes Us from Lessons Learned on Mean Girls to Making Mank with David Fincher

Collider (YouTube)
December 5, 2020

Conversations at Home with Amanda Seyfried of MANK

SAG-AFTRA Foundation (YouTube)
January 13, 2021

MANK | Entrevista a Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins y Tom Pelphrey

SensaCine (YouTube)
December 2, 2020

‘Mank’ Interviews with Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Tom Pelphrey

CinemaBlend (YouTube)
December 2, 2020

Cinema | Mank: il nostro incontro con Amanda Seyfried e Tom Pelphrey

BadTaste.it (YouTube)
December 3, 2020

Amanda Seyfried e Lily Collins: como foi desaparecer no mundo de ‘MANK’

UOL (YouTube)
December 3, 2020

Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Tom Pelphrey – Mank | Röportaj #18

FilmLoverss (YouTube)
December 4, 2020

Amanda Seyfried Dishes on Her Farm Life

Late Night with Seth Meyers (YouTube)
December 16, 2020

Tackling an Ingenue | Amanda Seyfried on Marion Davis and Mank

Netflix (YouTube)
January 14, 2021

Amanda Seyfried reflects on her path to career-best notices for ‘Mank’

Riley Chow
January 21, 2021
Gold Derby

Actors on Actors: Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Kirby

Kate Aurthur
January 29, 2021
Variety

Amanda Seyfried Reacts To ‘Mank’ Oscar Buzz

ET Canada (YouTube)
January 29, 2021

Amanda Seyfried on Oscar buzz, saying ‘no’ to superhero films

Associated Press (YouTube)
January 29, 2021

Amanda Seyfried talks her new film ‘Mank’ and farm life

Popcorn with Peter Travers (YouTube)
February 19, 2021

Amanda Seyfried talks about her new film, ‘Mank’

Good Morning America (YouTube)
February 19, 2021

Mank | Conversation with Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave

Netflix (YouTube)
February 26, 202

Cher in Conversation with Amanda Seyfried

Netflix Awards FYC
March 4, 2021

A conversation with Actor Amanda Seyfried on behalf of MANK. Moderated by Cher.

Amanda Seyfried’s First Magazine Cover Was with Clay Aiken | The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (YouTube)
March 6, 2021

MANK | Q&A with Amanda Seyfried

American Cinematheque
April 5, 2021

Amanda Seyfried Marks a Career High in David Fincher’s ‘Mank’

IndieWire (YouTube)
April 8, 2021

Mank: Academy Award Nominee Amanda Seyfried with Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt

92nd Street Y (YouTube)
April 15, 2021

Amanda Seyfried reacts to Golden Globe nomination for ‘Mank’

Sam Rubin
February 3, 2021
KTLA5

Amanda Seyfried on the hit film ‘Mank’

Sam Rubin
March 5, 2021
KTLA5

Amanda Seyfried on ‘Mank’ Marion Davies and David Fincher

IMDb
April 15, 2021

Amanda Seyfried on “Mank”: “I have never seen myself dressed up that way.”

Scott Orlin
November 23, 2020
The Golden Globe (HFPA)

Amanda Seyfried and Lily Collins On Going Old-School in Mank

John Fardy
November 27, 2020
Screentime (Newstalk Podcast)

Present Company: Amanda Seyfried

Krista Smith
December 4, 2020
Present Company (Apple Podcasts)

Amanda Seyfried: Golden Age

Krista Smith
December 4, 2020
Netflix Queue

Amanda Seyfried Finally Stakes Her Claim

The “Mean Girls” and “Mamma Mia!” actress knows her performance as Marion Davies in“Mank” will be a turning point in her career. But first, she had to put some distance between herself and Hollywood.

Kyle Buchanan
November 29, 2020
The New York Times

Amanda Seyfried Finds the Nuances in Marion Davies in ‘Mank’

Frank J. Avella
December 2, 2020
Awards Daily

Amanda Seyfried on working with director David Fincher on ‘Mank’

Susan King
December 13, 2020
Gold Derby

Amanda Seyfried Talks ‘Mank,’ ‘Mean Girls,’ Working With David Fincher & The Benefits Of 100 Takes [Interview]

Rodrigo Perez
January 25, 2021
The Playlist

The 2015 Movie Draft. Plus: Amanda Seyfried!

Sean FennesseyAmanda Dobbins, and Chris Ryan
January 26, 2021
The Big Picture (The Ringer Podcasts)

Interview: Amanda Seyfried on Marion Davies, Old Hollywood and ‘Mank’

Karen M. Peterson
January 28, 2021
We Live Entertainment

Awards Daily Podcast: Amanda Seyfried on What Marion Davies Would Think of Her ‘Mank’ Triumph

Clarence Moye
January 29, 2021
Awards Daily

Amanda Seyfried is not taking this moment for granted

Lindsey Bahr
February 23, 2021
AP

Amanda Seyfried’s Golden Age

Katey Rich
February 23, 2021
Vanity Fair

Awards Spotlight: Amanda Seyfried Marks a Career High in David Fincher’s ‘Mank’ (Watch)

Anne Thompson
February 26, 2021
IndieWire

An Intimate Look at Amanda Seyfried’s Virtual Golden Globes Celebration

Erik Messerschmidt captured the night in a series of intimate photos for Vogue.

Sarah Spellings
March 1, 2021
Vogue

Amanda Seyfried on ‘Mank’

Alison Stewart
March 3, 2021
All Of It (WNYC)

Interview: Amanda Seyfried Talks ‘Mank’ and Being a Good Person

Joey Magidson
March 6, 2021
Awards Radar

The Next Best Picture Podcast: Interview With “Mank” Star, Amanda Seyfried

Daniel Howat
March 6, 2021
Next Best Picture

The Awardist podcast: How Amanda Seyfried pushed herself to new heights in Mank

David Canfield
March 08, 2021
Entertainment Weekly

The Jess Cagle Podcast w/ Julia Cunningham: Amanda Seyfrie‪d‬

Jess Cagle
March 11, 202
The Jess Cagle Podcast w/ Julia Cunningham (Apple Podcasts)

I Got You Babe

Amanda Seyfried Interviewed by Cher

March 25, 2021
Netflix Queue

The Envelope Podcast: Amanda Seyfrie‪d

Mark Olsen
April 14, 2021
The Envelope (Los Angeles Times)

Mank: Interviews. Lily Collins

Lily Collins plays Rita Alexander, Herman’s secretary, in Mank.

Lily Collins Interview for Netflix’s Oscar Award Contender MANK

BlackTree TV (YouTube)
November 19, 2020

Interview: Lily Collins – Mank

CineXpress (YouTube)
November 20, 2020

Lily Collins Talks EMILY IN PARIS and MANK

Jake’s Takes (YouTube)
Nov 19, 2020

Lily Collins details “MANK”

FabTV (YouTube)
November 21, 2020

Lily Collins Talks WEDDING PLANNING and ‘Emily in Paris’ Season 2 (Exclusive)

Entertainment Tonight (YouTube)
November 26, 2020

Lily Collins: intervista ai protagonisti di Mank di David Fincher

Cinefilos_it (YouTube)
November 28, 2020

‘WE’RE SO READY!’ Lily Collins on Emily in Paris S2!

On Demand Entertainment (YouTube)
November 28, 2020

Lily Collins Dishes on Engagement to Charlie McDowell, Plus: Her New Movie ‘Mank’

extratv (YouTube)
November 30, 2020

Nelson Aspen chats with Amanda Seyfried & Lily Collins about “Mank”

NelsonAspen (YouTube)
November 30, 2020

Lily Collins Reveals the Correct Pronunciation of Emily in Paris

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (YouTube)
November 30, 2020

Lily Collins talks about new movie ‘Mank’

Today TV (YouTube)
December 1, 2020

Lily Collins On Netflix’s “Mank” & “Emily In Paris”: “I Knew I Was Going To Be Learning Something New”

CBS Los Angeles (YouTube)
December 1, 2020

Lily Collins MANK Interview | Netflix

kinowetter (YouTube)
December 2, 2020

Lily Collins On “Mank” And The Success of “Emily in Paris”

Sarina Bellissimo (YouTube)
December 3, 2020

Lily Collins Mank Interview

DE PELICULA (YouTube)
December 3, 2020

Mank: Hablamos con Lily Collins

La Cosa Cine (YouTube)
December 4, 2020

Lily Collins on ‘Mank’ and Discovering David Fincher Is Funny

Collider Interviews (YouTube)
December 7, 2020

Q&A with Lily Collins on Emily in Paris & Mank

In Creative Company (YouTube)
January 14, 2021

MANK | Entrevista a Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins y Tom Pelphrey

SensaCine (YouTube)
December 2, 2020

‘Mank’ Interviews with Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Tom Pelphrey

CinemaBlend (YouTube)
December 2, 2020

Amanda Seyfried e Lily Collins: como foi desaparecer no mundo de ‘MANK’

UOL (YouTube)
December 3, 2020

Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Tom Pelphrey – Mank | Röportaj #18

FilmLoverss (YouTube)
December 4, 2020

Hollywood’s Gary Oldman, Lily Collins talk ‘Mank’

Arab News (YouTube)
December 10, 2020

Amanda Seyfried and Lily Collins On Going Old-School in Mank

John Fardy
November 27, 2020
Screentime (Newstalk Podcast)

Inside Total Film: Gary Oldman & Lily Collins for Mank + Viggo Mortensen & Lance Henriksen for Falling

Inside Total Film
December 3, 2020

Present Company: Lily Collins

Krista Smith
December 11, 2020
Present Company (Apple Podcasts)

Lily Collins: Modern Classic

Krista Smith
December 11, 2020
Netflix Queue

Lily Collins on Netflix’s New Oscar Contender Mank—and the Second Season of Emily in Paris

Radhika Seth
November 26, 2020
Vogue

Lily Collins Earned Her Spot by Putting in the Work + Pushing Through the ‘Nos’

Elyse Roth
November 18, 2020
Backstage

‘Emily in Paris’ star Lily Collins plays the audience’s proxy in ‘Mank’

In the Oscar-magnet Netflix film, her typist character brings ‘a young and fresh perspective’ to her boss, the booze-soaked narcissist writing ‘Citizen Kane.’

Richard Roeper
December 1, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Lily Collins Speaks to Alber Elbaz About Beginning New Chapters in Film and Fashion

Joshua Glass
December 12, 2020
L’Officiel

Total Film: Mank cast on working with David Fincher

“It does feel like Groundhog Day”

Matt MaytumJack Shepherd
November 11, 2020
Total Film (GamesRadar+)

There are few directors as infamously meticulous as David Fincher. Amanda Seyfried – who appears in Fincher’s upcoming movie Mank, about the writing of Citizen Kane – previously revealed that one scene took around 200 takes to capture properly. For the latest issue of the magazine, Total Film asked the team behind Mank about working with Fincher, with the director himself being the first to admit that he can be quite demanding. 

“It was exhausting in the beginning, I think, for him,” Fincher says of leading actor Gary Oldman. “Because I’m fairly didactic about, ‘These are the things that the scene needs to accomplish for me, and we will continue to play, to look for ways to underline these ideas that are as subtle as we can make them.’

Read the full preview and pick up a copy of the new issue of Total Film

Newsstand and subscriber editions covers.

Fincher’s ‘Zodiac’: A Suspenseful and Thrilling Combination of Police Procedural and Newspaper Film That Masterfully Chronicles the Progression of Obsession

Zodiac poster by Barret Chapman

Koraljka Suton
January 24, 2020

If you asked David Fincher about the childhood years he spent in San Anselmo in Marin County during the 1960s, the topic that would undoubtedly pop up would be that of an infamous serial killer who, in the director’s eyes, was “the ultimate boogeyman.” For it was precisely that time and that general area that saw the rise of the Zodiac, a murderer who frequently wrote letters and sent coded messages to local newspapers, gleefully taking credit for the gruesome killing sprees that would inevitably trigger waves of paranoia across the West Coast. As Fincher recalls: “I remember coming home and saying the highway patrol had been following our school buses for a couple weeks now. And my dad, who worked from home, and who was very dry, not one to soft-pedal things, turned slowly in his chair and said: ‘Oh yeah. There’s a serial killer who has killed four or five people, who calls himself Zodiac, who’s threatened to take a high-powered rifle and shoot out the tires of a school bus, and then shoot the children as they come off the bus.’” Fincher’s fascination with the mystery man who wreaked havoc in Northern California during the late 60s and early 70s, claiming to have taken the lives of thirty-seven people (out of which only five were confirmed as being his victims), ultimately resulted in the director gladly accepting to work on Zodiac, a 2007 movie written by James Vanderbilt. The screenwriter had read a 1986 non-fiction book of the same name while he was still in high school, years before pursuing his eventual career. After getting into screenwriting, he had the chance to meet Zodiac author Robert Graysmith, a cartoonist who had been working for one of the newspapers the killer wrote to during the 1960s, and decided to make a screenplay based on the information-packed book. Having creative control over the material was of the utmost importance to Vanderbilt, given the fact that the endings of his previous scripts had been altered. Together with producers from Phoenix Pictures, Vanderbilt bought the rights to both Zodiac and its follow-up, entitled Zodiac Unmasked, after which the Seven director was asked to come on board.

Apart from having a personal attachment to the story of the notorious serial killer who was never brought to justice, what drew Fincher to work on the project was also the fact that the ending of Vanderbilt’s script was left unresolved, thereby staying true to real-life events. But Fincher’s perfectionism and his wish to depict the open case as accurately as possible led to him asking that the screenplay be rewritten, for the wanted to research the original police reports from scratch. He also decided that he, Vanderbilt and producer Bradley J. Fischer should personally interview the people who were involved in the case so that they could discern for themselves whether the testimonies were to be believed or not. The people they spent months interviewing were family members of suspects, the Zodiac killer’s two surviving victims, witnesses, investigators both current and retired, as well as the mayors of Vallejo and San Francisco. As Fincher elaborated: “Even when we did our own interviews, we would talk to two people. One would confirm some aspects of it and another would deny it. Plus, so much time had passed, memories are affected and the different telling of the stories would change perception. So when there was any doubt we always went with the police reports.” They also hired a forensic linguistics expert to analyze the killer’s letters, with the expert’s focus being on how the Zodiac spelled words and structured sentences, as opposed to the emphasis that was put on the Zodiac’s handwriting by document examiners in the 1970s.

Read the full article

Film stills by Merrick Morton (Paramount Pictures)

Other in-depth articles on films by David Fincher on Cinephilia & Beyond:

Alien3: “Take all of the responsibility, because you’re going to get all of the blame”

Se7en: A Rain-Drenched, Somber, Gut-Wrenching Thriller that Restored David Fincher’s Faith in Filmmaking

Downwards Is the Only Way Forwards: Welcome to David Fincher’s The Game

Fight Club’: David Fincher’s Stylish Exploration of Modern-Day Man’s Estrangement and Disillusionment

Fincher’s Zodiac As Easily One Of The Best Thrillers Of The Millennium So Far

From Facebook to ‘Fuck-You Flip-Flops’: How Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher Made ‘The Social Network’ a Fiery Word-Off

In Conversation with Actor Joe Tuttle

Paula Courtney
March 23, 2019
Absolute Music Chat

Joe Tuttle is well known amongst the fans of David Fincher’s Netflix show Mindhunter, for his role as FBI Agent Gregg Smith in both seasons 1 and 2. He has also appeared on other top-rated shows such as The Blacklist and Unforgettable. Joe and I had an in-depth conversation discussing his influences growing up, his career, and so much more.

[…]

JT: My secret weapon is my wife, she’s not an actress but she does have a writing background, so sometimes I think I can get caught up looking at these scripts as an actor like, ‘Oh this could be a really beautiful moment,’ but my wife is always about the writing, sort of, ‘Don’t forget these are human beings.’ It’s nice to have your moment as an actor, but don’t forget, are you really serving the story?

PC: And from speaking to many of the actors on Mindhunter that’s exactly what David Fincher wants when he shoots take after take of the same scene, for you not to play them out as an actor but to be, or react, as you would naturally in real life, and that really ties in to what your wife is saying.

JT: I think that’s part of it… I wish just for one day I could get in the head of David. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone like him before; I probably won’t meet anyone like him again. He’s sort of brilliant at all these different things. I think that’s true he does a lot of takes for a lot of different reasons. One of them is certainly because it’s, ‘Okay let’s make the performances kind of finely crafted in a way, sort of uncrafted in a way. We don’t want to see the actor, we want to see a human being having the experience’.

PC: Yeah exactly!

JT: Also another reason David Fincher does a lot of takes is because I think he has a vision and he wants it to be exactly how he visualises it. It’s not always about the actor, sometimes it’s: we are slightly out of focus; it’s the wrong moment; actually I want to change one word, or the lightning is slightly different, or l want to frame up the camera in a different way, or I don’t like the coffee cup you are using, or that chair, we need to switch that out, or the background actors weren’t perfectly in sync. He notices everything, things that no one else would notice!

PC: In shooting numerous takes he wants the scenes to be the best of the best and to be fair it pays off doesn’t it.

JT: I think so. I don’t think David is making movies or TV shows for the 95%. I think people universally love his work and for good reason. He’s not making them for the 95%, he’s making them for that top 5, that top 2% even, who are going to notice these kinds of things. They are going to say, ‘That cup doesn’t make sense in this world. The lighting was a little bit off in that shot,’ or, ‘that background actor didn’t see his mark exactly.’ He’s making it for people like him, who are going to really notice that stuff. And when you do notice a glaring error or mistake, or something that doesn’t seem right, it takes you out of the story. I think he just wants a total immersive experience. He wants you, I presume, to be so involved that you almost forget, so that you really do feel like a fly on the wall, watching these people having these experiences.

PC: I have just interviewed Garry Pastore and his other job, when he’s not acting, is as a set dresser (leadman). He said he notices stuff like a blank wall behind a person which would clearly have a piece of art or a photograph on it in real life.

JT: The trouble with David is it means we notice that stuff now too; he’s sort of a force of nature; he raises everybody’s game. I’ve really noticed that about him – and not just with the actors, but the cinematographer, the technicians, the dolly grip, the sound folk – because he’s operating at such a high level you have rise to the occasion. I think that’s why people are drawn to working with him and will pass up other job opportunities, just to be able to work with David.

PC: I have arranged to have an interview with a guy called Dwayne Barr who operates the A camera dolly grip, because I’m just as interested to get his take on the technicalities of Mindhunter and Fincher, not just actors. I would love to talk to Erik Messerschmidt about cinematography.

JT: He’s a talented guy. It’s the first time in my working life as an actor I’ve been like ‘Wow!’ I wish my education had included more about cameras, editing and lighting. We touched on a lot of that stuff in acting school but wow, the technical aspects of making a TV show or film is frankly probably more important than some stuff we were taught. Just being able to ask the DP or the cinematographer why this, why now? Because I’ve had this work opportunity, I’ve started to notice.

Read the full interview

Joe Tuttle (David Noles)

Read the other Absolute Music Chat conversations with the Cast of Mindhunter (more to come):

Jonathan GroffHolt McCallanyCameron BrittonCotter SmithJack ErdieAdam ZastrowAlex Morf, Jesse C. Boyd, Tobias SegalThomas Francis MurphyChris Dettone.

In Conversation with Jesse C. Boyd (Mindhunter, Day 5, TURN)

Davina Baynes
March 9, 2019
Absolute Music Chat

Jesse C. Boyd has graced our screens playing roles such as Frank Janderman in David Fincher’s Mindhunter, the lead role of Jake in Day 5, a Queen’s Ranger in TURN and a wolf in The Walking Dead. We had an in-depth, and really fun conversation, about his childhood in rural North Carolina, his career and roles, upcoming projects, music, his love of hot sauce and lots more besides.

[…]

JCB: For Mindhunter I auditioned for it for, I think, a year – it was really long time. I remember I did my first tape when I was at a film festival in Idaho and, I think, while I was there I found out that I got Day 5. Then when I was filming Day 5 season 1 I got my second audition and they added another 8 pages to it. That was just ongoing and ongoing over time until, finally (and I think I was wondering whether it was actually happening) they were like, ‘They want you to come in to the office and do another read.’ I went in for another read. I think that Laray Mayfield (who does the casting) she actually does prefer self-tapes because she wants to weed through and see what she gets. They did just such an incredible job with that casting. When I saw it myself I just thought, ‘Wow! This is just so authentic and good!’ Laray is so talented too. Getting finally into the room you’re like, ‘Don’t screw this up!’

DB: When you were in the room was it just one or two run-throughs, or did she tweak how she wanted you to play it?

JCB: She did tweak. I know she did a version where she wanted it really fast. You’ve got to realise we’ve been doing these auditions over a year and the names are changing and the dialogue changes so you are consistently reframing what you’ve already learned. And then you’re finally going into the room and they’re like, ‘Can you do a fast version?’ (I think they want to see how [actors] can be on their feet, because of the way they filmed that show. When I ended up filming it they had so many different versions that we did of dialogue, I think they wanted to see whether you could handle these quick switches). There was one take that was super-fast and one that was more slowed down.

DB: How did you prep for that role? For who Frank Janderman actually is.

JCB: First of all I [had] spent a lot of time in Pittsburgh which was great (I did work and lots of things there), so that Pittsburghian accent was all around me. Then I just saw Frank as just like so many people that I feel that I already kind of know in life. This ‘nobody-fucking-asked-you’ kind of guy, but also he believes he’s a hotshot. He was accessible to me through so many other people I had met in my life that I know, that I think are really so much about the façade of not showing who they really, truly are – some of that, broken-downness in them.

DB: There’s a long interrogation scene and then a shorter one: how many takes did they do?

JCB: Oh my God! I wish I could tell you! Can I say a million takes? They did that big interrogation scene – we had three cameras running at all times – I think we filmed it for 12 hours the first day (it’s a 9-and-a-half page scene) three cameras, so you’re getting every angle on either side, and you’re doing it over, and over, and over, and over, and over… and just when you’re done, you’re doing it over, and over, and over again. Then I think the next day we went back and did another 6 hours. So it was a really long time of doing which is, I think, what makes it so great. First of all you’re breaking down a lot; you’re coming back; you’re refreshing with new things; you’re constantly finding new things to play with; and also you have so much coverage that when he [David Fincher] chooses what he’s going to put together he really has every colour of the box to paint his picture with.

Read the full interview

Jesse C. Boyd (Janet Adamson / JA Images)

Read the other Absolute Music Chat conversations with the Cast of Mindhunter (more to come): Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Cameron Britton, Cotter Smith, Jack Erdie, Adam Zastrow, Alex Morf, Tobias Segal, Thomas Francis Murphy, Chris Dettone.

In Conversation with Thomas Francis Murphy

Davina Baynes
November 23, 2018
Absolute Music Chat

I recently had the enormous pleasure of interviewing the actor Thomas Francis Murphy. Thomas has worked on movies and shows such as 12 Years a SlaveFree State of JonesMindhunterThe Walking Dead and American Horror Story. We talked about his unconventional path towards taking up acting in his mid 30s, Dayton, Ohio, his career, music and much more besides.

[…]

DB: Mindhunter, Detective McGraw, you were in the first episode which is the one that David Fincher actually directed. How did you get that role?

TFM: I taped for it when I was in Louisiana. Then I came out for the first full out LA premiere I had ever done, which was for the Free State of Jones, and then auditioned here for it, in person, with Laray Mayfield who was casting out here and from there I went to New York to audition with David [Fincher] and Julie Schubert– so there was quite a long audition process for that.

DB: What was your experience on-set of Mindhunter?

TFM: Well again, I didn’t know until we started shooting, that it was a re-shoot. They had shot that whole thing and then came back at the end of the season to re-shoot that [whole] section. The actors, by that time, had been acting together for a whole season so it was like coming into the lunch room mid-semester of the senior year.

DB: There are three big scenes: the one where Tench and Ford do that slightly disastrous presentation in front of everyone; then there’s another one in the diner where you are talking to them; and the final one where you show them the photographs. With that scene, where you are back at the station and are showing them the photos, when did you, and when did they, first see the photographs that you were using?

TFM: Then. I’m sure they saw them before, but I saw them then.

DB: So, they had already seen them because of the re-shoot, but that was the first time you had seen them, because they are pretty gruesome.

TFM: That is an interesting question. That’s really an interesting question, you know – because I had never really thought of it before, kind of shame on me, but that’s alright. Even if I had thought of it, just letting this thing come over me…

DB: Did you have to smoke on set?

TFM: Yes! And that was a bitch when it came to continuity. You do it and then the next take you get, ‘No, your hands were like this!’

DB: No one else has mentioned that and it’s really interesting because I had never thought of that.

TFM: If you are a smoker, right, you don’t do it… I mean that’s the whole point of it. If you’re a smoker it just let it flow through you and proceeds according to your internal state. So to come back on a scene and go, ‘No your hand was just like that!’ That’s what I’m hired to do. I’m not hired to think about it. I’m hired to smoke!

DB: But you wouldn’t have felt quite so ill as the ones who don’t normally smoke who said they would smoke some real cigarettes!

What was it like working with Holt and Jonathan?

TFM: Well I had a high regard for both of them, but you know David does a lot of takes, everybody knows that, right. So again, you’re the new kid, that scene in the diner… that was us meeting each other as actors. I got their attention (laughs) and then we did the scene. That’s how often actors meet each other, as actors, and then you know that you’re going to be able to do the scene.

DB: Was that the first scene then, the one in the diner?

TFM: No. The first stuff we shot was the meeting. We shot that particular thing in chronological order.

DB: So, what is David Fincher like working for when he’s directing?

TFM: Well he’s obviously a guy who knows what he wants. Clearly. So that’s always good! I guess the thing you know is that, if he didn’t get what he wanted, you’d still be shooting! (Both laugh) You take your gratification where you can. My comparison that I have in my mind is that now you’re working with an NBA coach, you were in college basketball, it just has that kind of feeling to it. I’d certainly seen his films and I had certainly paid attention.

Again, it’s another story about having lived through that time, having lived through a period of time where the political colouration of the country, the kind of cultural colouration of the country that went along with that storyline. When I went back and watched Mindhunter I was just completely amazed at how it caught the spirit of that particular, in small ways, period of time.

Read the full interview

Read the other Absolute Music Chat conversations with the Cast of Mindhunter (more to come):

In Conversation with Mindhunter’s Jonathan Groff
An Interview with Mindhunter’s Holt McCallany
In Conversation with Mindhunter’s Cameron Britton
In Conversation with Cotter Smith. Actor (MindhunterThe Americans)
Jack Erdie: Actor (MindhunterBanshee) & writer
In conversation with actor Adam Zastrow (MindhunterHigh & Mighty)
In Conversation With Alex Morf: Actor (MindhunterDaredevil)
In Conversation With Tobias Segal: Actor (MindhunterSneaky Pete)
Spotlight Interview. Chris Dettone: Actor (Mindhunter), Stuntman/Coordinator