Scott Cooper Out of the Furnace Interview
Scott Cooper Out of the Furnace Interview
Do you have a favourite scene where you feel you got exactly what you were going for?

Scott Cooper

Probably in the kitchen, where one brother says, 'Why don't you work for a living?', and the other says, 'Work for a living, motherfucker?', it shows what he's gone through. Too often we forget what our soldiers go through. The horrors that they see. Even a brother has to be reminded. It's unfortunate that when they come home they have a very difficult time of settling back into life.

Then you have actors take a scene and elevate it to places that you had no idea it was going. That's what Casey Affleck did. You have the other actor, who's extremely restrained and understands his brother's pain. And allows him to expunge that. That's thrilling, when you watch actors at the very height of their game.
Did you cut anything out that you were sorry to see go?

Scott Cooper

Not particularly. Maybe a scene where Sam Shepard is tending to his orchids. Very masculine, dealing with one of the world's most delicate flowers. Christian Bale comes and they talk in a very metaphorical manner about the fact that his brother is very likely dead. And they need to avenge his death, or they need to go up to try and find him, if he is still alive. It's a very beautiful scene, but it seemed just to be colour. It didn't advance the narrative in ways that people are accustomed to. But it was a beautiful scene. I think it'll be on the DVD, for people who care to revisit Out of the Furnace.
Obviously the script came from a very personal place, but on top of that did you look at any other films with similar themes for influence?

Scott Cooper

There were other filmmakers that influenced me. Ken Loach, the Dardenne brothers, some of the unsparing qualities of Michael Haneke. I tend to watch, or be more engaged by world cinema than American cinema, probably. If you look at that in the way those films approach certain themes. All filmmakers either curate or are influenced by other filmmakers, and having never gone to film school, that's something I do a great deal of, watch films I've seen countless times.

I have to watch them much more closely and differently than I did the first time I saw them. Also very influenced by the work of Dorothea Lange, Robert Frank. Just trying to tell the world as truthfully and realistically as possible.
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Content updated: 23/10/2019 02:03

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