20 9 / 2011
CHEW-BOSE: Ok. So, let’s talk about Carey Mulligan. At first I was bit unsure of her as Irene…
REFN: Well, in the novel, she’s Hispanic…
CHEW-BOSE: You’ve mentioned that you see some hints of Molly Ringwald in her. You’re also going to work again with her. As a director, what draws you to her acting?
REFN: Working with her is terrific. She moved in to my wife’s and my house in Los Angeles and lived with us. So we became very close. She’s an amazing actress. I was meeting many other actresses, great actresses, for this role of Irene, but there was nothing for me that was clicking. And I didn’t know why because there was so much talent around me. And I never thought of Carey Mulligan for the movie. And it really came about that I got a call from her agent asking if I’d meet with her, and I hadn’t even seen any of her movies. My wife had seen An Education and so had my mother, and said it was very good. So I said, “Sure we can meet, come to the house.” Everybody had to come to the house. She came a few days later, and I was really confused, and irritated, and desperate why I couldn’t find Irene, because we were getting closer and closer to the start date. The minute she walked through the door, I said, “You’re it.”
CHEW-BOSE: What was “it” about her?
REFN: I knew that I would want to protect her. And she reminded me of my wife in a way, because she felt so pure that I could now, be the driver of the movie. I knew I could destroy anything around me to protect her.
CHEW-BOSE: Speaking of destruction, in a New York Times piece from a couple years ago, you spoke about what filmmaking used to mean for you. You likened making a movie to punk rock; a reason to destroy everything.
REFN: Yeah, it had to be a destructive medium. Pure nihilism.
CHEW-BOSE: And now you no longer feel that way…
REFN. I don’t. Thank God.
CHEW-BOSE: What do you think changed?
REFN: Well in the beginning, you use art as a destructive medium. It’s there to hurt people. But then I went bankrupt and had my first child, and I realized that art was not to hurt but to inspire. And you can get so much more out of it if you look at it like that. So when I made Bronson, I was actually making a movie about my own life.
CHEW-BOSE: A closeness to his decades in solitary confinement?
REFN: I was stuck in solitary confinement.
CHEW-BOSE: And with Drive?
REFN: It’s about how much I love my wife and what I would do for her.
CHEW-BOSE: Does she know that?
REFN: I think she suspects it."