Here is an exclusive interview with Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and director David Fincher.
MALE INTERVIEWER: What resonated with you most about the script originally, when you read it?
PITT: Uh, myself? Uh, what resonated most? Hours of prosthetics in a chair and, and... A whole, uh, playing a character from, birth to death. That"s what resonated with me. And I didn"t want any part of it.
MALE INTERVIEWER: Resonated in a different way, in a negative way.
BLANCHETT: I thought it was the absolute ambition of the film to, span the life of one man"s experience through the various multifarious experiences that make up a life. And to do it in a way that was non-sentimental, and as robust as possible. And when I knew, you know, obviously, that David was gonna direct it, then we knew it was gonna be an interesting journey.
MALE INTERVIEWER: And non-sentimental.
PITT: And non-sentimental.
BLANCHETT: For a change.
FINCHER: Yeah, exactly. Belying years of sentiment.
FINCHER: I just read a script that I loved and a story that I wanted to be a part of and a DVD I wanted to own.
MALE INTERVIEWER: Were you interested in the ambition of it, though? Like the scope of it, the fact that it was so big?
FINCHER: Yeah. I, again it"s hard to say this with a straight face but it"s true. When you read it on the page, it doesn"t seem as daunting as when you see it. When you see it, you kind of become more aware of just how much movement is in it, you know what I mean? When you see it in pictures, it"s just like the character. When you can talk about Benjamin Button, you can talk about this idea of an eighty-five-year-old man who"s really six years old inside. And it"s just a different thing than when you see it. When you see it, you go... There"s a whole different kind of emotional connection to it. So I didn"t really think of it in terms of. Oh, this is daunting. “Oh, this sounds impossible, I should definitely sign up for that. Let me see who else I can sucker into it."
FINCHER: It"s kind of you look at it, and you go, “Is this one of those, is this a two-disc set I want on my mantle?"
PITT: He"s also saying this, though, five, six years down the road after a lot of work. And I"m sure, if he"d seen the list of hurdles he"d have to get over beforehand it might have been another story.
FINCHER: It"s that horrible situation where you go, Well, I"ve given it two and a half years.
PITT: You"re doubling your bet.
FINCHER: Well, we"re three and a half years into this, so I
might as well, yeah. But if somebody said to you, “Here"s a script.
This will take six years to make." You probably wouldn"t go, “Oh,
jeez. Where do I sign up?"
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