A showdown between two kids: about eleven, in a local playground. Swollen lips, broken teeth… Now the parents of the “victim” have invited the parents of the “bully” to their apartment to sort if out. Cordial banter gradually develops a razor-sharp edge as all four parents reveal their laughable contradictions and grotesque prejudices. None of them will escape the ensuing carnage. Carnage, which runs at 79 minutes since it plays out in real time, is directed by Roman Polanski, itâ€™s based on Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play God Of Carnage. The two sets of parents in question are portrayed by Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz. The film is set for release December 16th.
What was it about Carnage that sparked your interest? You’ve worked on a number of films based around family.
Kate Winslet: I suppose when you are I parent, and you come from a very big, very close family like I do, I think it’s just apart of your emotional makeup. I suppose I have found myself subconsciously drawn to these types of stories that include everybody, they include every family member, they include the complexities of a family dynamic, especially involving children. Being a parent myself I’m familiar with school playground politics and how complex that can be â€” and sometimes how ridiculous that can be, and funny. So when Roman approached me about being involved in God Of Carnage, first of all when Roman Polanski asks you to join him on any project you really don’t say no. The script was so extraordinary, I had seen the play in New York so I was already very much a fan of the piece. I just felt extremely fortunate to be included.
What was it like working on this film with Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly? It’s such a character-based piece.
Kate Winslet: One thing that I would say, which Roman would say, because he said it on set a couple of times, the four of us just got on really well, we all got along from the first day of rehearsals. I think we all felt a healthy sense of trepidation just to take on such an extraordinarily crafted piece of writing, but also, quite understandably, working with the great Roman Polanski â€” you can still get a bit terrified, no matter how experienced you are (laughs). But I think that unified… natural fear, sort of bonded us from the get go. Then I think when we started shooting, we discovered that we all worked in fairly similar ways, lots of sharing of ideas, predictions about, ‘What you think we are going to be doing tomorrow, how do you think Roman’s going to rehearse this?’ We were a great group of friends, that was very valuable for us to have. Roman said it himself, and we took it as a compliment, he said he’d never come across a group of actors who were completely non-competitive with each other, and really sticking together. We were all taken aback by that compliment. It made us feel really good about how we were functioning as a group.
I have to ask, what was it like filming the vomit scene?
Kate Winslet: (Laughs) It was absolutely hilarious shooting the vomit sequence, we were all completely beside ourselves with laughter. It was done in a very clever way… that’s actually only the second time I’ve had to throw up on screen, the first being a very small piece in Episode 2 of Mildred Pierce. I had to contain a lot of vomit in my mouth, which is not possible for a person to do. So without going into too much detail, it was a fairly complex rig, and there was some extremely clever CGI involved. But these guys got a real kick out of seeing me leap about in a blue suit, in which I sort of looked like a cross between one of The Avengers and Barbarella (laughs). And my kids came to work for the vomit day, and I’m so thrilled that they were there because they literally haven’t stopped talking about it since â€” it really was utterly hysterical (laughs).
How was it to play such fleshed out characters? They really come at the audience full throttle.
Kate Winslet: I think all of us felt very lucky that we were playing very fully developed, fleshed out characters. Each individual person on that stage, that I saw, and hopefully it has transported itself onto the screen in some mysteries, hopeful way. Every character is extremely strong, complex and complicated â€” but all families are. I think that was one of the things that was very evident in the screenplay. We were all aware that our characters start in one place, then end up somewhere that is completely different, so we all had big journeys to go on. It was very very hard to make that as evident as we possibly could, in one room, in real time. I think we really did just work very very hard in doing the best job that we could and supporting each other, to try to honor these great characters that Yasmina Reza created.
As the film runs in real time, what the process like filming Carnage?
Kate Winslet: We turned up on day one of rehearsals, none of us knew how on earth we were going to put this together. Were we going to do it in the normal film way? Where you rehearse the morning you arrive, you stage the particular scenes for that day, then you shoot in order. What actually ended up happening was that we really did rehearse the entire thing like a play. By the end of the first week of rehearsals, Roman sent us home and said, ‘I want you to learn the whole screenplay this weekend, and on Monday morning lets not have the script in our hand. The second week of rehearsal we are just going to run it and run it, and stage it.’ So it was staged exactly like a play, every single detail was mapped out â€” that was new for a lot of us who haven’t been on stage for a very long time. But also it was incredibly necessary, while it took a while to get used to, we were all really grateful to have that structure because we actually knew what was coming next. The whole thing was shot in story order from start to finish, which I don’t think any of us had experienced on film before.
Source: Flicks and Bits