INTERVIEW – After the powerful “The Last Duel” released in October, the American actor reunites with Ridley Scott for one of the event films at the end of the year. He slips into the costume of Maurizio Gucci, the heir to the family empire who will be assassinated on the orders of his ex-wife Patrizia, played by pop star Lady Gaga. Meet.
Interview by Delphine DE FREITAS –
Don’t ask him what he thought of his film. You would waste precious time on the five short minutes allotted to each medium. It’s simple, Adam Driver does not like to see himself on the screen and carefully avoids all projections. Yet he was everywhere in the cinema this year. The public discovered his singing talents in Annette of Leos Carax before worshiping hate him in The last duel by Ridley Scott released in October.
This Wednesday, November 24 will seal his reunion with the British director who called on him to House of Gucci, his family thriller with a five-star cast that mixes luxury, glamor and murder inspired by a true story. The American actor lends his features to Maurizio Gucci, shot in 1995 at the age of 46 by a contract killer hired by his ex-wife Patrizia. In the aftermath of the London preview of House of Gucci, it is a very posed Adam Driver who answered our questions by Zoom.
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House of Gucci: in theaters November 24
Would you agree if I said that House of Gucci is less a crime story than the story of a woman trying to make a name for herself in a man’s world?
You can tell. I don’t know, I haven’t seen the film. But I’m sure it’s an interpretation, of course. I try not to get too involved in what the movies are about, in what they mean and what they don’t mean. It’s not something I can play when we’re doing a scene. So what they can add to my mind afterwards is not my responsibility. It’s Ridley’s. Well, not really actually. We’re all different. We don’t live in the movie theater. We have experiences outside and we bring them to the cinema or wherever we watch the movies. So it’s difficult. I don’t want to tell someone what a movie is or not, because it’s different for all of us.
Maurizio struggles to make his name and identity his own as Gucci. I feel like this is something he shares with old characters that you played, who are also struggling to make who they are. Adam in Girls to Kylo Ren in Star Wars, even Charlie in Marriage Story or Zimmerman in BlackKklansman. Is this internal conflict, this question of identity determining when you choose a role?
No, but it’s an interesting point. We can identify with it. I never made this connection. I hear what you are saying, but it is not something conscious. I don’t tell myself that I’m going to start at the head of characters who have an identity complex. But I was really interested in Ridley. We had just worked together on The last duel and he sent me this stuff. And it seemed like a character who, you’re right, is kind of struggling with his genetics, which I find interesting. He is someone who is very aware of his upbringing. I have the impression that we all agree with this idea. Are the mistakes I made predetermined by biology or do I have control over my own choices? I feel like it’s never really just one thing. But that’s definitely a theme in this movie.
LCI PLAY – “House of Gucci”: the event film with Lady Gaga and Adam Driver
Ridley Scott loves spontaneity. He also likes improvisation, he likes to be surprised
The first time Maurizio meets Patrizia, he is blown away by the beauty of this Elizabeth Taylor lookalike. Do you remember your reaction to the first scene you shot with Lady Gaga?
I don’t remember the first scene we shot. But I can tell you that she is an easy partner as she is very prepared. She is an artist who performs so she has a good mastery of her body. It’s really easy to work with her. He is the best possible partner. Someone who is very prepared but is willing to go wherever the best idea is at a T moment. But what was the first part of your question?
If you remember your reaction …
Yes, it’s true. I didn’t remember this question, but I also don’t remember the first day. I have a memory problem. This is probably the theme (he’s laughing). I played the same character over and over and I forget (he laughs again), so I still think that every character has an identity problem.
Perhaps you remember the special way in which Ridley Scott directs his films …
Oh yeah, Ridley Scott directed this movie? (he laughs even more).
Ridley Scott uses 4 to 8 cameras and only shoots two to three takes, maximum. Your experience with him on The last duel did she help you on the set of House of Gucci ?
Yes, I always have the impression that decoding a film is decoding the director. With The last duel, I was prepared by telling me that it would not require a lot of takes and it’s true. But Ridley is always up for more if you want. You know he will do as much as you want. But he structures everything to be fast because he loves spontaneity. He also likes improvisation, he likes to be surprised. But because he does that, he gives you incredible confidence as an actor. He, too, is incredibly prepared. Each scene is storyboarded. He drew it himself. But because he trusts his actors, if you have a different impetus, he’s just going to rock all around. He’s been doing this for so long that he doesn’t get lost in thoroughness. Nothing gets in the way of the momentum on the board. For him, momentum is the key. His films are beautifully framed, but he doesn’t want them to not come alive. He is very loyal to this discipline, which I adore. It’s the opposite of the way I like to shoot. I appreciate the fact that we take the time to get into the rhythm and know what we’re doing. I appreciate having several chances not to regret not having gone far enough on the way back to the hotel or home in the evening. But that’s not a right or wrong way to go. It’s just a different way than the way I feel comfortable with. It’s great to be an actor, you can vary the way you work.
House of Gucci: the trailer
- Hitman, luxury and clairvoyance: the sulphurous true story behind the film “House of Gucci”
>> House of Gucci by Ridley Scott – with Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Jared Leto, Salma Hayek and Camille Cottin – from November 24 at the cinema
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Adam Driver (“House of Gucci”): “Lady Gaga is the best possible partner”