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« What I Saw | Where I Saw It | Why I Loved It| Main| The New Best Actress Field.Who Will Be Nominated?»
Tuesday
May 05 2015

What I Learned From Paul Rudd (& Other Cool People)

At the premiere of Avengers: Age of UltronThe Film Experience welcomes rising actor David Dastmalchian (Ant-Man,亚博主页Animals,Prisoners) who has taken over the blog for a day!-Editor


-by David Dastmalchian

The following are some rad people that I had the chance to work with or work near or at least stand across the street from – and the cool stuff that I learned while watching them.    I've kind of fashioned my entire life that way: honing in on the people who are really good at what they do and,well,trying to copy-cat them.

PAUL RUDD.
LESSON: ‘Keep the scene rolling until they yell ‘cut'.  And be nice to everyone.And always carry cash'.

It's very intimidating to work on scenes with an actor who can continue to improvise past the text until every single person within a hundred feet is laughing out loud.  I had the opportunity to work with Paul on his upcomingAnt-Manfor Marvel Studios directed by Peyton Reed.Paul had an extreme amount of physical work to do with his preparation,as well as re-writing the project and he was incredibly focused.  He came to work each day prepared to make the most out of the scripted text – while being simultaneously open to improvisation as soon as the director gave him the green light.  It was amazing.  He is an endless well of ideas and he's also very generous,so he would turn to me sometimes when he was on a riff and toss me a golden line.  I dropped as few as possible.

More Paul and other cool peopleafter the jump...


Also – he was nice to EVERYONE and got to know everyone's name.

Oh,and another thing I learned from Paul: ‘Always carry cash for tips.'  I was in the embarrassing predicament where both of our cars had taken us from the airport to our hotel and I had no cash in my wallet.  I borrowed some cash from Paul to tip my driver.

Man,now that I'm writing this I don't think I ever paid him back… Crap.

Malcolm McDowell in "The Employer"MALCOLM MCDOWELL
LESSON: ‘Never leave a man (or woman) behind.'

What an honor to work with one of my all-time favorite actors.  We were cast opposite one another in the indie thriller,The Employer(dir.Frank Merle).  Malcolm McD was as cool as the day is long and I would listen endlessly to his incredible stories.There was a scene at the end of the film (and on Malcolm's last day of shooting) where we face off with a pretty violent climax.  I had to yell and scream and point a gun at people – it was cool.  Malcolm delivers a great speech to me and by the time we finished shooting his coverage he was several hours past his scheduled release time.  As they relit the set to turn the camera around on me,Malcolm was released for the evening – but he insisted on staying and playing all of my takes with me,even though he was off-camera and exhausted.  I'll never forget that.

Melissa Leo in PrisonersMELISSA LEO
LESSON: ‘Whatever it takes to get the goods.'

I remember standing outside of some EPK interviews when we were shooting Denis Villeneuve'sPrisonersin Atlanta.  I hadn't interacted with her much yet (and didn't have any scenes with her in the film) but Melissa was in make-up and wardrobe and justinhabitingthe crap out of her terrifying character.  In the film,she and I have a pretty horrifying history together and she was well aware of how uncomfortable her character made mine.  I was shooting a big scene that day and feeling tense about it.  I think she could sense that.When she stood next to me,I started to engage in some basic,boring old conversation – but Melissa leaned in close (staying fully in character) and warned me that I "better not tell anyone about what happened."  She went on,smiling and warning in a low whisper so that only I could hear it.I was laughing the most uncomfortable and frightened laugh I've probably ever uttered.  I walked from that conversation right onto set.  I was ready.

Prisoners promotional photo.Shot byWilson Webb

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Reader Comments (13)

This is so cool...Like having your cool older brother return home from Hollywood to give you the dish on actors :)

May 5,2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Dave - agreed.But generous dish.So more like compliments.I think I love the story about Melissa Leo best because it only contributes to the LEOgend.:)

May 5,2015 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Melissa Leo is amazing-I love that story.You two were both superb in that movie,and I love that she's so cool backstage since I seek out basically every movie she makes.

May 5,2015 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

The melissa Leo story was awesome,but please tell me what is LEOgend.I'm intrigued.

May 5,2015 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Josh -- oh it's just what we've been calling her for ages.The LEOgend.someone started it in comments during her "For Your Consideration"craziness and it stuck.She *is* memorable.

May 5,2015 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

If your day-long takeover is nothing but Melissa Leo stories,I don't really think I could be happier!

May 5,2015 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

LOL,I believe someone over at AW started the LEOgend talk...it's a running joke there and has been her nickname since her whole 'Consider' add.

And Paul Rudd sounds like a guy I need to be besties with.

May 5,2015 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Well one thing I have learned about you rather quickly and I like this by the way is you're a fan of The Color Purple---literally!

May 5,2015 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

LOVE this post.More please!

May 5,2015 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Leo's stage training is why she is so considerate to work with.The stronger David's performance,the more threatening Leo looks.She helped herself by helping him.

May 5,2015 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

It's easy to forget all the little logistical things that impact performances,like who's on set when and with whom,or what hours you've been working that day-- so fun to get a window into that!And always nice to hear good things about actors I like!

May 5,2015 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

Not to be totally shallow after reading this delightful post but i'm loving the purple blog.It's soooo pretty and relaxing.

It's nice to know that Paul Rudd is just as delightful that you would think him to be and that Malcolm McDowell is so giving.He could have easily just called it a day and you couldn't blame him.

That Melissa Leo story is oddly unsettling.I mean,yeah,she helped but I would have been so unnerved.

May 5,2015 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck.

That Melissa Leo anecdote might be my favorite thing David shared with us today.It's so perfectly LEOesque,no?#Consider

May 5,2015 | Registered CommenterManuel Betancourt

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