Here, we share an excerpt from our classic interview of when Adrien Brody first worked with director, Wes Anderson. His latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel won at this year's Oscars.
Adrien Brody is only the second person to have had a follow-up cover with BLAG, having graced Vol.2 Nø 4. The other holder of this ‘record’ is André 3000. A trivial bit of information perhaps, but it just shows we like him. We invited Adrien again not only because he’s still our favourite, but we’re thoroughly impressed by his latest role in Wes Anderson’s wonderful film, ‘The Darjeeling Limited’ where he stars alongside Jason Schwartzman and Owen Wilson.
This time, we arranged to meet Adrien in Paris. It’s the morning of the interview and photoshoot. Crisp and fresh, yet grey. Sarah and I decide to take a quick stroll after breakfast in our local area of Saint Germain. We all head back into our “home”, the Hotel Bel Ami and go to our two rooms to get set for our guest. After numerous visits from Service, taking on the look and feel of one of those comedy scenes where the door is constantly opened and closed to various faces and expressions on the other side. It’s not long, before the phone rings again. “OK, just send him up, thanks,” says Sarah then puts the receiver back down. There’s a knock at the door and we’re greeted with a huge grin and given a hug and kiss each from our favourite actor, Adrien Brody.
It’s been almost two years since we last met and as much as we laugh about it being an anniversary, it feels like it wasn’t so long ago at all. Adrien tells us coincidentally he was showing a friend the last issue at the time our request for this came through which he was pleased about. He throws an apple on the bed, unplugs his ipod and places it down together with his mobile phone. “They made me wait downstairs, they said you were on the phone.” Yes, regarding service. “Do you want a cuppa?” I ask. “They do a great green tea here.” “Yeah, sure. Green is good,” he answers.
Collectively various clothes are chosen to mix with Adrien’s own. We get set and do the shoot across several quintessentially Parisian locations. Our cover star is very accommodating, relaxed and cracks jokes which are followed by his infectious laugh – which you’ll hear a lot more of later. He is also very nonchalant when onlookers walk up to him, point and say, “Adrien Brody.” Some pull out digital cameras for a souvenior to show-off to their loved ones. No one asks permission, and surprisingly there are no Ps and Qs.
Once the shoot is done we pack up. Adrien and I head over to Les Deux Maggots for some food and the interview. We’re given seats outside in a raised terrace area – luckily the Don’s seat, a favourite of mine in any establishment. We sit side-by-side with the sun now shining down on us. I set up the mini disc and ask Adrien to clip on the mic. “It feels much more authentic now,” he laughs. Adrien is in a very upbeat mood, often smiling, his Queens accent is still pretty heavy with slight west coast intonation, brought out particularly with the word, ‘amazing’, but not that much, just a little. He ponders and lingers over words within his answers, finds the seal to the sentence and punctuates it with a proud, quick roundness.
The minute I press record, sirens blast through the square... “The sirens for a bit of atmosphere!” laughs Adrien. “Being in Paris. You see I’m all about that. I’m all about the spontaneity, can’t you tell?”
“Hahaha! I love it.”
I wanted you to talk about The Darjeeling Limited quite a lot, then talk to you about the other stuff.
“OK. Great. Great.”
Sooo. Can you tell us about getting the script, or was the call first? What was your first impression?
“Well, what was really exciting was, you know I’m a huge fan of Wes’ work and I love ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’; it’s one of my favourite movies. I have often said to friends of mine that I would love to do a Wes Anderson movie. I love his sensibility and I love the uniqueness of his films and the characters within them, and I felt like I fit in in some way.” So how did it first start? Did you get a phone call? “Yeah, I got a call that he was possibly interested in me being in the movie, so then they sent a script and I loved the script. I laughed out loud when I read it, which is a great sign. Then I was shooting ‘Manolete’ in Spain – and actually working with the DP who shot ‘Manolete’ and ‘The Darjeeling Limited’, Bob Yeoman – and flew to New York, sat down with Wes and talked and you know, basically that was the process, you know he had to make sure he could hire me! [laughs]”
Was there any different kind of rigmarole to get in just because of the way he works, or...
“There wasn’t anything complicated in that sense, no. It was very good... I wish more films were like that. Sometimes, let me see... I do get more offers obviously since I guess, ‘The Pianist’ having increased people’s awareness of my work, but when an offer comes in from a director that you really admire it’s a real exciting moment and it’s an offer because there is a kind of confidence in you and awareness of your work, rather than having to prove yourself to that director which I appreciate.”
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