When actors who have worked with David Fincher in the past complained about the director, it usually had something to do with the filmmaker’s controlled sets, long hours, and many, many takes — an obsessive desire for his own perfection. It’s one thing to read about that, quite another to watch and hear actors discussing the process (with Fincher sitting right there, reaction shots aplenty). Even in the first few minutes of the cast interview, there’s an emerging tone that almost reminds of cult members defending their leader’s methods. Sure, this was Carrie Coon’s first movie, she’s happy for Fincher to give her a peek behind the camera. But then, the (excellent) Kim Dickens starts talking about being a “color” Fincher’s painting with, and Neil Patrick Harris rattles off the number of takes, the notes Fincher gives to every person in a room as that number creeps ever higher (watch Pike closely as Harris speaks), and not feeling like a fuck-up because of it, rather “getting into the flow” — Harris walks through the paced thoughts of a scene. Honestly, this video…it’s a little creepy.
Note: There are small bits of Gone Girl footage you may not have seen in previews.
“…So you’re not just doing 50 takes of one tiny, little incremental part, you’re simmering in this pot…”
Fincher reminds me a little of another favorite director — Ridley Scott — whose need for absolute perfection and control is notorious for exhausting cast, crew and budgets. While I have admiration for both, I also find them a bit frightening. But I’ll still watch the shit out of their films.
Watch more of the “Uncensored Conversation here.