Scene Work: Corey Stoll On Ernest Hemingway and Woody Allen
Friday,January 20,2012 at 7:13PM
NATHANIEL R in Bourne,Corey Stoll,Midnight in Paris,Oscars (11),亚博主页Supporting Actor,interview

With theSAG Awardsfast approaching,Oscar nominations hitting on Tuesday and "Original Screenplay"wins and Best Director nominations piling up for Woody Allen how about a little trip back toMidnight In Paris?Specifically to that magical hour when all of the movie's best moments take place.On the first of Gil's (Owen Wilson) midnight adventures he meets the Fitzgeralds who then introduce him to Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll).This introduction -- Stoll pisses off the Fitzgeralds (on purpose) and then badgers and ingratiates himself with Gil,who is reeling from meeting his hero.It's one of the movie's most memorable scenes andCorey Stollimmediately establishes himself as the film's MVP despite a plethora of famous actors in showy cameos.

If you're a writer,declare yourself the best writer!But you're not as long as I'm around unless you want to put the gloves on and settle it."
-Stoll as Hemingway.

This introduction was also,not so surprisingly,the rising actor's most satisfying scene to shoot.When I spoke to him in December aboutthat bizarre SAG rule which prevented him from technically being part of the movie's Best Ensemble nomination,we discussed this introduction in particular and his working relationship with comeback kid Woody Allen.

"That's the scene I was most nervous about,"the actor recalls about his memorable introduction.He loved how 'commanding and unapologetically self-centered' this fictionalized Heminway was."It's actually the scene where Woody let me do a number of takes.I think often he just lets actors find it themselves.They either find it immediately or not and he still moves on."

He recounts the speed at which Woody works.He doesn't want the actors to obsess too much on the work and wants to keep things more spontaneous."With this I lucked out.At a certain point after my final take of the closeup he said 'that's 100% what I was looking for'."

I can't help but register surprise that Allen spoke to him at all.You hear stories.His funny response:

That was the only praise that I heard the entire time!He's not big on ass-kissing."
-Stoll on Woody Allen

Amusingly enough,Allen's purposeful steering of the actors away from actual biography towards communal fantasies presented a slight obstacle for Stoll after the fact."I've sort of been asked a lot of questions about Hemingway."When he did a public reading of Hemingway's letters he worried that he'd be "a bit of a fraud"in front of scholars. "I knew the basics of his life,"the actor says about the famous author,but that isn't what he used,creatively,for the performance."What was most important in this context was having his rhythm and cadence and his use of language be the driving force of the performance.As a reader that's what you get.That's where I put my energy and attention."

The work paid off and the actors career is on the upswing."All this attention and praise is really nice,"he confesses."But the role itself is so much more satisfying.Whatever happens,I played Ernest Hemingway in a Woody Allen movie!"

Two Stoll Roles: North Country with Charlize Theron.Intimate Apparel with Viola Davis

Currently Stoll is enjoying running into old co-stars on the awards circuit including Charlize Theron (North Country).His "Intimate Apparel"stage partner Viola Davis is also on the campaign trail this year.Would he like to reprise that for a film?"Any day.Any time.Wonderful experience."He's up for Best Supporting Actor next month at the Spirit Awards and one can't help but pray that he'll be a shock surprise on Oscar Nomination morning this yearin the same category.

Before we wrap up,I had to ask him about his role in the upcoming summer blockbusterBourne Legacyopposite Jeremy Renner,also a former co-star

"Please don't tell me you're playing a villain,"I say sharing with him one of my major movie pet peeves."They always make bald men villains!"

"I can't tell you anything,"Stoll says laughing."I'm contractually obligated!They weren't specific about how they were going to ruin me but there's nothing to be gained."

Interview Index|Nathaniel's Supporting Actor Ballot

Article originally appeared on The Film Experience (//www.cfp-vi.com/).亚博主页
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