The acclaimed film-maker discusses new movie Dont Worry, He Wont Get Far on Foot and how he ended up in a hip-hop video
John Callahan, the quadriplegic cartoonist and subject of the brand-new film Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, fits right in among the free thinkers speck the filmography of chairman Gus Van Sant. In a job spanning three decades, Van Sant has all along been gravitated towards those subversives and utopians who go against the grain of mainstream civilization. That unconventional streak can work to their benefit, as with the janitor genius of the populist stumbled Good Will Hunting. Sometimes, it’s to their disservice, as with the free-living drug addict of Van Sant’s early arthouse hotshot Drugstore Cowboy. Most routinely, though, it’s a combination of the two. As considered to be in his biopic managements for Kurt Cobain and Harvey Milk, Van Sant’s got a situation for martyr, for those be permitted to transmute the agony of their mere existence into large and meaningful pieces.
All of which has brought him back to Callahan, and to the famed Phoenix playing dynasty. Van Sant has brawled for years with the idea of a movie about Callahan’s remarkable life- a gondola accident left him without implement of his legs or fine machine skills in his arms, but didn’t stop him from embracing a pencil between his hands and illustrating his hilariously dark, darkly hilarious puns. The job was initially designed as a collaboration with Robin Williams, and rewritten several times as matters such as scheduling or financing precluded a start to product. Williams’ demise in 2014 been in a position to permanently shuttered Don’t Worry, but Van Sant obtained an appropriate replacement in a past collaborator.
” I started from scratch again ,” Van Sant mentions during a curiously succinct interview, maybe due to a shaky phone connection.” The other screenplays from 1997 and 2002 were written for Robin, and this time around, it was my first time writing for John Callahan, writing for the book. When Joaquin got involved, I started writing with the idea that he would play it. I still knew he’d have his own spin on it, though. So I wasn’t so much writing it for Joaquin as I was contemplating it with him in thought .”
A virtuosic actor who are not able possibly care less about engaging movie stardom, Joaquin Phoenix reverberates a little bit like one of Van Sant’s initiations. The pair firstly linked up in 1995 for the pitch-black farcical verite-style felony yarn To Die For, in which a then 21 -year-old Phoenix showed a student persuasion into slaughter by psychotically ambitious newswoman Nicole Kidman. Since then, they’ve abode close as their individual charts have grown.
“[ Joaquin] is intense, it’s true, but I’ve known him all these times and we’ve maintained in touch ,” Van Sant suggests.” We talk about a lot of things we’re working on separately, but this is our first movie together in over 20 years. He’s very hard-working. We went through the entire dialogue, sheet by page. He wanted to make sure everything I was marking in the narration was something he was in sync with .”