People like Brando are just kindergarten compared with Kinski. He is totally mad and unpredictable. It’s very hard to domesticate this wild man. I almost shot him it got so bad. There are rumors I directed him behind the camera with a gun. This is not true. He threatened to leave the set and I explained very calmly that I did have a rifle. He would reach the bend of the river, but with eight bullets. You can see there is something raging in this man. I owe him a lot. We owe each other a lot. We liked each other, we hated each other and we respected each other. It’s not easy to explain our relationship. It sounds like a paradox. The only thing that counts is what we see on screen.
Only death is certain.
Death is cruelty against the unsuspecting.
But that’s not what I perceive as cruel.
Cruel is when you can’t die even if you want to. Nosferatu the Vampyre directed by Werner Herzog, 1979
I am the great traitor. There must be no other. Anyone who even thinks about deserting this mission will be cut up into 198 pieces. Those pieces will be stamped on until what is left can be used only to paint walls. Whoever takes one grain of corn or one drop of water… more than his ration, will be locked up for 155 years. If I, Aguirre, want the birds to drop dead from the trees… then the birds will drop dead from the trees. I am the wrath of God. The earth I pass will see me and tremble.
Aguirre, The Wrath of God 1972, Directed by Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog on the casting of Robert Pattinson for Queen of the Desert
“I’ve always been intrigued by the very young Lawrence of the Arabia Archaeologist, and he looked, at 22, when you see historical photos, he looked like a schoolboy. And actually one line in the dialogue in my film says:
(Getrude Bell) “What does a schoolboy like this do here on this archaeological site?” (TE Lawrence) Answer : “This particular schoolboy has a PhD in Archaeology already.”
Queen of the Desert is a biographical drama film written and directed by Werner Herzog and is based on the life of British traveller, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer and political officer Gertrude Bell.
*Interview & screencap of Werner Herzog extracted from extra BTS DVD movie of ‘Queen Of The Desert’.
“This young man has been an actor since childhood,” says Werner Herzog, who directed Bale in the 2006 Vietnam War drama Rescue Dawn. “I had the most astonishing experiences with him where he lost 65lbs for a role he accepted. The amount of sacrifice. He’s the most diligent, professional human you can ever need.”